Rangers Minor League Roundup – 9/7

The Texas Rangers' four full-season affiliates all began their postseason play on Wednesday evening. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock 0 – Omaha 4
L - Hurley (0-1)
Omaha leads 1-0 (best of 5)

Coming into Wednesday's playoff opener, the Express hadn't been shut out at home since June 17. That night, it was former Rangers hurler Luis Mendoza who tossed eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball against Round Rock.

Mendoza, who was recently named the Pacific Coast League's Pitcher of the Year, practically duplicated that feat on Wednesday. He scattered five Round Rock singles through seven scoreless innings, throwing only 87 pitches.

Luis Cruz (2/3), Jose Ruiz (1/3), Joey Butler (1/2, BB, HBP) and Matt Kata (1/4) had the team's only knocks.

Round Rock's Eric Hurley settled down after permitting three first-inning runs, but that was more than enough support for Mendoza and the Storm Chasers.

Hurley ended up yielding four runs in seven-plus innings, giving up seven hits while walking one and striking out two. After the rough first, he settled down by retiring 19-of-21 batters before allowing two consecutive hits to begin the eighth.

Lefty Beau Jones entered in the eighth and induced a double play ball. He worked two perfect innings, striking out a pair and throwing 20 pitches.

Player of the Game: LHP Beau Jones
2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00

AA: Frisco 0 – (@) San Antonio 3
L - Ross (0-1)
San Antonio leads 1-0 (best of 5)

Wednesday's matchup in San Antonio pitted a pair of friends and former teammates against each other.

For the Missions, righty Joe Wieland tossed seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball while throwing only 82 pitches. He struck out eight and walked one.

On the flip side, lefty Robbie Ross fanned a career-best 12 batters in six innings. He walked four and gave up just one hit, but that lone knock happened to be a run-scoring double. Ross was the hard-luck loser.

Mitch Hilligoss (1/4) and Engel Beltre (1/3) singled for the RoughRiders' only two hits of the game.

Scuffling third baseman Tom Mendonca whiffed in all three of his plate appearances.

Righty relievers Tyler Tufts (1 IP) and Johan Yan (1 IP) both worked scoreless ball out of the bullpen. San Antonio put the game out of reach against left-hander Corey Young, as the hurler gave up two runs without recording an out in the eighth.

Player of the Game: LHP Robbie Ross
6.0 1 1 1 4 12 0 1.50

A+: Myrtle Beach 4 – Kinston 1
W - Grimm (1-0)
SV - West (1)
HR - DiFazio (1)
Myrtle Beach leads 1-0 (best of 5)

Although all four of the Rangers' full-season affiliates played close games on Wednesday, Myrtle Beach was the only one to come away with a victory.

Catcher Vin DiFazio put the Pelicans on top early with his two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning. He later added a base on balls.

After getting some early support, righty Justin Grimm allowed only one run in six innings, working around four hits and four walks. He struck out six.

Jared Prince (3/5, 2B), Travis Adair (1/4, 2B) and Chris McGuiness (1/4, 2B) all doubled once. Nine-hole hitting second baseman Santiago Chirino had three singles and a sacrifice bunt in his four plate appearances.

Leadoff man Ryan Strausborger singled twice in five trips.

The Pelicans' bullpen slammed the door after Grimm exited. Joe Ortiz (1 IP), Ryan Rodebaugh (1 IP) and Matt West (1 IP) all worked one shutout frame.

West pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, getting one strikeout.

Player of the Game: C Vin DiFazio
3 1 1 0 1 2 1 1 .333

A: Hickory 4 – (@) Greensboro 5 (15 innings)
L - Monegro (0-1)
HR - Richmond (1), Telis (1)
Greensboro leads 1-0 (best of 3)

Greensboro tied the game in the bottom of the eighth. Then both teams scored a single run in the 10th. Both teams scored once again in the 13th. After Hickory plated one in the top of the 15th, the Grasshoppers got two in the bottom of the frame for the walkoff victory.

In other words, Wednesday's best-of-three series opener was full of drama.

Long before the game finished, Crawdads starter Cody Buckel held Greensboro to two hits over six shutout innings. The 19-year-old walked one and struck out five.

Roman Mendez followed with a scoreless seventh.

DH Tomas Telis (1/7, HR) hit the solo home run that put Hickory ahead in the top of the 10th inning. Right fielder Josh Richmond (2/5, 2B, HR, BB) added a solo round-tripper in the top of the 15th.

Jhonny Gomez (2/6, 2B) and Jonathan Roof (1/2, 2B) also doubled while Jurickson Profar (1/5, 2 BB) and Odubel Herrera (2/6, BB) both reached base three times.

The only Crawdads hitter without a hit had a relatively ugly night. Catcher Kellin Deglan was hitless in seven at-bats, striking out five times.

Relievers Ben Rowen (2 IP) and Francisco Mendoza (2 IP) both yielded a run in two innings, and both picked up a blown save.

Jose Monegro worked in long relief and gave up three runs in three innings to pick up the loss.

Player of the Game: RHP Cody Buckel
6.0 2 0 0 1 5 0 0.00

SSA: Spokane – Season Over
35-41, 9.0 GB

The Indians finished their regular season in third place in the Northwest League's East Division. The club didn't qualify for the postseason, as they were one game behind Boise for the division's wild card spot.

RK: AZL Rangers – Season Over
38-18, 13.0 GU

For the second consecutive season, the rookie-level Surprise Rangers won the Arizona League's West Division title but fell in the league's semifinal game.

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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