L - Yan (0-1)
27-37, 11.5 GB
Round Rock lost its sixth consecutive game on Sunday, as the Storm Chasers finished off a four-game series sweep in Omaha. The Express were outscored 38-18 during the four games.
Left-hander Martin Perez (5.40 ERA/.281 BAA) had an interesting start. The 21-year-old prospect worked seven innings but yielded five runs on 11 hits. He didn't walk a batter but also didn't record a strikeout.
Perez was efficient in the game, throwing 54 of his 79 pitches for a strike in the seven innings. He also induced 13 groundouts with three flyouts. But Sunday's game marked only the third time in 96 career starts that he hadn't recorded a strikeout. The other two outings lasted a combined 1.2 innings.
Despite showing good stuff, Perez hasn't missed many bats in Triple-A this season. He has only 40 strikeouts (with 31 walks) in 68.1 innings. He induced just two swings and misses out of 79 pitches on Sunday.
Leadoff man Julio Borbon (.315/.357/.468) extended his hitting streak to 18 games, going 3-for-5 with his 10th double of the season. Although Borbon missed nearly two weeks due to injury, he's picked up right where he left off in four games since returning.
While the 26-year-old Borbon hasn't drawn a walk in his last 21 games, he's batting .446/.446/.687 during the current 18-game hitting streak.
Luis Hernandez (2/5, 2B), Brad Nelson (2/5, 2B) and Mike Bianucci (1/4, 2B) all added a double apiece, as well. Leonys Martin (1/3, BB), Yangervis Solarte (1/3, BB) and Dusty Brown (1/3, BB) singled once and walked once.
In four games since returning from the disabled list, Martin (.333/.413/.532) is 3-for-13 with a triple, a home run, two walks, and four strikeouts. He was out between May 1 and June 7.
Despite an iffy start, Perez actually left the game with a 6-5 lead. But sidearming closer Johan Yan blew the save, as he coughed up three runs––two earned––on a hit, two walks, and a hit-by pitch in two-thirds of an inning. Yan also committed an error.
Although the former third baseman was dominant in Double-A the last two seasons, he has scuffled since earning the promotion to Triple-A. Yan has yielded seven runs (six earned) in 6.2 innings with the Express.
Third baseman Tom Mendonca (.221/.263/.337) whiffed in all four of his plate appearances, giving him 60 strikeouts in 46 games.
L - Wolf (0-1)
HR - McGuiness (9), Prince (7)
36-25, 4.0 GU
Frisco starting pitcher Justin Grimm (1.87 ERA/.228 BAA) turned in his fourth consecutive quality start on Sunday, as he worked seven innings and allowed three runs. Grimm gave up five hits, walked one, and struck out eight. He threw 92 pitches, including 63 strikes.
After running into some first-inning trouble, the 23-year-old Grimm settled down and retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced. He yielded all three of the runs on a sixth-inning homer by former Oakland first-round pick Michael Choice.
Grimm, who leads the Texas League with a 1.87 earned-run average, has now worked seven innings in three of his last four starts. Before allowing the three sixth-inning runs on Sunday, he had been working on a 25.1-inning scoreless streak.
Overall this season, the prospect has worked 77 innings and allowed 65 hits while walking 14 and striking out 67.
The RoughRiders went ahead with first baseman Chris McGuiness' (.234/.313/.422) three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning. The round-tripper was his lone hit in four trips.
But Midland won the game in the top of the ninth, when Frisco closer Ross Wolf permitted two runs on three hits in the inning.
Right fielder Jared Prince (1/4, HR) also added a home run while Jurickson Profar (2/3, BB) singled twice and walked once. Leury Garcia (1/4, BB) also singled, walked, and stole his sixth base of the season.
Lefty reliever Joe Ortiz (2.77 ERA/.235 BAA) worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning in-between Grimm and Wolf.
L - Hendricks (1-7)
32-31, 6.5 GB
Pelicans starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks (2.93 ERA/.258 BAA) dropped to 1-7 this season despite the fact that he's allowed more than three runs just once in 12 starts.
The 22-year-old Hendricks yielded two runs on five hits in six innings on Sunday, striking out five without issuing a walk. He's now pitched at least six innings in nine consecutive starts.
Hendricks, the Rangers' eighth-round pick in last year's MLB Draft, is pitching well in his first full season at a relatively advanced level. In 76.1 innings, he has allowed 76 hits, walked only eight, and struck out 64.
Right fielder Jared Hoying led the way for the Pelicans' offense, going 2-for-4 with his 10th double. Christian Villanueva (1/4, 2B) added his 14th two-bagger of the season.
The Myrtle Beach offense continues to scuffle while the pitching staff continues to shine. After Sunday's game, the offense is batting a collective .239/.304/.337––near the bottom of the Carolina League in all three categories. But the arms continue to lead the circuit with a 3.01 ERA and 518 strikeouts.
W - Klein (5-0)
34-28, 6.5 GB
The Crawdads improved to 7-3 in June with a come-from-behind victory over the Drive on Sunday. Hickory plated three runs to tie the game in the seventh inning before getting a walkoff single from Jeremy Williams (1/4) in the ninth.
The Crawdads were actually held hitless through the first 5.2 innings. Greenville starting pitcher and Cal State-Fullerton product Noe Ramirez retired all 15 batters he faced in five perfect innings before exiting the game.
Meanwhile, Hickory starting pitcher Nick Martinez (5.10 ERA/.253 BAA) gave up three runs on six hits in four innings, walking one and striking out four.
After pitching well out of the bullpen, Martinez has scuffled a bit in five starts since moving into the starting rotation––20.0 ip, 23 h, 15 er, 10 bb, 15 k.
But the bullpen came up big, getting three scoreless innings from left-hander Will Lamb––with four strikeouts––followed by two perfect frames from righty Phil Klein.
Klein (2.49 ERA/.255 BAA) has pitched particularly well in his last five appearances––7.0 ip, 5 h, 0 r, 3 bb, 8 k.
Left-handed hitting prospect Drew Robinson (.291/.422/.478) played a role in both of his club's rallies, and he went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. In his last 10 games, he is 14-for-35 (.400) with three doubles, a triple, a home run, 10 walks, and seven strikeouts.
Robinson, who has played most of this season at third base, got the start at second base on Sunday.
Trever Adams (1/3) and Jhonny Gomez (1/3) had the club's other two hits.
DH Jorge Alfaro, who returned from injury, was 0-for-3 with an RBI, two strikeouts, and his first stolen base. Alfaro had been out since April 21 due to a hamstring issue.
W - Larrazabal (2-0)
5-2, 0.0 GU
As usual, the Dominican Summer League Rangers were off on Sunday. They'll return to action against the DSL Marlins on Monday morning.
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