Rangers Minor League Roundup - 8/16

Myrtle Beach starter Miguel de los Santos recorded double-digit strikeouts for the third time in as many starts on Tuesday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 7 – (@) Fresno 5 (10 innings)
W - Kirkman (2-3)
SV - Valdez (6)
HR - Nelson (22), Green (2)
73-51, 10.0 GU

Left fielder Brad Nelson (.283/.363/.515) was Round Rock's hero on Tuesday, as he won the contest and extended his hitting streak to nine games. The 28-year-old was 4-for-5 with a double and the game-winning two-run homer in the top of the 10th.

Nelson now has eight extra-base hits in his last eight contests, and his 22 round-trippers for the season are a career best.

Starting pitcher Martin Perez continued to settle in at the Triple-A level, as he permitted three runs in six innings of work. The top prospect threw 93 pitches while scattering seven hits, walking one, and striking out four.

Shortstop Nick Green was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer and a walk.

Playing in his second Triple-A game, first baseman Jose Ruiz batted ninth and went 2-for-4 with a double and a sacrifice fly. He struck out once.

Kevin Cash (1/5, 3B) tripled while Esteban German (1/5, 2B, BB) also doubled and stole his 41st base of the year.

Reliever Darren O'Day punched out two in a perfect seventh inning. Lefty Michael Kirkman got the blown save and the victory after he gave up two runs––both coming on a two-run homer––in two innings.

Hard-throwing righty and former Giants top prospect Merkin Valdez (3.43 ERA/.247 BAA) worked a scoreless ninth inning to earn his sixth save. The 29-year-old appeared in 48 games for the Giants in 2009, and he last pitched with Fresno in '06.

Player of the Game: LF Brad Nelson
5 3 4 1 1 2 0 0 .283

AA: Frisco – OFF
27-23, 4.0 GB

The entire Texas League was off on Tuesday. The RoughRiders travel to Northwest Arkansas, where they will begin a three-game set with Neil Ramirez on the mound on Wednesday.

A+: Myrtle Beach 4 – (@) Salem 0
W - de los Santos (5-3)
25-26, 5.0 GB

On August 6, Miguel de los Santos took a no-hitter through seven innings before being lifted due to his pitch count.

Two starts later, on Tuesday evening, de los Santos allowed an infield single to start the game. But that would be the only hit he permitted over six innings. The 23-year-old worked six shutout frames, yielding one hit and one walk while striking out 11.

Ten of de los Santos' last 11 outs recorded were on strikes. He faced 19 batters, and only seven put the ball in play.

The changeup and strikeout artist has the following line in his last three starts––18 ip, 6 h, 3 er, 6 bb, 32 k. He has 73 punchouts in 47.2 innings (giving up 27 hits and walking 24) at High-A Myrtle Beach this summer.

Diminutive southpaw Jimmy Reyes followed with two scoreless innings in his Carolina League debut. The Miami native gave up two hits and struck out two without walking a batter.

Zach Osborne worked around two singles in a blank ninth to finish the game.

The Pelicans did just enough offensively despite stranding 12 runners on base. Ryan Strausborger (2/4, BB), Andrew Clark (2/4, SF) and Santiago Chirino (2/3, BB) all singled twice.

Third baseman Jimmy Swift, in his second High-A game, was 1-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt, two strikeouts, and a run batted in.

Player of the Game: LHP Miguel de los Santos
6.0 1 0 0 1 11 0 2.83

A: Hickory 5 – (@) Charleston 4
W - Henry (5-2)
SV - Mendoza (3)
28-23, 2.5 GB

Ben Henry began his outing with four scoreless innings on only one hit. Though he scuffled in the fifth, it was still good enough to get his fifth win of the season.

Henry (2.92 ERA/.201 BAA) yielded three runs in five innings, giving up four hits and walking five. He struck out four.

The Hickory offense did just enough to win, scoring five runs despite getting only five hits and striking out 12 times.

Third baseman Christian Villanueva (.277/.342/.458) was 1-for-4 with his 26th double of the season. He struck out three times. Jurickson Profar (1/5), Tomas Telis (1/4), Alejandro Selen (1/2, 2 BB) and Jonathan Roof (1/4) singled for the other knocks.

First baseman Clark Murphy, playing in his second full-season game of the year, whiffed three times in four hitless at-bats.

Henry handed the game over to the solid Hickory bullpen with the club leading 5-3, and they were able to hold it.

Andrew Doyle worked a perfect sixth inning, and fireballing righty Roman Mendez followed by fanning two in two scoreless innings.

Francisco Mendoza (3.68 ERA/.245 BAA) picked up his third save despite allowing a run in the ninth. He struck out two.

The 23-year-old Mendoza has already taken over as the Crawdads' closer despite being with the club for just one month. Mendoza's stuff has progressed, and he has 18 strikeouts versus just two walks in 14.2 innings for Hickory.

Player of the Game: RHP Roman Mendez
2.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 3.29

SSA: Spokane 3 - (@) Yakima 5
L - West (0-2)
7-14, 6.0 GB

The Indians were in the Northwest League's playoff race during the first half, but the young club dropped to a disappointing 7-14 in the second half––six games behind first place Tri-City.

Spokane has lost all seven games on its current road trip. They've lost three one-run games, one by two runs, one by three, and two by four.

Starter Chris Hanna (3.72 ERA/.262 BAA) worked a season-high five innings and surrendered two runs––one earned––on five hits. He walked one and struck out two.

Jerad Eickhoff continued to build on a strong rookie summer by fanning three in two innings of no-hit, scoreless relief. The 6-foot-4 hurler has 11 strikeouts in his first eight innings for Spokane.

Fireballing closer Matt West has been impressive this season, but he blew his fourth save of the summer on Tuesday. The righty worked the eighth inning and coughed up three runs on four hits and a walk––his first free pass of the season. He also struck out one.

Meanwhile, the Indians' offense scored only three runs despite notching 11 hits.

Corner infielder Edwin Garcia led the way, going 3-for-5 with a triple––Spokane's lone extra-base hit.

Yefry Castillo (3/4) had three singles while leadoff hitter Rougned Odor singled twice and was hit by a pitch once, raising his average to .304.

With another 0-for-4, two strikeout performance, centerfielder Zach Cone saw his average dip below the Mendoza line. Cone has begun his August in a brutal 2-for-43 (.047) slump, and he is hitless over his last eight contests (0-for-27).

Brett Nicholas got off to a hot start after batting .306 and .337 in June and July, respectively. But he, too, is in a slump. The Mizzou product is 5-for-41 with only one extra-base hit (a double) this month.

Player of the Game: 3B-1B Edwin Garcia
5 1 3 0 0 2 0 0 .269

RK: AZL Rangers – OFF
31-14, 10.5 GU

The Rangers' rookie club was off on Tuesday. They'll return to action on Wednesday, holding an incredible 31-14 record and a 10.5-game lead in the Arizona League's West Division.

DSL: DSL Rangers 15 – DSL Phillies 8 (7 innings – Game 1)
W - Tirado (5-3)
SV - Rodriguez (1)

The Phillies plated six runs in the first inning and led 7-0 through the middle of the second. Then the Rangers' offense went to work, scoring 15 total runs on just nine hits. They were helped by four DSL Phillies errors and eight walks.

Rangers' starting pitcher Richelson Pena failed to escape the first inning, as he surrendered six runs (four earned) on six hits in just two-thirds of an inning. The rough outing raised his ERA to 4.00.

But the club got excellent relief from Dario Beltre (2.1 IP), Pedro Tirado (1 IP) and Ricardo Rodriguez (3 IP). Both Beltre and Rodriguez allowed one unearned run. Beltre struck out four in his 2.1 frames.

Right fielder Esdras Abreu (2/4, 3B) and catcher Fernando Vivili (1/3, 3B) both tripled and drove home three runs. Left fielder Anderson Jesus was 1-for-4 with his 11th double.

Belarmino Campos (2/4) had a pair of knocks while Elio Castillo singled once and walked twice in four plate appearances.

Player of the Game: RF Esdras Abreu
4 2 2 0 0 3 0 1 .211

DSL: DSL Rangers 4 – (@) DSL Phillies 6 (7 innings – Game 2)
L - Fandino (2-2)
39-28, 5.5 GB

Despite the phenomenal game one performance, the Rangers still lost a game in the standings to the Cubs after dropping the nightcap. The Dominican Rangers are now 5.5 games back with only four remaining.

Making the first start of his young professional career, 17-year-old Venezuelan righty Jesus Fandino (2.37 ERA/.181 BAA) gave up five runs––three earned––in four innings of work. He allowed six hits and struck out two.

Leonel Gil followed by permitting a solo home run in two frames.

Shortstop Luis Marte (.295/.314/.401) had three singles in four trips. The talented infielder is clearly out of his mid-season slump, which led to a .222 batting average in July. Marte is 16-for-39 (.410) over his last 10 contests, hitting safely in nine of them.

Jose Gonzalez (2/3, 3B) tripled while Diego Cedeno (2/4, 2B) and Esdras Abreu (1/3, 2B) both doubled.

Shortstop Alberto Triunfel, who has improved as the season has progressed, went 1-for-3 and stole his eighth base.

Since returning from injury, the 17-year-old Triunfel is 11-for-31 (.355) with three doubles, four walks, and eight strikeouts. He has also stolen three bases in four attempts.

Player of the Game: SS Luis Marte
4 0 3 0 0 2 0 1 .295

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