Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/29

Single-A Hickory starting pitcher Victor Payano struck out 11 batters over seven scoreless innings 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 8 – (@) Memphis 9
L - Ramirez (5-5)
HR - Butler (10), Nelson (7)
23-30, 7.0 GB

After falling behind 8-0 through two innings, the Express nearly mounted a complete comeback before ultimately falling one run short.

Round Rock was put in another early hole after scuffling starting pitcher Neil Ramirez (7.57 ERA/.266 BAA) was tagged for eight runs in just 2.1 innings. Ramirez allowed six hits––including two home runs––while walking four and striking out two. He threw 77 pitches in the 2.1 innings, including 46 for a strike.

The eight earned runs allowed by Ramirez on Tuesday were a career high, and it's already the fifth time this season that he's permitted at least six runs in a start.

The 23-year-old Ramirez has the following line over his last seven starts––31.1 ip, 39 h, 39 er (11.20 ERA), 19 bb, 23 k. He's throwing a whopping 19 pitches per inning during that stretch.

The Express pitching staff combined to walk 10 batters in eight innings on Tuesday.

Although sinkerballing reliever Sean Green (5.60 ERA/.324 BAA) tossed 3.1 innings of hitless ball, he gave up one run after walking five batters. He also struck out five.

Command hasn't been a strong suit for the 32-year-old veteran this season, as he's issued 23 free passes in 27.1 innings.

While the club's starting pitching continues to scuffle, the offense plated at least seven runs for the fifth consecutive game.

Designated hitter Brad Nelson (.293/.364/.476) went deep for the fourth consecutive day. He was 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, a walk, and three runs batted in.

Joey Butler (1/3, HR, 2 BB) added a homer, two walks, and three RBI of his own.

All nine players in the Round Rock batting order had a hit in Tuesday's game. Matt Kata (2/5) and Yangervis Solarte (1/4, BB) reached base multiple times.

Express relievers Ben Snyder (1.1 IP) and Aaron Heilman (1 IP) finished the game with scoreless relief.

Round Rock went up against former Rangers draft pick John Gast, who began the season at Double-A Springfield and was making his third Triple-A start on Tuesday. Gast gave up five runs on seven hits and five walks in five innings.

Player of the Game: DH Brad Nelson
4 2 3 1 1 3 1 0 .293

AA: Frisco – OFF
30-20, 4.0 GU

The Texas League was off on Tuesday. Frisco returns to action at home versus the Tulsa Drillers (29-21) on Wednesday evening.

A+: Myrtle Beach 0 – (@) Potomac 3 (Suspended – 5th inning)
25-23, 4.0 GB

Myrtle Beach and Potomac were suspended due to rain during the fifth inning of Tuesday's game. The remainder of the contest will be played as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday.

A: Hickory 9 – (@) Delmarva 0
W - Payano (4-2)
HR - Cone (8)
25-25, 11.0 GB

Victor Payano (3.10 ERA/.204 BAA) turned in arguably the best start of his professional career on Tuesday. The 6-foot-5 lefty, who is only 19 years of age, hurled seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball. He walked two and struck out a career-best 11 batters.

Payano has been strong in his full-season debut thus far, yielding 38 hits in 52.1 innings. He's struck out 44 and walked 26.

Designated hitter Zach Cone (.267/.319/.494), who was a double short of the cycle, went 3-for-5 with a triple, a home run, and a walk.

After posting a disappointing .233/.280/.430 slash line in April, the 22-year-old Cone has hit a solid .300/.357/.556 this month.

First baseman Jhonny Gomez reached base in all five plate appearances, getting two singles and three walks. He also had two RBI and his second stolen base of the season.

Jordan Akins (1/4, 3B, BB) tripled and walked while Jeremy Williams (1/5, 2B) doubled.

Akins also gunned down rehabbing Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts at home with a throw––via shortstop Hanser Alberto––from center field.

Roberts had a single and a walk in three plate appearances. Per the Delmarva Daily Times, Roberts also had a few kind words for Payano:

"He had pretty good stuff," Roberts said. "I was actually thoroughly impressed with his maturity, his command, and his stuff at this level. I thought he threw the ball well and I thought he actually used everything well. So it was good to see somebody with pretty good stuff."

Leadoff hitter Rougned Odor extended his on-base streak to 25 games with a single and two walks in six trips.

Will Lamb (5.67 ERA/.250 BAA), who recently moved to the bullpen from the starting rotation, retired all six batters he faced––getting two strikeouts––in two perfect innings to finish the game.

The Rangers' second-round pick in last year's MLB Draft, Lamb has scuffled this season, walking 18 and striking out 18 in 33.1 innings.

Player of the Game: LHP Victor Payano
7.0 3 0 0 2 11 0 3.10

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.

Future Rangers Top Stories