18-22, 6.0 GB
The entire Pacific Coast League was off on Wednesday. Round Rock returned home for an eight-game homestand at Dell Diamond, where they will face the Fresno Grizzlies (San Francisco) and Sacramento River Cats (Oakland).
L - Castillo (1-1)
24-15, 4.0 GU
Frisco starting pitcher Jake Brigham (2.84 ERA/.224 BAA) is flying a bit under the radar so far this season, but he's pitching well in Double-A while flashing a quality repertoire.
On Wednesday, the 24-year-old limited Midland to one run in six innings. He scattered six hits while walking one and striking out eight.
Brigham, who is in his fifth full season of professional baseball, has a reputation of showing better stuff than his results indicate. But he's turned in consistent quality outings so far this season, throwing strikes and working deep into games.
Last season, Brigham struck out 22.7 percent of batters he faced but walked 10.9 percent. He has issued walks to only six percent this year while striking out 23.5 percent.
The Florida native has also been more efficient with his pitches. While he threw 16.9 pitches per inning in 2011, he's at a 14.3 clip this season.
‘Riders shortstop Jurickson Profar (.289/.339/.493) extended his hitting streak to 26 games and his on-base streak to 35 with one single in four at-bats. He got the knock––a line-drive single to left field––to cap off a nine-pitch battle with Midland starter Murphy Smith.
The 19-year-old super-prospect has a .338/.362/.508 slash line in 15 contests this month.
Ryan Strausborger (2/4) singled twice while Val Majewski (1/4), Guilder Rodriguez (1/4) and Chris McGuiness (1/4) had the club's other hits. Majewski drove in Frisco's lone run of the game.
The RoughRiders and RockHounds entered the bottom of the eighth inning locked in a 1-1 tie, but the Frisco bullpen surrendered six runs in the frame.
The Midland eighth included two singles, a double, four walks, and a wild pitch.
After working a scoreless seventh, Fabio Castillo permitted two runs in the eighth without getting an out. Left-hander Corey Young then coughed up three runs on a hit and two walks in one-third of an inning.
Trevor Hurley, who finished the inning, recorded two outs and also allowed a run on a hit and two walks.
The 25-year-old Young pitched well to start the season, but he has struggled mightily in his last four outings––3.1 ip, 9 h, 8 r, 5 bb, 3 k.
W - Font (1-3)
SV - R. Henry (4)
HR - Herrera (2), Villanueva (2)
19-18, 3.0 GB
Although big righty Wilmer Font (4.57 ERA/.173 BAA) didn't pick up his first post-Tommy John surgery victory until Wednesday, he's pitched very well his last few times out.
On Wednesday, the 21-year-old Font worked a season-high five innings and allowed one run on three hits. He struck out five without issuing a walk.
Font, who has begun flashing a mid-90s fastball once again, has the following stat-line in his last three starts––13.2 ip, 5 h, 3 r, 1 bb, 17 k.
It's also safe to say that Font is showing improved fastball command. While relying heavily on his fastball recently, he hasn't walked or plunked a batter in two of his last three outings. Font had issued a walk or HBP in each of his previous 32 starts before this stretch.
A pair of (somewhat) scuffling infielders launched their second home run of the season on Wednesday, helping plate all three of the Pelicans' runs.
Third baseman Christian Villanueva (.252/.321/.378) was 1-for-4 with a two-run shot. Shortstop Odubel Herrera (.258/.293/.364) had a solo blast for his only hit in three trips. Herrera also committed his 18th error.
Yefry Castillo (1/3), Santiago Chirino (1/4), Brett Nicholas (1/4) and Jared Hoying (1/4) all singled.
Centerfielder Jake Skole (.186/.260/.239), who was bumped down to the nine spot, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
The former first-round pick is currently stuck in a brutal 0-for-20 slump with 10 strikeouts over his last six games.
The Pelicans' stout bullpen helped preserve the lead despite allowing six hits and three walks in four innings.
Righty Francisco Mendoza (7.59 ERA/.412 BAA) pitched around two hits and a walk in 1.2 scoreless frames. Jimmy Reyes followed by permitting a run in two-thirds of an inning.
Randy Henry (0.57 ERA/.172 BAA) earned his fifth save with 1.2 blank innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out two.
Henry, 22, has allowed one earned run on 10 hits in 15.2 innings this year, walking six and striking out 17.
L - Jackson (2-4)
HR - J. Williams (6)
19-17, 8.0 GB
The Crawdads fell to eight games out of first place with yet another loss on Wednesday. After posting a sparkling 16-8 record in April, the club is just 3-9 in May.
Perhaps no player highlights the sudden dip more than starting pitcher Luke Jackson (6.19 ERA/.270 BAA), who was all but unhittable through his first four starts.
Jackson allowed six runs in two-plus innings on Wednesday, giving up six hits, walking five, and plunking one. He struck out just one.
Jackson's first four starts––20.2 ip, 12 h, 3 er, 6 bb, 29 k.
Jackson's last four starts––15.2 ip, 28 h, 22 r, 15 bb, 12 k.
The 20-year-old showed flashes of dominance––including a fastball up to 97 mph and two quality secondary pitches––with Single-A Hickory last season but was too often inconsistent, leading to a 5.64 ERA in 19 starts.
Nick McBride (3.57 ERA/.212 BAA) helped keep Hickory in the game with three innings of no-hit, shutout ball in long relief. McBride walked three, plunked two, and struck out three.
Cleanup-hitting left fielder Jeremy Williams was 2-for-5 with a home run––his sixth––and three runs batted in.
Hanser Alberto (2/5), Drew Robinson (2/5) and Zach Cone (2/5) all singled twice.
True to his scouting report, the 19-year-old Alberto has been arguably the Crawdads' most steady performer at the plate. Currently riding a nine-game hitting streak, he has a .333/.371/.439 slash line with nine walks and 12 strikeouts in 32 contests.
Subscribe to LoneStarDugout.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on LoneStarDugout.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
Sample the LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.