Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/30

After posting their seventh shutout of the season on Wednesday, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans now lead all of minor league baseball with a 2.65 team earned-run average. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 3 – (@) Memphis 4
L - Hamburger (0-2)
23-31, 8.0 GB

It's no secret that the Round Rock pitching staff has struggled of late. They have a cumulative 5.16 earned-run average on the season, and the club's top pitching prospects––Martin Perez and Neil Ramirez––are having particularly rough months.

Ramirez was tagged for eight runs in 2.1 innings in Tuesday's game, giving him a 9.79 ERA in six starts this month.

Perez entered Wednesday's start having totaled nine innings over his previous three games, coughing up 20 runs on 20 hits and 10 walks.

The 21-year-old southpaw (5.37 ERA/.263 BAA) was able to right the ship somewhat on Wednesday. Throwing 90 pitches (54 strikes) in 5.2 innings, Perez limited Memphis to one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out four.

Perez was pitching particularly well through five innings, but he walked the first two hitters he faced in the sixth before permitting a run and being lifted.

Shortstop Luis Hernandez (1/4, 3B) tripled while second baseman Yangervis Solarte (2/4, 2B) and right fielder Val Majewski (1/2, 2B) both doubled. Majewski, promoted from Frisco on Wednesday, was playing in his first Triple-A game of the season.

Left fielder Ryan Spilborghs walked twice in four plate appearances. He also stole his fourth base.

Working in relief of Perez, sidearming righty Johan Yan yielded a solo home run in 1.1 innings. He also walked one and struck out one.

The Express entered the bottom of the eighth with a one-run lead, but Mark Hamburger (7.97 ERA/.367 BAA) gave up single runs in each of the last two innings. He was saddled with both the blown save and the loss.

The 25-year-old Hamburger, who gave up two runs on four hits in 1.1 innings, has now yielded 54 hits in 35 innings this year.

Player of the Game: LHP Martin Perez
5.2 5 1 1 2 4 0 5.37

AA: Frisco 4 – Tulsa 0
W - Grimm (8-3)
31-20, 4.0 GU

Frisco starting pitcher Justin Grimm (1.86 ERA/.231 BAA) faced the Tulsa Drillers for the second time within a week, and he helped shut them out for the second time within a week.

After tossing seven shutout innings on May 24, Grimm came back on Wednesday and hurled six scoreless innings while throwing 94 pitches (60 strikes). He scattered six hits––all singles––while walking one and striking out six.

Grimm also induced 10 swings and misses out of the 94 pitches.

The 23-year-old is turning into more than an intriguing prospect. Armed with three solid-average to plus pitches, Grimm has yielded 54 hits in 63 innings, walking 12 and striking out 57. His 1.86 ERA leads the Texas League, and his 57 strikeouts rank second in the circuit.

Following Grimm's exit, right-handed relievers Wilfredo Boscan (2 IP) and Ross Wolf (1 IP) teamed up to retire the game's final nine hitters.

The 29-year-old Wolf has been particularly strong of late. Since coughing up four runs in 0.2 innings during his Frisco debut, he has the following stat-line––13.2 ip, 9 h, 0 r, 3 bb, 16 k.

The Frisco offense had only five hits in the game, but it was enough to plate four runs and earn the victory.

Corner infielders Mike Olt (2/4, 2B) and Chris McGuiness (1/3, 2B) both doubled. Alex Buchholz (1/3) and Jose Felix (1/3) also had one single apiece.

After going 0-for-3 with a walk, shortstop Jurickson Profar has now reached base safely in 47 consecutive games.

Player of the Game: RHP Justin Grimm
6.0 6 0 0 1 6 0 1.86

A+: Myrtle Beach 3 – (@) Potomac 5 (9 innings – Game 1)
L - Mendez (3-4)
HR - Hoying (4)

The Pelicans and P-Nats played out the remaining four innings of Tuesday's game, which had been suspended due to rain.

On Tuesday, starting pitcher Roman Mendez surrendered three runs––two earned––on three hits and three walks in three innings pitched. He struck out three.

At the plate, left fielder Jared Hoying (1/4, HR) plated a run with his sixth home run of the season.

Christian Villanueva (1/2, 2B, 2 BB), Brett Nicholas (1/3, 2B, BB) and Josh Richmond (2/3, 2B) all doubled. Richmond also stole his second base.

Player of the Game: LF Jared Hoying
4 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 .301

A+: Myrtle Beach 1 – (@) Potomac 0 (7 innings – Game 2)
W - Tepesch (4-3)
SV - R. Henry (7)

Myrtle Beach picked up its seventh shutout victory of the season during Wednesday's nightcap.

The performance helped give the Pelicans minor league baseball's lowest team earned-run average at 2.65.

The game's only run crossed the plate in the top of the fourth inning, when Santiago Chirino's (2/3) infield single scored Christian Villanueva (1/3).

Tomas Telis (1/3, 2B) and Odubel Herrera (1/3) had the team's only other knocks.

Pelicans starting pitcher Nick Tepesch (3.49 ERA/.273 BAA) scattered eight hits over 5.2 scoreless innings, striking out seven while walking only one.

Tepesch, who recorded eight groundouts without a flyout on Wednesday, has been superb in his last three starts––19.2 ip, 13 h, 2 r, 6 bb, 20 k.

Closer Randy Henry (0.40 ERA/.193 BAA) sat down all four batters he faced to earn his seventh save. Henry has given up one earned run in 22.1 innings this year.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick Tepesch
5.2 8 0 0 1 7 0 3.49

A: Hickory 3 – (@) Delmarva 2
W - Matthews (1-0)
SV - Mavare (1)

Entering Wednesday's start at Delmarva, right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (4.45 ERA/.243 BAA) had allowed at least four runs in each of his last three starts.

The 21-year-old ended up turning in one of his better efforts of the season. Eickhoff worked six innings and gave up one run. He yielded three hits, walked one, and struck out five.

Eickhoff, who has good stuff, has walked only 14 batters (with 44 strikeouts) in 54.2 innings.

Leadoff man Rougned Odor raised his batting average to .300 by going 3-for-4 with his 13th double of the season. He also stole his eighth base.

Luis Sardinas (2/4) and Zach Cone (1/4) had the team's other hits.

Lefty Kevin Matthews, the Rangers' first-round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, earned his first victory in his second full-season appearance. Matthews gave up a run on three hits in two innings, walking one and striking out four.

Arlett Mavare struck out the side––working around a single––in the ninth to earn his first save.

Player of the Game: RHP Jerad Eickhoff
6.0 2 1 1 1 5 0 4.45

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