Rangers Minor League Roundup – 8/25

Myrtle Beach third baseman Mike Olt hit a pair of solo home runs on Thursday while starting pitcher Justin Grimm turned in seven strong innings. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 3 – (@) Albuquerque 13
L - Jackson (11-5)
HR - Majewski (4)
80-53, 14.0 GU

The ball generally flies in Albuquerque due to the altitude, but it's especially tough to pitch there when the wind is blowing out to left field at 27 mph, as it was on Thursday.

Express starting pitcher Zach Jackson served up three home runs in his six innings, giving up eight runs on 14 hits. He walked two and struck out two.

Sidearming reliever Cody Eppley didn't have much better luck––he permitted five runs––including one more homer––in two innings.

Round Rock did all of its scoring in the top of the first, getting an RBI single by Chad Tracy (1/4) and a two-run homer off the bat of Val Majewski (1/4, HR).

Tracy's 101st RBI of the season tied Mike Coolbaugh (2005) for the Express franchise record.

Esteban German (1/2, 2 BB) reached three times and stole his 44th base while Jose Ruiz (1/3, 2B) hit his second Triple-A double.

Player of the Game: RF Val Majewski
4 1 1 0 1 2 0 1 .340

AA: Frisco 3 – San Antonio 8
L - Hankins (1-2)
31-28, 7.0 GB

The RoughRiders went up against former Rangers prospect Joe Wieland for the first time since the late-July trade. Wieland shut down his old club, surrendering just two hits and throwing only 56 pitches in five scoreless innings. The right-hander improved to 7-0 since his promotion to Double-A.

On the flip side, Frisco starter Derek Hankins served up eight runs (four earned) on eight hits in 1.1 innings pitched.

The ‘Riders bullpen combined for 7.2 scoreless innings, but it wasn't nearly enough to keep the club in the game.

Corey Young was particularly impressive, giving up only one hit in 3.2 shutout frames. He fanned two without issuing a walk. Jake Brigham followed with three blank innings. Johan Yan didn't allow a run in the ninth despite giving up three hits and a walk.

Right fielder Jonathan Greene had three singles, two RBI, and an outfield assist in the game.

Engel Beltre (1/3, 2B, BB) and Tom Mendonca (1/4, 2B) both doubled. Leadoff man Renny Osuna had a single and a walk in four plate appearances.

Player of the Game: LHP Corey Young
3.2 1 0 0 0 2 0 4.17

A+: Myrtle Beach 3 – Lynchburg 2 (11 innings)
W - Ortiz (5-5)
HR - Olt (12, 13)
28-31, 3.5 GB

Designated hitter Mike Olt kept the Pelicans in the game with a pair of solo home runs in five at-bats. Then, in the bottom of the 11th, Andrew Clark (1/4, 2 BB) came through with the walkoff walk, scoring second baseman Santiago Chirino.

Chirino, who was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt, belted his 17th double of the season earlier in the 11th inning.

Due to the two solo homers and run-scoring base on balls, Myrtle Beach won the game despite going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Starting pitcher Justin Grimm (3.52 ERA/.259 BAA) bounced back from his worst outing of the season with a strong seven-inning performance. The 23-year-old yielded two unearned runs, scattering five hits, walking two, and fanning four.

Third baseman Jimmy Swift (2/5) singled twice while catcher Vin DiFazio (1/5, 2B) added his 14th double of the season.

Leadoff man Ryan Strausborger left the game after being hit by a pitch on the hand.

Trevor Hurley (2 IP) and Joe Ortiz (3 IP) closed the game with five innings of scoreless relief. Ortiz didn't permit a run despite yielding six hits.

Player of the Game: DH Mike Olt
5 2 2 0 2 2 0 1 .290

A: Hickory 5 – (@) Hagerstown 3
W - Buckel (8-3)
SV - Mendoza (6)
HR - Deglan (6)
34-25, 1.0 GB

The Crawdads and Suns combined for seven of their eight runs in the first two innings of the game.

Hickory's Cody Buckel (2.65 ERA/.232 BAA) scattered eight hits through five innings, giving up three runs. He struck out eight and walked one.

The 19-year-old Buckel has 112 strikeouts and 24 walks in 91.2 innings with Hickory this season. Although he didn't join the Crawdads until the very end of April, he ranks eighth in the Sally League in strikeouts.

The Crawdads' offense spread the production evenly. Eight players combined for the team's 10 hits. Second baseman Odubel Herrera (2/5) and first baseman Jhonny Gomez (2/3, BB) were the only with multiple knocks.

Young catcher Kellin Deglan fanned three times in four at-bats, but his other plate appearance was a solo home run––his sixth of the season.

Jurickson Profar (1/2, 2B, BB) and Christian Villanueva (1/4, 2B) both doubled. Profar also laid down a successful sacrifice bunt.

Hickory relievers Joe Van Meter (2 IP), Ben Rowen (1 IP) and Francisco Mendoza (1 IP) kept Hagerstown off the scoreboard for the final four innings.

Mendoza (3.38 ERA/.224 BAA) worked a perfect ninth inning, getting three consecutive groundouts en route to his sixth save in 15 full-season appearances.

Player of the Game: SS Jurickson Profar
2 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 .287

SSA: Spokane 4 - (@) Eugene 9
L - S. Perez (5-4)

The Indians committed a whopping seven errors in their defeat at Eugene. Right fielder Guillermo Pimentel ‘led' the way with three miscues, starting pitcher Santo Perez had two, and first baseman Yefry Castillo and shortstop Hanser Alberto had one apiece.

Starter Santo Perez worked 2.2 innings and allowed six runs (three earned) on six hits, walking three and striking out three. He also permitted a pair of home runs.

The 6-foot-5 starter has pitched well for much of the summer but has scuffled in his last three starts––8.2 ip, 20 h, 18 r, 8 bb, 9 k.

Zach Cone (1/4, 3B) hit his second triple while Alberto (1/4, 2B) and Trever Adams (1/4, 2B, BB) both doubled.

Victor Payano (5.32 ERA/.285 BAA) worked around two hits and two walks in 3.2 innings of long relief, giving up only an unearned run. The 18-year-old prospect struck out five.

Payano continues to pitch well out of the Indians' bullpen––12.1 ip, 5 h, 0 er, 6 bb, 14 k.

Player of the Game: LHP Victor Payano
3.2 2 1 0 2 5 0 5.32

RK: AZL Rangers 7 – AZL Royals 2
W - Robinson (1-0)
HR - Williams (5), Grayson (2)
35-18, 11.0 GU

Ezequiel Rijo (5.31 ERA/.327 BAA) is having a wildly inconsistent summer in his third Arizona League season, but he is finishing on a strong note.

The 20-year-old hurler held the Rookie Royals to one unearned run in four innings on Thursday, giving up two hits. He walked two and struck out five.

Rijo has pitched well in his last three starts––14 ip, 12 h, 1 er, 4 bb, 11 k.

Toolsy right fielder Chris Grayson went 2-for-2 with a three-run homer––the second of his professional career––before being lifted in mid-game. Left fielder Jeremy Williams was 1-for-3 with a two-run shot.

Rehabbing first baseman Chris McGuiness, who hasn't appeared in a game at Myrtle Beach since July 6, was 0-for-2 with a hit-by pitch in his first rehab appearance.

Carlos Oropeza (2/3, 2B, BB), Saquan Johnson (1/1, 2B) and Luis Marte (1/3, 2B) all doubled once. Third baseman Ryan Rua went 2-for-4 with his fifth triple.

Sam Robinson (2 IP) and Luis Parra (2 IP) both twirled two scoreless innings of relief to finish the game.

Like Rijo, the 19-year-old Parra has talent but has been similarly inconsistent this summer. After some mid-season struggles, he has pitched well since moving to the bullpen––12.1 ip, 11 h, 2 r, 3 bb, 15 k.

Player of the Game: RF Chris Grayson
2 1 2 0 1 3 0 0 .276

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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