Rangers Minor League Roundup – 6/24

High-A Myrtle Beach starting pitcher Randol Rojas worked seven strong innings on Sunday, giving him 17.1 innings pitched without yielding an earned run. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 5 – (@) Iowa 2
W - Reynolds (7-5)
SV - Heilman (4)
HR - Nelson (11)
35-42, 9.5 GB

Starting pitchers Greg Reynolds and Rodrigo Lopez each worked scoreless ball through the first five innings, but for the second consecutive day, it was Iowa native Brad Nelson who had the big blow in Des Moines.

Nelson (.292/.359/.484) socked a grand slam in the top of the sixth inning, his 11th home run of the season and his third in four days against the I-Cubs. He also walked in the contest.

While Nelson provided the offensive support, Reynolds (4.39 ERA/.309 BAA) yielded just one run in 5.2 innings despite working around six hits, three walks, and two hit batters. He struck out one and threw 57 strikes out of 102 pitches.

The Stanford product hasn't missed many bats for the Express, but he's been effective. Reynolds has permitted three or fewer earned runs in 11 of his 15 starts in 2012.

Ryan Spilborghs (2/4, 2B), Mike Bianucci (2/4, 2B) and Yangervis Solarte (1/5, 2B) all doubled once.

Leadoff man Julio Borbon went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk, dropping his batting average to .301. Following a hot streak that lasted more than a month, Borbon is now ice cold. He's gone 0 for his last 26 and is hitless in six consecutive games.

Diminutive lefty reliever Joe Ortiz gave up a solo home run for the only damage against him in 1.1 innings. In his first two Triple-A appearances, Ortiz has yielded a run on five hits in three innings, striking out one without walking a batter.

The home run off Ortiz was hit by Cubs left-handed hitting prospect Brett Jackson. It was just the third career round-tripper Ortiz has surrendered against a fellow southpaw.

Aaron Heilman (3.79 ERA/.258 BAA) worked the final two innings scoreless to earn his fourth save. He's allowed two earned runs in 10 innings this month.

Player of the Game: DH Brad Nelson
3 1 1 0 1 4 1 0 .292

AA: Frisco 2 – Corpus Christi 3
L - Buckel (0-1)
HR - McGuiness (14)
1-4, 3.0 GB

The ‘Riders got a late rally with a two-out, two-run homer by Chris McGuiness in the bottom of the ninth, but it ultimately wasn't enough. Frisco lost its fourth consecutive game for the first time this season.

McGuiness (.249/.337/.472) was 1-for-3 with that homer and a base on balls. He now has four home runs in his last three games, including the three round-tripper game on Friday. The first baseman is putting together his best month of the season in June, posting a .264/.369/.597 slash line.

Making his Double-A debut, 20-year-old righty Cody Buckel was erratic but battled his way through four innings.

The prospect threw 83 pitches (49 strikes) in the four frames and allowed two runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out three.

DH Engel Beltre (2/4, 2B) and centerfielder Leury Garcia (1/3, 2B) both doubled once.

Garcia was playing in center field for the first time in his professional career. Ryan Strausborger started the game at second base.

Left fielder Jared Hoying, in his third Double-A game, was 0-for-2 but also drew a walk.

Zach Zaneski (1/3) and Jurickson Profar (1/4) had Frisco's other hits.

Sinkerballing lefty Richard Bleier threw 32 strikes out of 38 pitches in his three innings of long relief. The Florida native allowed a run on four hits, striking out one without walking a batter.

Right-handed relievers Ryan Rodebaugh (1 IP) and Ross Wolf (1 IP) carved up the Hooks' lineup in the final two innings. Rodebaugh struck out two in a perfect 12-pitch inning while Wolf fanned all three batters he faced in an 11-pitch frame.

Wolf was released by the Orioles early in the season after yielding six runs on 12 hits in eight innings at Double-A Bowie. But since coming to the Rangers' organization––pitching between Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock––the 29-year-old righty has the following stat line––24.0 ip, 21 h, 7 r, 7 bb, 25 k. He's also inducing more than 3.5 groundouts per airout.

Player of the Game: 1B Chris McGuiness
3 1 1 0 1 2 1 0 .249

A+: Myrtle Beach 5 – (@) Lynchburg 1
W - Rojas (6-0)
HR - Nicholas (3)
3-1, 0.0 GU

Venezuelan right-hander Randol Rojas (1.24 ERA/.211 BAA) was extremely efficient on Sunday, as he needed just 70 pitches to navigate his way through seven innings.

The 21-year-old Rojas gave up one unearned run in the seven innings. He worked around four hits and three walks while striking out two.

Rojas has now gone 17.1 consecutive innings––a span of three starts and one relief appearance––without allowing an earned run. Although the sinkerballer isn't missing many bats––he has 21 strikeouts in 43.2 innings with the Pelicans––he's clearly missing plenty of barrels.

The Pelicans jumped on top of Hillcats starting pitcher Gus Schlosser by plating four first-inning runs, providing plenty of support for Rojas.

Cleanup-hitting catcher Brett Nicholas (.273/.329/.407) went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and four RBI. His three-run homer was the big blow of the first inning. It gave Myrtle Beach a 4-0 lead before an out was recorded in the game.

Shortstop Hanser Alberto (2/4, 2B) and DH Odubel Herrera (2/4, 2B) both singled and doubled once.

Alberto is now 5-for-13 with a double and a triple in his first three Carolina League games.

Teodoro Martinez (1/4) had Myrtle Beach's other knock.

Righty relievers Kyle DeVore (1 IP) and Ben Henry (1 IP) each tossed an inning of hitless, scoreless ball to preserve the victory.

The Pelicans' defense turned four double plays in the game, including three in Rojas' first six innings.

Player of the Game: RHP Randol Rojas
7.0 4 1 0 3 2 0 1.24

A: Hickory 3 – Greensboro 4
L - Perez (2-7)
HR - Selen (2)
3-1, 0.5 GB

Left-hander Will Lamb (4.70 ERA/.250 BAA) moved back into the Crawdads' starting rotation in place of Santo Perez on Sunday.

The 6-foot-6 Lamb responded with a strong outing, as he surrendered one run on four hits in four innings, walking two and striking out four. After scuffling through much of May, Lamb has been a bit better in his last six outings––14.2 ip, 12 h, 3 er, 5 bb, 15 k.

Another lefty, Andrew Faulkner (5.31 ERA/.303 BAA), finished the game with four innings of three-hit, shutout ball. He walked one and struck out a season-high five batters.

The 19-year-old Faulkner, who was impressive in the Arizona League last season but has scuffled through much of this year, has shown gradual signs of progress since late May––17.1 ip, 16 h, 5 er, 9 bb, 17 k.

But the Crawdads lost the game when Santo Perez, who worked the fifth inning between Lamb and Faulkner, surrendered three unearned runs on three hits in his frame.

Second baseman Alejandro Selen (1/3, HR, BB) went deep for the second time in as many days. Outfielders Chris Grayson (1/4, 2B) and Trever Adams (1/5, 2B) both doubled.

Rougned Odor (2/5) and Johnny Gomez (2/4) had two singles apiece. Odor played at shortstop for the second consecutive day.

Third baseman Drew Robinson had only one official at-bat, but he drew three walks in the contest.

Player of the Game: LHP Andrew Faulkner
4.0 3 0 0 1 5 0 5.31

SSA: Spokane 11 – (@) Everett 2
W - de los Santos (1-1)
HR - Schiller (1)
2-8, 3.0 GB

The Indians snapped a six-game losing streak by taking out some frustration in the series finale at Everett.

Although the offense did plenty of damage, right-hander Abel de los Santos turned in an excellent effort in the start. The 19-year-old Dominican Republic native limited the AquaSox to one hit in five shutout innings, as he walked three and struck out four.

De los Santos has allowed two earned runs in his first 10.1 innings this summer, walking five and striking out 12.

At the plate, Spokane's bats pounded out a season-best 11 runs on 14 hits, including six extra-base knocks.

Oral Roberts product and second baseman Cam Schiller was 2-for-4 with a walk and a two-run homer, the first long ball of his professional career.

Smerling Lantigua (2/5, 3B) tripled while Preston Beck (2/4, 2B, BB), Barrett Serrato (2/4, 2B, BB), Joe Maloney (1/5, 2B) and Hirotoshi Onaka (1/5, 2B) all doubled.

Chris Garia (1/4, 2 BB) and Nick Urbanus (2/4, 2 BB) also reached base multiple times.

Player of the Game: RHP Abel de los Santos
5.0 1 0 0 3 4 0 1.74

RK: Surprise Rangers 7 – Glendale Dodgers 9
L - Perez-Lobo (0-1)
2-2, 0.0 GU

Sunday's Arizona League game between the Rangers and Dodgers featured 16 runs on 27 hits and 11 total errors.

Cleanup-hitting third baseman Joey Gallo provided some power by going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and a walk. The knocks were the first two of Gallo's professional career.

Leadoff man Lewis Brinson (2/4, 2B, BB) and rehabbing first baseman Elio Sarmiento (2/4, 2B) both singled and doubled.

Starting pitcher Alexander Claudio permitted two runs on six hits over four innings, striking out three without issuing a walk.

The Dodgers won the game while facing righty Andres Perez-Lobo in the seventh inning. The Miami native surrendered four runs on five hits and two walks while recording just one out.

Pedro Tirado (2.2 IP) finished the game with scoreless relief, working around two hits and striking out two.

Player of the Game: 3B Joey Gallo
4 1 2 0 1 2 1 2 .222

DSL: DSL Rangers – OFF
9-10, 4.0 GB

The Rangers' Dominican Summer League club was off on Sunday.

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