L - Jones (0-1)
HR - Nelson (20)
Martin Perez (5.28 ERA/.341 BAA) pitched well despite issuing five walks in 5.2 innings of work on Wednesday. He allowed two runs on four hits while striking out two.
Although the Pacific Coast League is very home run-happy, Perez has yielded just one round-tripper in his first six Triple-A starts. He served up six home runs in 17 games (16 starts) with Frisco this year.
The Express sent the game into extra innings with Matt Kata's (1/5, 2B) sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth, knotting the game at two.
The contest remained tied until the 14th inning. Cody Eppley (1.1 IP), Merkin Valdez (2 IP) and Tanner Scheppers (3 IP) all hurled scoreless ball out of the bullpen. Scheppers threw 55 pitches (35 strikes) in his three frames, scattering five hits and striking out three.
Beau Jones suffered the loss after allowing a run in two innings––it was a 14th-inning solo home run from first baseman Johan Limonta.
First baseman Brad Nelson (.272/.355/.491) was 2-for-5 with his 20th home run of the season. The 28-year-old last hit 20 bombs with Nashville in 2007.
Joey Butler (2/6, 2B) and Nick Green (1/6, 2B) both doubled. DH Chad Tracy, who fell all the way back to the eight-hole in the lineup, was hitless in four at-bats. Tracy is hitting just .209/.290/.282 in 28 games since the All-Star break.
W - Miller (8-1)
HR - Bianucci (27)
Robbie Ross didn't earn the victory in his second Double-A start, but he pitched extremely well. The 22-year-old southpaw threw 94 pitches over seven innings, giving up three runs. He scattered seven hits and fanned six without walking a batter.
After working around some early jams, Ross retired nine consecutive hitters in the second, third, and fourth innings. He also sat down the side in order––with three groundouts––during the sixth.
The 5-foot-11 prospect has 12 strikeouts and one walk in his first 13 Double-A innings.
The RoughRiders won the game in the bottom of the 10th without making much contact. Davis Stoneburner (0/2, 2 BB) led off the frame with a walk. After Tom Mendonca popped out to short, Mike Bianucci was hit by a pitch. Then Jose Ruiz walked to load the bases, and a wild pitch during the next at-bat plated Stoneburner's game-winning run.
Bianucci (1/3, HR, HBP) launched a solo homer off starter Jeremy Jeffress––his 27th long ball of the season. Ruiz had a single and two walks in four plate appearances.
Right-handed relievers Adalberto Flores (2 IP) and Justin Miller (1 IP) combined for three shutout innings out of the bullpen. Miller improved to 8-1 this season.
L - Bell (2-1)
Rapidly improving left-hander Chad Bell (2.75 ERA/.232 BAA) worked a career-high seven innings on Wednesday. He surrendered three runs (two earned) on eight hits, walking one and striking out six.
Bell has the following line since the Carolina League All-Star break––32.2 ip, 21 h, 6 er (1.65 ERA), 7 bb, 27 k.
The Pelicans' offense didn't crack the scoring column until the bottom of the ninth inning. DH Ryan Strausborger led the way by going 2-for-3 with a walk.
Leadoff man Leury Garcia, whose average is down to .259 after a recent slump, had a single and a walk in four plate appearances.
Ryan Rodebaugh (4.50 ERA/.188 BAA) struck out the side in a scoreless ninth inning, working around one hit. Between Low- and High-A, Rodebaugh has punched out 63 batters in 51.2 frames this year.
W - Buckel (6-3)
SV - Rowen (2)
HR - Profar (11)
Hickory turned in a strong all-around performance on Wednesday evening against the first-place Intimidators.
Leadoff hitter Jurickson Profar had a perfect day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a double, a solo home run, a walk, and a hit-by pitch. He also stole two bases to give him 17 on the season.
Meanwhile, starting pitcher Cody Buckel (2.55 ERA/.224 BAA) held Kannapolis to two singles (one infield hit) in six shutout innings, as he fanned six without walking a batter.
Buckel, who has 90 strikeouts and 19 walks in 77.2 innings this season, retired 17 of the 19 batters he faced during the start.
Sidearming righty Ben Rowen (2.25 ERA/.238 BAA) finished the game––picking up his second save––by permitting one hit and one walk over three shutout frames. He struck out four.
Andrew Clark (2/4, 2B) and Alejandro Selen (1/4, 2B) both doubled. Second baseman Odubel Herrera had two hits and a base on balls in four trips, raising his average to .299.
Outfielders Jake Skole and Josh Richmond both had a tough day at the office––they combined to go 0-for-8 with eight strikeouts.
L - Eickhoff (1-1)
HR - Castillo (2), Garcia (2)
After racing out to a 5-1 lead, Spokane surrendered six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to fall behind.
Santo Perez gave up a first-inning run before sitting down the side in order during the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings. But after getting the first out of the sixth, he allowed four consecutive batters to reach base (and score) before being lifted.
Overall, Perez worked 5.1 innings and allowed five runs (three earned). The tall righty gave up five hits while walking one and striking out three.
Shortstop Edwin Garcia (3/5, HR) and catcher Yefry Castillo (2/4, HR, BB) launched back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning. Garcia's shot was a three-run bomb.
Centerfielder Zach Cone saw his average drop to .219 after he went without a hit in four more at-bats.
Left-hander Victor Payano, who recently moved into the bullpen, kept Salem-Keizer off the board during 2.1 strong relief innings. He gave up one hit while walking two and striking out four.
L - L. de los Santos (0-1)
HR - Murphy (2)
Reliever Leonel de los Santos, who was recently assigned to the rookie league from short-season Spokane, gave up the game by permitting two runs and recording just one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Rangers fell into an early hole when starter Ezequiel Rijo coughed up five runs on nine hits in 2.2 innings, raising his earned-run average to 7.76.
Lefty Luis Parra kept the club in the game with 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, permitting two hits, walking one, and striking out three. K.C. Wiser (1 IP) and Sam Robinson (1 IP) followed with one blank inning apiece.
Designated hitter Clark Murphy was just 1-for-4, but his hit was a two-run homer during the club's seventh-inning rally. Second baseman Jimmy Swift (2/5, 2B) doubled for the Rangers' other extra-base hit.
Chris Grayson (3/4) had three singles and his 13th stolen base. Nick Urbanus (2/4) and Kevin Torres (2/4, BB) both singled twice.
W - Pena (3-3)
SV - A. Leclerc (4)
The Dominican Rangers defeated the DSL's two-time defending champions on Wednesday with the help of eight total runs in the second and third innings.
Catcher Luis Cedeno's (1/4, 2B) fourth double of the season was the team's lone extra-base hit. But Luis Marte (2/4, BB), Diego Cedeno (1/5) and Fernando Vivili (1/4) all drove in two runs. First baseman Aneudy Feliz had two singles, a walk, and a hit-by pitch in four trips.
Richelson Pena scattered 10 hits over 6.1 innings, giving up six runs (four earned) while walking one and striking out two. All-Star reliever Anyelo Leclerc slammed the door by fanning five batters over 2.2 no-hit innings. He walked one.
In 39.2 innings this season, Leclerc has yielded 23 hits and struck out 47.
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