Rangers Minor League Roundup - 8/15

Single-A Hickory starting pitcher Cody Buckel struck out nine batters in five scoreless innings on Monday evening. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 3 – (@) Sacramento 5
L - Tucker (3-5)
72-51, 9.0 GU

The River Cats salvaged the fourth and final game of their four-game set against the visiting Express.

Round Rock was defeated by starting pitcher Tyson Ross, who pitched well in the major leagues this season but has scuffled since returning from injury and being sent to Triple-A.

The 6-foot-6 Ross allowed only one unearned run in five innings, striking out nine batters.

The Express' offense scattered seven singles through the game and struck out 14 total times. Leonys Martin (1/4, BB), Esteban German (1/4, BB) and Kevin Cash (1/3, BB) all singled and walked once. German stole his 40th base of the season.

Joey Butler (.335/.392/.517) was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The 25-year-old Butler is hitting .354 in 12 games this month, but he has also struck out 22 times in that span.

Butler is having an incredible stretch with the Express in that––particularly of late––he appears to be getting a hit nearly every time he makes contact. The outfielder had an 11-game hitting streak snapped on Monday, but he has also struck out at least once in each of his last 16 contests.

Butler has 32 strikeouts in his last 16 games. He also has an improbable .364/.400/.576 slash line in that span.

Starting pitcher Ryan Tucker (4.92 ERA/.286 BAA) struck out eight batters in five innings, but he also surrendered five runs on nine hits. He walked one and threw 91 pitches (58 strikes).

Lefty reliever Beau Jones (3.38 ERA/.254 BAA) continues to improve as he progresses in Triple-A. On Monday, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Tanner Scheppers didn't allow a run but issued three walks in the eighth inning. He threw only 13 of 28 pitches for strikes.

Player of the Game: LHP Beau Jones
2.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3.38

AA: Frisco 3 – Tulsa 2 (12 innings)
W - Miller (9-1)
27-23, 4.0 GB

Frisco finished its longest homestand of the season with a three-game sweep of the Drillers, allowing six total runs during the series.

Robbie Ross (3.44 ERA/.246 BAA) turned in his third strong outing in as many Double-A starts this season. The 22-year-old lefty permitted one run (a solo homer) in 5.1 innings, scattering four hits, walking one, and striking out five.

Ross threw 92 pitches and 54 strikes. He has yielded a home run in each of his three Double-A starts after allowing only one in 123.1 Carolina League innings. The High-A CL is regarded as a very pitcher-friendly circuit.

Frisco's offense had only six hits in the 12 innings, but they made them count. Catcher Jose Felix was 2-for-5 with two doubles––the club's only extra-base hits on the evening––giving him 11 two-baggers for the year.

First baseman Jared Bolden drove home a pair, including bringing in the walkoff run with an RBI single in the bottom of the 12th.

After Engel Beltre was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, pitcher Ben Snyder was forced to enter the game and play right field. He had a single and a strikeout in two plate appearances.

Sidearming righty Johan Yan gave up a run in one inning of relief, but it was an unearned run. He has yet to allow an earned run in 18 Double-A innings.

Richard Bleier (1.2 IP), Tyler Tufts (2 IP) and Justin Miller (2 IP) kept Tulsa off the scoreboard through the final 5.2 frames.

Miller was particularly impressive, as he fanned all six batters he faced in two perfect innings. In 62 innings this season, Miller has allowed 44 hits, walked 21, and struck out 67.

Player of the Game: RHP Justin Miller
2.0 0 0 0 0 6 0 2.03

A+: Myrtle Beach 6 – (@) Salem 8 (10 innings)
L - Killian (0-1)
24-26, 5.0 GB

The Pelicans went only 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position during Monday's series opener, and they stranded 12 men on base.

Starter Chad Bell was excellent aside for one inning. Bell pitched six innings, giving up five runs on 11 hits. He walked one and struck out five.

The left-hander allowed all five of his runs in the third inning. After striking out the first two batters of the frame, six consecutive Salem hitters reached base, getting four doubles in that span.

Cleanup hitter and first baseman Andrew Clark, playing in his second High-A game, was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, and three runs batted in.

Jared Prince (2/6), Ryan Strausborger (2/4, HBP) and Santiago Chirino (2/4, HBP) all had two singles apiece.

Leadoff man Jimmy Swift played third base and went without a hit in six at-bats. Swift, an undrafted free agent from Creighton, batted .416/.500/.663 in the rookie-level Arizona League this season. He was 2-for-12 in four games while filling in at Double-A Frisco earlier in the summer.

Trevor Hurley (2.84 ERA/.216 BAA) tip-toed around two hits and a walk in a blank seventh inning.

Fellow right-hander Colby Killian suffered a blown save in the eighth and a loss after the 10th. He allowed three runs in 2.1 innings of work, including the walkoff two-run homer.

Player of the Game: 1B Andrew Clark
4 0 1 1 0 3 1 0 .375

A: Hickory 4 – (@) Charleston 1
W - Rowen (4-4)
SV - Mendoza (2)
27-23, 3.5 GB

Strikeout artist Cody Buckel (2.40 ERA/.227 BAA) punched out nine batters over five shutout frames on Monday, giving him 99 in 82.2 innings with the Crawdads this season. The 19-year-old gave up five hits and walked one.

Buckel has allowed one run in 16 innings over three starts this month, striking out 20 and walking only two.

Designated hitter Jake Skole had two doubles and two walks in five plate appearances. Second baseman Odubel Herrera was 2-for-5 with his 22nd two-bagger of the year.

Alejandro Selen (2/4), Clark Murphy (1/4) and Kellin Deglan (1/3, BB) had the club's other hits.

Right fielder Josh Richmond picked up an outfield assist but struck out in all four of his plate appearances.

Appearing in his first full-season game, reliever Jose Monegro sat down all six batters he faced in two perfect innings, striking out a pair. Hard-throwing righty Francisco Mendoza punched out one in a perfect ninth.

Player of the Game: RHP Cody Buckel
5.0 5 0 0 1 9 0 2.40

SSA: Spokane 6 - (@) Salem-Keizer 7
L - S. Perez (5-2)
7-13, 5.0 GB

The Indians dropped yet another close game on Monday. Santo Perez was hit for seven runs––four earned––in four innings pitched. The tall right-hander gave up seven hits while walking three and striking out four.

David Perez came on in relief and walked two batters in his inning, though he didn't permit a run or a hit. He struck out one.

Left-hander Victor Payano (6.00 ERA/.301 BAA) continued to pitch well since joining the Indians' bullpen. The 18-year-old prospect twirled three scoreless innings while giving up two hits and walking one.

Payano scuffled as a starting pitcher but has the following line in three relief appearances for Spokane––7.1 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 4 bb, 7 k.

The Indians scored six runs on six hits––all singles––with the help of five stolen bases in as many attempts.

Second baseman Rougned Odor was 1-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases, giving him 10 on the summer. He also committed his seventh error.

Right fielder Guillermo Pimentel struck out twice but also walked three times. Brett Nicholas (1/4, BB), Edwin Garcia (1/3, BB) and Jorge Alfaro (1/3, BB) all singled and walked.

Player of the Game: LHP Victor Payano
3.0 2 0 0 1 2 0 6.00

RK: AZL Rangers 9 – (@) AZL Athletics 1
W - Rijo (3-0)
HR - Akins (1)
31-14, 10.0 GU

The Rookie Rangers improved to an incredible 31-14 on the season and 10 games ahead of the second-place AZL Mariners. The club also held their opponent to a single run for the third time in as many games.

Wildly inconsistent starter Ezequiel Rijo (6.54 ERA/.353 BAA) hasn't had an ideal summer, but he turned in his best performance of the season on Monday. The 20-year-old worked five shutout innings, scattering five hits, walking one, and striking out four.

Right fielder Jordan Akins (.290/.315/.426) also turned in a banner day, as he went 3-for-5 with a double and his first professional home run. The toolsy 19-year-old drove in three runs.

Rehabbing third baseman Mike Olt singled twice and struck out twice in five at-bats. Kevin Torres (2/4, BB), Matt Leeds (2/5), Jeremy Williams (2/2) and Desmond Henry (2/5) also had two singles apiece.

Tall righty K.C. Wiser, a former college basketball player, fanned three in two hitless, scoreless innings. Luis Parra gave up a run in two frames to finish the game.

Player of the Game: RF Jordan Akins
5 2 3 1 1 3 0 0 .290

DSL: DSL Rangers 14 – (@) DSL Mets1 2
W - Valdespina (2-3)
38-27, 4.5 GB

The Dominican Rangers busted out for 14 runs on 19 hits, including 12 tallies in their final three innings.

While the offense was relatively quiet in the early going, starter Jose Valdespina (2.82 ERA/.217 BAA) set the tone with five scoreless innings. The 6-foot-6 hurler allowed five hits and struck out seven without issuing a walk.

Second baseman Ramon Urias led the offense by going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Belarmino Campos (3/5, 2B), Esdras Abreu (2/4, 2B, BB) and Aneudy Feliz (1/5, 2B) also doubled.

Diego Cedeno (2/5, BB), Anderson Jesus (2/5, BB), Jose Gonzalez (2/6) and Fernando Vivili (2/6) had two knocks apiece.

Player of the Game: RHP Jose Valdespina
5.0 5 0 0 0 7 0 2.82

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