Rangers Minor League Roundup – 8/28

Double-A Frisco shortstop Renny Osuna helped knock the RoughRiders' playoff-clinching magic number down to one with a three-hit performance on Sunday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 7 – (@) Albuquerque 6 (8 innings – Rain)
W - Kirkman (3-3)
SV - Valdez (7)
HR - Majewski (5), Ruiz (1)
81-55, 13.0 GU

Round Rock and Albuquerque completed Sunday's series finale early––after eight full innings––due to inclement weather. The Express actually jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before giving up a five-run sixth followed by one more in the eighth.

Right fielder Val Majewski fell a double short of the cycle, as he went 3-for-4 with a single, a triple, a homer, and two RBI. The 30-year-old Majewski, who was previously playing independent ball, has proven to be a valuable signing for the Round Rock lineup. In his first 28 games, he has become a middle-of-the-order threat while posting a .355/.444/.617 slash line.

First baseman Jose Ruiz had his best game yet in Triple-A, going 2-for-4 with a double and a three-run jack.

All seven of Round Rock's runs came against Isotopes starting pitcher John Ely.

Mark Hamburger was pulled after a 1-2-3 first inning that included a strikeout and eight pitches––all thrown for strikes. Though there was some speculation as to why Hamburger was pulled, the Express' official website says it was a scheduled short appearance for the right-hander.

Michael Kirkman followed by striking out four in three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits without walking a batter.

Albuquerque got back into the game after sidearming righty Cody Eppley surrendered four runs in one-plus innings. Pedro Strop (2 IP) and Merkin Valdez (1 IP) both yielded a run of their own as the Express held on for the win.

Player of the Game: RF Val Majewski
4 2 3 0 1 2 0 1 .355

AA: Frisco 8 – (@) Midland 4
W - Snyder (10-5)
SV - Miller (11)
HR - Stoneburner (8)
34-28, 6.0 GB

Frisco knocked its playoff-clinching magic number down to one with another victory over Midland on Sunday. If the ‘Riders beat the RockHounds in Monday's series finale, they'll officially lock up the Texas League South Division's wild card spot.

Left-hander Ben Snyder (4.03 ERA/.279 BAA) turned in perhaps his best performance this year en route to his 10th victory. Snyder threw only 68 pitches in seven innings, giving up one run on six hits. He walked one and struck out two.

Although Snyder has pitched out of the bullpen for much of the last three seasons, he has now worked at least six innings in each of his last six starts for Frisco.

Second baseman Davis Stoneburner (.271/.343/.418), batting out of the eight hole, was 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, and four runs batted in. Fellow middle infielder Renny Osuna went 3-for-6 with two doubles and three RBI.

The 26-year-old Osuna has been a key component of Frisco's recent hot streak, hitting safely in 14 of his last 15 contests. He is batting .321 since the beginning of July.

Midland rallied against Frisco reliever Tyler Tufts in the eighth inning, scoring three runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning.

But hard-throwing closer Justin Miller (1.89 ERA/.189 BAA) slammed the door by fanning two in 1.1 scoreless innings, earning his 11th save. Miller has been excellent since the Texas League All-Star break––26.2 ip, 14 h, 3 r, 11 bb, 30 k.

Mike Bianucci (2/4, BB) and Engel Beltre (2/4, HBP) both reached base three times. Beltre also stole his 15th base in 21 attempts.

Player of the Game: LHP Ben Snyder
7.0 6 1 1 1 2 0 4.03

A+: Myrtle Beach 2 – (@) Winston-Salem 8
L - Boscan (4-12)
29-34, 5.5 GB

While losing three-of-four at first-place Winston-Salem, the Pelicans' offense scored a total of six runs.

Myrtle Beach didn't get much help from starting pitcher Wilfredo Boscan (4.69 ERA/.300 BAA), who fell to 4-12 on the season. The 6-foot-2, 187-pound righty was knocked around for seven runs in five innings, giving up nine hits while walking three and fanning four.

Boscan has now surrendered at least eight hits in each of his last five starts.

Corner outfielders Travis Adair (2/5, 2B) and Jared Prince (1/3, 2B, SF) both doubled once. Prince drove in both of the Pelicans' runs.

Santiago Chirino (2/4) and Jared Hoying (1/4) had the team's only other hits.

Player of the Game: LF Travis Adair
5 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 .300

A: Hickory – (@) Lakewood – PPD (Hurricane)
35-25, 0.5 GB

Due to Hurricane Irene hitting the Jersey Shore this weekend, the Crawdads and Blue Claws will take Saturday and Sunday off. They'll play doubleheaders on both Monday and Tuesday to finish the five-game series.

SSA: Spokane 0 - (@) Eugene 1
L - Hendricks (2-2)
12-21, 6.0 GB

Much like their High-A counterparts, the Indians have struggled to score runs during the last week. But unlike Myrtle Beach––which clinched a playoff berth with a first-half division title––Spokane is still hunting for a spot in the Northwest League's postseason.

After getting shut out on Sunday, the Indians have now scored one run or fewer in each of their last three games––and also in five of their last eight contests.

Spokane actually had a runner on third base in each of the first two innings. But those would be their only chances of the game. Eugene's pitching retired 18 of the final 20 Indians batters.

The pitching staff kept the team in the game, though. Right-hander Nick Martinez (2.83 ERA/.258 BAA) surrendered only one hit in five scoreless innings. He walked six and struck out one.

The 21-year-old Martinez has had little trouble throwing strikes this summer, making Sunday's bout with control a bit unusual. Regardless, he is pitching well between the two short-season levels––54.2 ip, 55 h, 15 er (2.47 ERA), 17 bb, 51 k. Martinez has also yet to surrender a home run while inducing nearly two groundouts per airout.

Kyle Hendricks (2.05 ERA/.171 BAA) fanned four batters in two innings but also gave up the game's only run, making him the hard-luck losing pitcher. Matt West gave up one hit and struck out one in a scoreless eighth.

Trever Adams (1/3, BB) and Edwin Garcia (1/3) had the Indians' only hits.

Slugging DH Jorge Alfaro (.301/.348/.490) was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, giving him 52 punchouts in 153 official at-bats this summer.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick Martinez
5.0 1 0 0 6 1 0 2.83

RK: AZL Rangers 8 – (@) AZL Dodgers 7
W - Strong (1-1)
SV - Parra (1)
HR - Leeds (4)
37-18, 12.0 GU

The Surprise Rangers held on for dear life to earn their fifth consecutive victory. The club, which has long since clinched a division title, now has one regular-season contest remaining before Tuesday's Arizona League semifinal game.

Rangers' third-round pick Kyle Castro got the start, appearing in his first game since August 4. The 18-year-old righty––Castro didn't turn 18 until August 18––worked one inning and allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits.

After Castro exited, 21-year-old lefty Paul Strong (3.34 ERA/.277 BAA) struck out five batters over four scoreless innings. He gave up two hits without issuing a walk. Alexander Claudio followed by punching out two in a perfect sixth.

While the Rangers' pitching kept the Dodgers off the board in the middle innings, the offense went to work.

Chris Grayson (.291/.326/.429) was a perfect 3-for-3 with two doubles and his 17th stolen base of the summer. First baseman Carlos Oropeza (3/3, BB, HBP) also reached in all of his plate appearances, getting three singles, a walk, and a hit-by pitch.

Third baseman Matt Leeds launched a two-run homer for his only hit in four trips.

Guy Edmonds (2/5) singled twice while talented shortstop Luis Marte was 1-for-3 with two runs batted in. Marte has now played six state-side games, going 6-for-21 (.286) with a double, a triple, and two strikeouts.

Scuffling reliever Andres Perez-Lobo coughed up three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but Luis Parra ended it by fanning the final batter of the game.

Southern Indiana product Taylor Dennis, the Rangers' 34th-round pick in this year's MLB Draft, features a lively fastball that reaches the mid-90s. But after allowing a run in 1.1 innings on Sunday, he now has a 7.08 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 20.1 frames.

Player of the Game: DH Chris Grayson
3 2 3 2 0 1 0 0 .291

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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