Rangers Minor League Roundup – 6/1

Double-A Frisco third baseman Mike Olt crushed a pair of home runs on Friday while the Single-A Hickory Crawdads went deep four times. 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 0
W - Reynolds (4-4)
SV - Scheppers (9)
HR - Butler (11)
25-31, 7.5 GB

Despite being out-hit 9-3 on Friday, the Express picked up the victory and recorded their second shutout of the season.

Round Rock's pitchers allowed 14 Memphis base runners in the game, but they were able to keep the Redbirds off the scoreboard. The defense turned three double plays, and Memphis went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, stranding 12 runners on base.

Starting pitcher Greg Reynolds (4.19 ERA/.293 BAA) scattered six singles and four walks over seven scoreless innings, striking out four and throwing 99 pitches.

Hard-throwing lefty John Gaub recorded one out in the eighth but also yielded a double and a walk.

Tanner Scheppers (3.67 ERA/.262 BAA) ultimately got out of the jam before recording a scoreless ninth to earn the save in 1.2 scoreless innings. But it wasn't without some drama.

Entering with two on and one out in the eighth, Scheppers plunked the first batter he faced to load the bases. He then got a lineout to shortstop and a flyout to left. After yielding two consecutive singles to start the ninth, he induced a flyout and a double-play grounder.

At the plate, centerfielder Joey Butler (.297/.423/.533) launched a solo home run, his 11th of the season. He also walked once in four trips.

Matt Kata (1/4) and Brad Nelson (1/4) had the club's other hits, and they both extended their personal hitting streaks to nine games.

Corner outfielders Ryan Spilborghs (0/2, 2 BB) and Elio Sarmiento (0/2, 2 BB) each walked twice.

Player of the Game: RHP Greg Reynolds
7.0 6 0 0 4 4 0 4.19

AA: Frisco 4 – Tulsa 3
W - Ortiz (1-1)
HR - Olt (12, 13)
33-20, 4.0 GU

Frisco won its fourth consecutive game, and they did so in walkoff fashion via left fielder Ryan Strausborger's (1/4) run-scoring single in the ninth inning.

Strausborger, who also has an above-average arm from the outfield, gunned down a runner at home plate earlier in the contest.

Third baseman Mike Olt (.304/.404/.576) played a role in all four of the RoughRiders' runs. He came across to score the winning run––after singling earlier in the frame––on Strausborger's single. He also launched a pair of home runs to make him 3-for-4 on the night with three runs scored and three RBI.

Olt is now tied for third in the Texas League with 13 round-trippers. He's also among the league leaders with 39 RBI (second), 31 walks (fifth), a .404 on-base percentage (seventh), and a .576 slugging percentage (fourth). His .980 OPS ranks fourth.

Although ‘Riders starting pitcher Barret Loux (3.03 ERA/.245 BAA) wasn't at his best, he was able to keep the club in the game.

Loux gave up three runs––just one earned––in six innings. He yielded five hits while walking three and striking out three.

Friday's start marked the first time that Loux didn't earn a victory in a start this season. It was also his first no-decision––he had been 10-0 through his first 10 Double-A starts.

The Frisco bullpen kept the Drillers off the scoreboard for the final three innings, giving the offense a chance to win the game in the ninth.

Carlos Pimentel (2.63 ERA/.188 BAA) gave up a hit in two otherwise clean frames, striking out three. Southpaw Joe Ortiz (2.05 ERA/.229 BAA) fanned one in a perfect, 10-pitch top of the ninth.

Engel Beltre (0/2, BB, HBP), Chris McGuiness (0/2, 2 BB) and Jurickson Profar (1/3, BB) reached base multiple times.

Profar has now reached base via hit, walk, or hit-by pitch in 49 consecutive games and 50 of his 51 games played this season.

Frisco did its ninth-inning damage against Drillers closer Coty Woods, who permitted his first run of the season in 24 appearances––23.1 innings. He now has a 0.39 earned-run average.

Player of the Game: 3B Mike Olt
4 3 3 0 2 3 0 0 .304

A+: Myrtle Beach 4 – (@) Salem 12
L - Mendoza (1-2)
26-26, 5.5 GB

The Pelicans suffered their worst defeat of the season in Friday's series opener. It was the first time this year that the Myrtle Beach pitching staff had allowed double-digit runs.

Wilmer Font (4.24 ERA/.188 BAA) had a relatively rough night on the mound, as he was hit for four runs on five hits and two walks in three innings. He struck out five.

Reliever Francisco Mendoza (9.20 ERA/.408 BAA) continued his disappointing campaign, coughing up five runs in 1.2 innings. Mendoza allowed five hits––including three extra-base hits––and walked three.

The 24-year-old entered this season as an intriguing relief prospect due to his 92-96 mph fastball and wipeout upper-80s slider. But Mendoza hasn't had much fastball command thus far, and his slider hasn't been nearly the weapon it was down the stretch last year. In 14.2 innings, he has allowed 29 hits, walked 13, and struck out 12.

Seven of Salem's nine starting position players had multiple hits on Friday. Eight of them drove in at least one run, and they combined for seven extra-base knocks.

One of the few positives of the night for Myrtle Beach was the solid play of shortstop Odubel Herrera (.283/.325/.390), who extended his hitting streak to 22 games by going 3-for-5 with his eighth double.

Brett Nicholas (1/4, 2B) also doubled while Jared Hoying (2/4) singled twice and had two RBI.

Hoying, who added his fourth stolen base, is batting a team-leading .299 on the campaign.

Long reliever Kyle DeVore permitted three unearned runs in three innings. Jose Monegro recorded the final out after allowing a hit and a walk.

Both clubs' managers (Jason Wood and Billy McMillon) were ejected in the third inning.

Player of the Game: SS Odubel Herrera
5 2 3 1 0 0 0 1 .283

A: Hickory 9 – West Virginia 6
W - Faulkner (2-3)
SV - McBride (1)
HR - Cone (10), J. Williams (7), Grayson (3), Gomez (2)
28-25, 10.0 GB

West Virginia has both the second-worst record (18-37) and second-worst earned-run average (5.52) in the South Atlantic League. The Hickory offense battered the Power pitching staff on Friday for nine runs. They belted three doubles and four homers in the game.

Red-hot centerfielder Zach Cone (.269/.325/.516), who appears to be perhaps the streakiest prospect in the Rangers' system, was 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk.

The round-tripper was Cone's fourth in his last seven games and his second in as many nights.

Through 13 games this season, the 22-year-old Cone was hitting .314/.375/.627 with four walks and 11 strikeouts.

He went 6-for-47 (.128) with two doubles, one walk, and 18 strikeouts over his next 11 games.

And since that cold spell, Cone has posted a .318/.388/.636 slash line in 24 games with six doubles, a triple, six homers, nine walks, and 23 strikeouts.

Left fielder Chris Grayson (2/4, HR, BB), DH Jeremy Williams (1/3, HR, HBP) and first baseman Jhonny Gomez (1/4, HR) also went yard on Friday.

Rougned Odor (1/4, 2B, HBP), Hanser Alberto (1/4, 2B) and Kellin Deglan (1/4, 2B) all doubled.

Grayson and Alberto both stole their 13th base. Jordan Akins, who was 2-for-4, swiped his eighth.

Third baseman Drew Robinson went 0-for-1 but drew three walks. He has worked 32 free passes in 45 games, giving him a .398 on-base percentage on top of a .264 batting average.

The offensive outburst erased a rough start from right-hander Santo Perez, who was tagged for five runs on eight hits and two walks in three innings.

Lefty Andrew Faulkner picked up the ‘W' after turning in three shutout innings, striking out four and giving up two hits. Nick McBride (3.25 ERA/.210 BAA) finished the contest with three innings of one-run ball.

Player of the Game: LF Chris Grayson
4 1 2 0 1 1 1 1 .309

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