Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/3

High-A Myrtle Beach starting pitcher Cody Buckel tossed seven scoreless innings while striking out eight on Thursday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 5 – New Orleans 4
W - Ramirez (3-2)
SV - Scheppers (5)
HR - Solarte (4), Kata (3), Borbon (2)
13-15, 4.0 GB

After needing 55 pitches to get through the first inning in his last start, right-hander Neil Ramirez (4.03 ERA/.217 BAA) was the model of efficiency on Thursday.

Aside from that one-inning start, Ramirez has been mostly efficient in the early going this season. On Thursday, he needed only 80 pitches to complete seven innings. Ramirez allowed two runs on three hits, striking out three without walking a batter.

He has the following stat-line through six starts––29.0 ip, 23 h, 13 r, 7 bb, 25 k.

Left fielder Yangervis Solarte continued his hot hitting by going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, and a walk.

Centerfielder Julio Borbon (1/3, HR) and second baseman Matt Kata (2/4, HR) also added a round-tripper apiece.

Joey Butler (1/3, BB) and Elio Sarmiento (1/3, BB) each singled and walked once. Third baseman Tom Mendonca punched out three times and laid down a sacrifice bunt in his four plate appearances.

Once again, righty closer Tanner Scheppers (2.63 ERA/.204 BAA) flashed dominant stuff in the ninth inning. Scheppers threw eight of his 12 pitches for a strike in a perfect frame, striking out one.

Player of the Game: RHP Neil Ramirez
7.0 3 2 2 0 3 1 4.03

AA: Frisco 2 – (@) San Antonio 4
L - Pimentel (2-2)
HR - Felix (1)
17-10, 1.0 GU

The RoughRiders dropped a 4-2 decision against Padres prospect and San Antonio hurler Keyvius Sampson on Thursday night.

Frisco starter Carlos Pimentel (2.52 ERA/.195 BAA) was inconsistent for the second consecutive outing, throwing 94 pitches in five innings. The Dominican right-hander yielded four runs on five hits and three walks, striking out four.

The Frisco offense scattered eight hits––seven of which were singles––through the nine innings.

Catcher Jose Felix (1/3, HR, BB) hit a solo home run––his first of the season––for the club's lone extra-base hit.

Second baseman Guilder Rodriguez raised his batting average to .297 with three singles in four at-bats.

Mike Olt (1/3, BB) singled and walked.

Left-handed reliever Chad Bell threw 17 of his 22 pitches for a strike while retiring all six batters he faced in two innings. Bell got three groundouts and two strikeouts.

Since earning the promotion to Double-A, the 23-year-old Bell has surrendered one run on one hit in seven innings, walking two and striking out eight.

Trevor Hurley (4.85 ERA/.310 BAA) worked around a hit and a walk in a blank eighth inning.

Player of the Game: C Jose Felix
3 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 .213

A+: Myrtle Beach 4 – (@) Frederick 0
W - Buckel (3-1)
HR - Hoying (1)

Cody Buckel (1.31 ERA/.167 BAA) logged a career-high seven shutout innings, yielding three singles, walking three, and striking out eight. He also induced 10 groundouts to one flyout.

Although Buckel is one of the younger players in the Carolina League at 19, he has allowed only five runs in 34.1 innings over his first six starts. He's struck out 41 and walked 12 while inducing nearly 2.3 groundouts per airout.

At the plate, designated hitter Jared Hoying went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, a home run, and a walk. He also drove in two runs.

Third baseman Santiago Chirino (1/4, 2B) added his second double of the season.

Teodoro Martinez (1/3, BB), Brett Nicholas (1/4), Vin DiFazio (1/4) and Odubel Herrera (1/4) had the team's other hits.

Reliever Ben Henry (2.45 ERA/.189 BAA) finished off the shutout with two scoreless innings. The 23-year-old righty allowed one hit and walked two.

Player of the Game: RHP Cody Buckel
7.0 3 0 0 3 8 0 1.31

A: Hickory 3 – (@) Greensboro 7
L - Jackson (2-2)
HR - Akins (3)
16-10, 2.0 GB

After posting superb efforts in his first four starts, hard-throwing starter Luke Jackson (4.40 ERA/.231 BAA) has scuffled his last two times out.

The 20-year-old prospect gave up four runs in 2.2 innings on Thursday. He allowed five hits and walked two without recording a strikeout. He also committed a pair of errors.

Left-hander Chris Hanna (3.60 ERA/.286 BAA) did his best to keep the Crawdads within striking distance by retiring all 10 batters he faced––striking out four––in 3.1 perfect innings of long relief.

Centerfielder Jordan Akins struck out twice but also had a single and a monster two-run homer.

Zach Cone (1/4, 2B) and Kellin Deglan (1/3, 2B, HBP) both doubled.

Third baseman Drew Robinson went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks.

Player of the Game: LHP Chris Hanna
3.1 0 0 0 0 4 0 3.60

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