Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/22

Single-A Hickory second baseman Rougned Odor went a combined 4-for-6 with two doubles, a home run, and two HBP during the Crawdads' doubleheader on Tuesday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 11 – Sacramento 5
W - Kirkman (3-1)
SV - Hamburger (1)
HR - Borbon (5), Mendonca (4)
20-26, 7.0 GB

The Round Rock bats busted out for 11 runs on 14 hits during Tuesday's blowout victory over the River Cats.

Five of the Express' nine position players recorded multiple hits in the contest.

Red-hot leadoff hitter Julio Borbon (.283/.335/.435) extended his hitting streak to 10 games by going 2-for-5 with a three-run homer. Not typically known for his power, Borbon now has seven extra-base hits––including three home runs––in his last six games. He's hitting .360 with a .618 slugging percentage in May.

Third baseman Tom Mendonca (.231/.284/.358) was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and four total runs batted in. Although the 24-year-old has scuffled much of this season, he has multi-hit efforts in each of his last three games.

1B Mike Bianucci (3/3, HBP) reached base in all four of his plate appearances while LF Ryan Spilborghs (2/5, 2B) had a single and a double. Spilborghs has hit safely in all 15 games he's played with Round Rock.

Express starting pitcher Michael Kirkman (6.25 ERA/.281 BAA) turned in one of his better efforts of the season, as he worked five innings and allowed two runs. Throwing 77 pitches, Kirkman gave up four hits, walked two, and fanned five.

Mark Hamburger picked up his first save of the year after yielding three runs in four innings to finish the game. Hamburger, who permitted two home runs, walked two and struck out a season-high seven.

Catcher Dusty Brown (1/3, 2B, BB) doubled while Luis Hernandez (2/5) had a pair of knocks.

Round Rock's offense did most of its damage against A's prospect Brad Peacock, who was knocked around for seven runs on nine hits in a season-low 3.2 innings.

Player of the Game: 3B Tom Mendonca
4 2 2 0 1 4 0 1 .231

AA: Frisco – OFF
27-17, 4.0 GU

The entire Texas League was off on Tuesday. Frisco begins a three-game set at Tulsa (25-19) on Wednesday evening. It will be the first time the RoughRiders have faced the Drillers this season.

A+: Myrtle Beach 2 – Lynchburg 3
L - Van Meter (1-3)
21-21, 3.5 GB

After missing the entire 2011 season while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, big right-hander Wilmer Font (4.00 ERA/.163 BAA) is showing steady progress with just about every outing thus far in 2012.

On Tuesday, Font took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He ended up yielding two runs (one earned) in 5.1 innings, giving up two hits while walking two and striking out seven. Font also plunked a batter.

In his first start of the season–-on April 11––the 21-year-old didn't retire any of the six batters he faced, walking four and allowing four runs. But he now has the following line in his last four starts––19.0 ip, 7 h, 4 er, 3 bb, 24 k.

Font's fastball sat anywhere between 85-93 mph in spring training, as he was getting his first game action since undergoing surgery. But the velocity has jumped up lately.

According to one scout, Font is throwing "92-95 mph bowling balls," meaning he's featuring a heavy fastball that hitters are having trouble squaring and lifting. Although he has a four-pitch mix in his fastball, hard slider, curveball and split-changeup, Font has also relied heavily on the heater in recent starts. Some reports indicate that he mixed in a few more changeups than usual on Tuesday.

Despite the excellent start from Font, reliever Joe Van Meter (2.57 ERA/.212 BAA) was saddled with the loss after he permitted a solo home run in 1.2 innings.

The Pelicans' offense scored only two runs while going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Third baseman Christian Villanueva (.264/.327/.386) continued to show signs of heating up by going 2-for-4 with his ninth double. Villanueva is 12-for-39 (.308) over his last 10 contests.

DH Vin DiFazio (1/3, 2B, BB) and 2B Santiago Chirino (1/3, 2B) also doubled. Chirino added a sacrifice fly.

Myrtle Beach closer Randy Henry dropped his earned-run average to 0.49 by hurling two scoreless innings, working around two hits and a walk.

Player of the Game: RHP Wilmer Font
5.1 2 2 1 2 7 0 4.00

A: Hickory 6 – Kannapolis 7 (7 innings – Game 1)
L - Faulkner (0-3)
HR - Akins (6), Odor (6)

After falling into an early 7-0 hole, the Crawdads' attempted comeback fell just short in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader.

Hickory starting pitcher Andrew Faulkner (7.71 ERA/.347 BAA) continued to scuffle in his first full season. The 19-year-old southpaw was tagged for five runs (four earned) on seven hits in three innings.

In 23.1 innings this season, Faulkner has allowed 20 earned runs on 34 hits, walking 17 and striking out 18.

Young second baseman Rougned Odor helped get the Crawdads back into the game by going 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run homer. Centerfielder Jordan Akins added a single and a two-run shot of his own.

Luis Sardinas (2/4) and Drew Robinson (1/3, BB) both reached base multiple times. Sardinas stole his 11th base of the season.

Catcher Kellin Deglan went 0-for-2 with a base on balls in the contest, dropping his batting average to .196.

Player of the Game: 2B Rougned Odor
4 2 2 1 1 2 0 0 .270

A: Hickory 4 – Kannapolis 2 (7 innings – Game 2)
W - Klein (3-0)
HR - Alberto (3)
21-23, 10.0 GB

Hickory and Kannapolis split their second doubleheader in as many days. Tuesday's nightcap ended a string in which the Crawdads had played three doubleheaders in four days––seven total games.

They'll get a much-deserved day off on Wednesday before returning to action versus Lexington on Thursday.

Spot-starter Nick McBride (2.78 ERA/.198 BAA) began the game with four shutout innings. He scattered three hits, walked one, and struck out three.

While the 21-year-old McBride has been inconsistent this season, his last three outings have been excellent––8.0 ip, 3 h, 0 r, 4 bb, 7 k.

Second baseman Rougned Odor (.279/.339/.474) capped off a fantastic twin-bill by going 2-for-2 with a double, two HBP, and a stolen base in the nightcap.

During the two games on Tuesday, the 18-year-old was 4-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, and two HBP.

Fellow middle infielder Hanser Alberto (.333/.369/.462) combined to go 5-for-8 with a solo home run in the doubleheader.

Drew Robinson (1/2, 2B, BB) and Zach Cone (1/2, 2B, BB) each doubled and walked once.

Toolsy outfielder Jordan Akins (.214/.241/.382) has had more than his share of struggles early in the season, but he was excellent on Tuesday. He had three singles, a home run, and a walk in six total trips.

Former first-round pick Kellin Deglan had a promising April in which he posted a .267/.323/.533 slash line over 17 contests. But Deglan is just 4-for-43 (.093) in May, including a poor 1-for-29 mark during his last 10 games.

Tall righty Phil Klein earned his third victory after he gave up two runs (one earned) in three innings to close out the game. Klein worked around five hits while walking one and fanning two.

Player of the Game: 2B Rougned Odor
2 1 2 1 0 1 0 0 .279

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