Rangers Minor League Roundup – 6/2

Double-A Frisco third baseman Mike Olt socked a pair of home runs for the second consecutive game on Saturday, giving him a league-leading 15 on the season. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 3 – Albuquerque 2
W - Kirkman (5-1)
SV - Heilman (1)
HR - Bianucci (11)
26-31, 7.5 GB

When Roy Oswalt was ascending through the Houston Astros' minor league system, he spent the better part of the 2000 season with the Express––then Houston's Double-A affiliate.

Oswalt returned to Round Rock once again on Saturday, making his debut as a member of the Texas Rangers' organization.

Pitching before a sellout crowd of 11,532 at Dell Diamond, the veteran right-hander hurled two scoreless innings while throwing 21 of his 34 pitches for a strike. He worked around three hits, walked one, and struck out one.

Oswalt had to work his way out of a bases-loaded, no out jam in the first inning. He recorded a strikeout before inducing a double play grounder to keep the Isotopes off the scoreboard.

Express first baseman Mike Bianucci (.276/.333/.482), hitting in the lineup's eight-hole, gave Round Rock an early lead with his two-run homer, his 11th of the season.

Left-hander Michael Kirkman (5.36 ERA/.266 BAA) picked up the victory by following Oswalt with five innings of two-run ball. He yielded five hits while walking two and striking out three.

The 25-year-old Kirkman has actually pitched reasonably well in his last seven outings––36.0 ip, 25 h, 14 r, 21 bb, 36 k.

Aaron Heilman (4.23 ERA/.260 BAA) finished the game by retiring all six batters he faced over two perfect innings, striking out three.

Outfielders Val Majewski (2/3, 2B) and Joey Butler (1/3, 2B, BB) both doubled. Matt Kata (2/4) singled twice while Ryan Spilborghs (1/3, BB) had a single and a free pass.

The 32-year-old Spilborghs is batting .382/.467/.588 with 13 extra-base hits, 15 walks, and 15 strikeouts in 27 games for Round Rock.

Player of the Game: 1B Mike Bianucci
3 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 .276

AA: Frisco 5 – Northwest Arkansas 10 (10 innings)
L - Boscan (2-3)
HR - Olt (14, 15)
33-21, 4.0 GU

Slugging third baseman Mike Olt (.314/.417/.613) recorded his second consecutive multi-homer game on Saturday evening.

The 23-year-old prospect reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with two homers, two walks, and four runs batted in.

Olt, who now leads the Texas League with 15 home runs, has now recorded multiple hits in eight of his last 10 games. He's also hitting a robust .374/.471/.704 with eight doubles, 10 homers, 20 walks, and 29 strikeouts over his last 30 games.

The UConn product's second home run of the game was a game-tying two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth. His home run came after a clutch at-bat by 19-year-old shortstop Jurickson Profar, who drew an eight-pitch walk.

Profar (1/4, BB) extended his on-base streak to 50 consecutive games.

Frisco starting pitcher Jake Brigham (3.86 ERA/.234 BAA) threw strikes on Saturday but was inconsistent overall. Brigham yielded five runs––four earned––on seven hits in five innings, striking out five without issuing a walk.

Reliever Fabio Castillo (2.36 ERA/.210 BAA) followed with two shutout innings, striking out two and yielding one hit.

Chris McGuiness (1/5, 2B) doubled while Leury Garcia (2/5) and Guilder Rodriguez (2/5) each singled twice. Garcia raised his batting average to .321.

The bullpen scuffled a bit after Castillo exited the game.

Left-hander Corey Young walked both of the batters he faced to start the eighth, and Wilfredo Boscan issued a walk to load the bases. But Boscan got out of the jam unscathed, and he worked a scoreless ninth.

Unfortunately for Boscan, things fell apart for him in the 10th. Overall, he allowed three runs on a hit and two walks in 2.2 innings. Righty Zach Osborne gave up two runs in one-third of an inning.

Player of the Game: 3B Mike Olt
3 2 3 0 2 4 2 0 .314

A+: Myrtle Beach 5 – (@) Salem 2 (7 innings – Game 1)
W - B. Henry (1-0)

Cody Buckel (1.27 ERA/.176 BAA) threw more than 90 pitches in only 3.2 innings on Saturday. The 19-year-old struck out eight but allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks. He also plunked a batter.

Even after yielding a few hits, Buckel has given up just 39 of them in 64 innings. He's struck out a league-leading 81 batters.

Catcher Vin DiFazio provided some punch by going 1-for-2 with a double, a walk, and two runs batted in.

Santiago Chirino (1/3) and Brett Nicholas (1/2, BB) had the team's only other hits.

The Pelicans won the game despite being out-hit 8-3, and they scored their five runs on just three hits.

Shortstop Odubel Herrera saw his hitting streak halted at 22 games after he went 0-for-2 with a walk.

Long reliever Ben Henry (2.39 ERA/.159 BAA) finished the game with a season-high 3.1 innings of shutout ball. The Myrtle Beach native worked around three singles and struck out four without walking a batter.

In 26.1 innings, Henry has allowed 14 hits, walked 11, and struck out 24.

Player of the Game: RHP Ben Henry
3.1 3 0 0 0 4 0 2.39

A+: Myrtle Beach 6 – (@) Salem 4 (9 innings – Game 2)
W - R. Henry (4-1)
28-26, 5.0 GB

The Pelicans and Red Sox played a nine-inning marathon (in a scheduled seven-inning doubleheader game), but Myrtle Beach ultimately earned the doubleheader sweep by plating two in the ninth.

Myrtle Beach got a big hit from speedy left fielder Teodoro Martinez, who went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and two stolen bases. Martinez has five steals this year.

DH Christian Villanueva (3/5) raised his batting average to .273 with three singles in five at-bats. He drove home a pair.

Spot-starter Randol Rojas scuffled in his first High-A start, as he permitted three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings. Jimmy Reyes followed by giving up one run in 2.2 frames himself.

Closer Randy Henry (0.35 ERA/.194 BAA), who was pushed into long relief duty, finished the contest with 3.2 shutout frames. Henry gave up three hits, walked one (intentionally), and fanned three.

The 22-year-old righty has surrendered only one earned run in his first 26 innings. He's allowed 19 hits, walked eight, and struck out 25.

Player of the Game: LF Teodoro Martinez
5 2 3 1 0 1 0 0 .234

A: Hickory 6 – West Virginia 5
W - G. Williams (2-0)
29-25, 9.0 GB

Hickory ran its winning streak to six games with a one-run win over West Virginia on Saturday.

After the Power tied the game by plating two runs against Greg Williams in the top of the ninth inning, Hickory third baseman Drew Robinson (2/5) helped the Crawdads walk off with his run-scoring single in the bottom of the frame.

Luke Jackson (5.00 ERA/.246 BAA) cruised through the first three innings before running into some trouble in his final two frames.

Jackson worked five innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He fanned seven and walked two.

Hickory's offense had 11 hits in the game––all singles.

Chris Grayson (2/5), Hanser Alberto (2/3, 2 BB) and Zach Cone (2/4, BB) all had multiple knocks.

Arlett Mavare (1 IP) and Will Lamb (2 IP) kept West Virginia off the scoreboard out of the bullpen.

After scuffling to start the season, Lamb has pitched well in his last two relief appearances. The tall southpaw has worked four innings of one-hit, shutout ball.

Player of the Game: SS Hanser Alberto
3 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 .344

DSL: DSL Rangers 0 – (@) DSL Pirates1 2
L - Sosa (0-1)
0-1, 1.0 GB

The Dominican Summer League campaign kicked off on Saturday, and the Rangers dropped a 2-0 decision to the DSL Pirates1.

The circuit plays its games at 10:30 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, taking just about every Sunday off. The Rangers' home games are at their complex in Boca Chica.

Talented Rangers starting pitcher Kevin Sosa pitched well, but he yielded the game's only two runs––just one earned––in four innings. Sosa allowed three hits and struck out two without issuing a walk. He also induced 10 groundouts to one flyout.

Right-handers Jose Leclerc (3 IP) and Ricardo Rodriguez (1 IP) followed to post four innings of shutout ball.

Making his official pro debut, leadoff man and centerfielder Eduard Pinto went hitless in four at-bats.

Third baseman Elio Castillo (2/4) singled twice while shortstop Belarmino Campos (1/3, 2B) hit a double. DH Ramon Urias (1/3) had the Rangers' only other hit of the game.

Player of the Game: RHP Jose Leclerc
3.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.00

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