Rangers Minor League Roundup – 8/24

Round Rock designated hitter Chad Tracy had two home runs and six RBI in Wednesday's blowout victory, giving him an even 100 runs batted in this season. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 16 – (@) Albuquerque 8
W - Valdez (5-2)
HR - Tracy (22, 23), Diaz (4)
80-52, 15.0 GU

One day after the Express clinched a division title, the club traveled Albuquerque, home of the second-place Isotopes. There appeared to be little hangover for Round Rock, as the club matched a franchise record with nine runs in the fourth inning, plating 16 for the game.

Cleanup man Chad Tracy (.255/.335/.465) went 3-for-6 with two home runs and six runs batted in. The Pepperdine product now has 100 RBI on the season––passing Brooks Conrad (2006) for second place on the Express' single-season list. He is one shy of Mike Coolbaugh's 2005 franchise record.

Catcher Robinzon Diaz was 2-for-5 with a round-tripper and three RBI.

Tracy and Diaz each hit a home run off Isotopes reliever Travis Schlichting, a Round Rock High School product.

Left-hander Michael Kirkman (5.51 ERA/.310 BAA) pitched well in the spot start, tossing three innings of one-run ball while throwing 50 pitches. He gave up three hits and fanned four without issuing a walk.

Val Majewski (2/5, 2 2B, BB) doubled twice while Esteban German (3/5, 2B, BB) and Leonys Martin (2/6, 2B) had one two-bagger apiece.

Matt Kata (2/4, HBP) and Guilder Rodriguez (2/4, BB) both had a pair of singles. Joey Butler singled and walked twice in five plate appearances.

For the game, the Express were 9-for-15 with men in scoring position. They stranded just six runners on base despite getting 18 hits and five walks.

Hard-throwing righty Merkin Valdez was the only Round Rock reliever to post scoreless ball. The former Giants prospect worked around a hit and two walks in 1.2 innings.

Beau Jones struggled with control in his outing. The southpaw coughed up four runs in 1.1 innings, giving up only one hit. He walked four, unleashed two wild pitches, and balked twice.

Player of the Game: DH Chad Tracy
6 2 3 0 2 6 0 0 .255

AA: Frisco 4 – San Antonio 3
W - Pimentel (6-9)
SV - Miller (10)
HR - Bianucci (30), Mendonca (25)
31-27, 6.0 GB

The RoughRiders moved another step closer to clinching a wild card playoff berth with their second consecutive victory over first-place San Antonio.

Frisco scored all four of its runs in the sixth inning, coming on back-to-back homers from sluggers Mike Bianucci and Tom Mendonca.

Bianucci (1/4, HR) launched a three-run shot, and Mendonca (1/3, HR) followed it up with a solo jack. The duo has combined for 55 home runs on the season.

With homers in each of his last three games, the 25-year-old Bianucci is now tied for the Texas League lead with 30 long balls this year.

Starter Carlos Pimentel (5.21 ERA/.256 BAA) racked up the quality start, giving up three runs in six innings pitched. The 21-year-old yielded four hits, walked three, and struck out seven.

Pimentel has the following line over his last four starts––21 ip, 11 h, 6 r, 11 bb, 27 k.

Fabio Castillo (1.1 IP), Richard Bleier (0.2 IP) and Justin Miller (1 IP) held the Missions off the board in the game's final three innings.

Bleier scuffled as a starting pitcher this season but has pitched well since moving back into the Frisco bullpen––8.2 ip, 7 h, 1 er, 3 bb, 6 k.

Catcher Jose Felix (1/3, 2B) hit his 12th double while leadoff hitter Renny Osuna (1/3, BB) singled and walked once.

Player of the Game: DH Mike Bianucci
4 1 1 0 1 3 0 1 .247

A+: Myrtle Beach 2 – Lynchburg 3
L - Gomez (2-5)
27-31, 4.0 GB

Kenny Gomez (3.91 ERA/.254 BAA) gave up eight hits and four walks in five innings during his start on Wednesday, but he limited the damage to only three runs. He also fanned six. Still, it wasn't enough, as the Dominican righty suffered his fifth loss.

Leadoff man Ryan Strausborger (.329/.424/.430 in August) continued his recent hot streak by going 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. The 23-year-old has now hit safely in nine consecutive games.

Strausborger, who features a strong arm from the outfield, also gunned down a runner at home plate from center field.

Andrew Clark (2/4), Jimmy Swift (1/4, 2B) and David Paisano (1/4) had the team's only other hits. Clark has reached base via hit or walk in 23 consecutive games, dating back to his stint at Single-A Hickory.

Slugging third baseman Mike Olt whiffed three times and walked once in four trips.

Reliever Zach Osborne (3.83 ERA/.265 BAA) permitted just a hit while inducing seven groundouts in three scoreless innings. Lefty Jimmy Reyes worked a 1-2-3 ninth, getting one strikeout.

Myrtle Beach's offense hit into four double plays in the game.

Player of the Game: CF Ryan Strausborger
4 0 2 1 0 1 1 1 .279

A: Hickory 5 – (@) Hagerstown 2
W - Monegro (2-0)
SV - Mendoza (5)
33-25, 2.0 GB

Nick Tepesch (blister) returned from the disabled list on Wednesday and allowed two runs in four innings pitched. He gave up six hits––including a home run to University of Texas product Kevin Keyes––while fanning six without issuing a walk.

After Tepesch left the game, the Crawdads' bullpen provided four innings of phenomenal work.

Jose Monegro (1.59 ERA/.171 BAA) retired all nine batters he faced in three perfect innings, getting five strikeouts. Ben Rowen then worked a scoreless eighth, and Francisco Mendoza punched out two in a blank ninth.

The 23-year-old Mendoza has 26 strikeouts in 17.2 innings since his promotion to Hickory.

Shortstop Jurickson Profar moved down to the three-hole in the Crawdads' order and went 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs batted in. The three-bagger was his eighth of the season.

Tomas Telis (1/4, 2B) doubled while left fielder Braxton Lane (2/4) had a pair of singles.

Player of the Game: SS Jurickson Profar
4 1 2 0 0 3 0 0 .286

SSA: Spokane 3 - (@) Eugene 7
L - Matthews (0-2)
12-17, 5.0 GB

The Indians' pitching staff issued eight walks in Wednesday's series-opening loss at Eugene, and none of them came from right-hander Carlos Melo.

Melo, who finished the game, fanned two in 1.2 scoreless innings without allowing a hit or a walk.

Starting pitcher Kevin Matthews gave up two runs in three innings, working around five hits and two walks. Reliever David Perez issued four walks in 1.1 frames––leading to three runs.

Catcher Yefry Castillo was Spokane's best offensive performer, going 3-for-4 with his fourth double. Rougned Odor (1/4, 2B) and Nick Vickerson (1/3, 2B) also added one two-bagger apiece.

Player of the Game: C Yefry Castillo
4 0 3 1 0 2 0 0 .337

RK: AZL Rangers 8 – (@) AZL Padres 7
W - Perez-Lobo (1-0)
HR - Mendez (2)
34-18, 10.0 GU

In their second-to-last game of the regular season, the Rookie Rangers came storming back with six runs in their final three at-bats to claim the narrow victory.

Shortstop Luis Marte got the game-winning RBI single in the top of the ninth while playing in just his third state-side game. The 17-year-old prospect was 3-for-5 with two RBI and a stolen base.

Luis Mendez helped spark the comeback with a pinch-hit solo homer in the top of the sixth. He also walked once.

Starter Paul Strong yielded three runs in 2.2 innings, and sidearming lefty Alexander Claudio gave up four runs in 3.1 frames of long relief.

Steven McKinnon (1 IP) and Andres Perez-Lobo (2 IP) kept the Padres off the board for the final three innings, allowing for the Rangers' late comeback.

Player of the Game: SS Luis Marte
5 1 3 0 0 2 0 0 .364

DSL: DSL Rangers – Season Over
41-30, 5.5 GB

The Dominican Rangers failed to qualify for the Dominican Summer League playoffs despite posting a strong 41-30 record. The club finished in second place, 5.5 games behind the DSL Cubs2.

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