Rangers Minor League Roundup – 7/1

The High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans pounded out a season-high 16 runs in their victory on Sunday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 4 – New Orleans 0
W - Bell (2-0)
HR - Butler (12)
38-46, 9.5 GB

Left-hander Chad Bell improved to 2-0 in as many Double-A starts on Sunday, as he tossed six shutout innings during his home debut at Dell Diamond. The prospect scattered four hits (three singles) while walking two and striking out two.

Bell, who threw 52 of his 87 pitches for a strike, has now permitted one earned run in his first 11.2 Triple-A innings.

The 23-year-old hurler began the season at High-A Myrtle Beach before making 13 appearances (seven starts) with Double-A Frisco. He's now pitched twice for Round Rock. Overall, he has a 2.32 earned-run average––73.2 ip, 48 h, 19 er, 23 bb, 61 k. He's also induced 1.42 groundouts per airout.

The Express defeated former Rangers prospect Omar Poveda, who was making his first Triple-A start since 2009––when he was a member of the Texas organization.

Poveda, who was traded to Miami in the deal that sent Jorge Cantu to Texas in 2010, missed the entire '10 campaign while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He'd pitched the '11 and '12 seasons at Double-A Jacksonville but earned the promotion to Triple-A for Sunday's start.

The Venezuela native pitched well despite suffering the loss, as he limited Round Rock to three runs (two earned) on three hits in 6.1 innings.

Reliever Evan Reed, the other Rangers farmhand who was sent to Miami in the Cantu deal, is also on the Zephyrs' roster. The 26-year-old California native, who underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after the trade, has tossed 3.2 scoreless innings in Triple-A after beginning the year with a successful stint in Double-A.

Right fielder Joey Butler (.283/.397/.472) knocked Poveda from the game with his seventh-inning solo home run––his 12th of the season. Butler also drew a walk in three trips.

Leadoff man Julio Borbon (2/4) singled twice while first baseman Mike Bianucci (1/4) singled once for Round Rock's only other hits.

Veteran relievers Willie Eyre (2 IP) and Aaron Heilman (1 IP) finished off the Express' fourth shutout of the season with three combined scoreless frames.

Eyre was particularly impressive, retiring all six batters he faced on 20 pitches. He has pitched well in his last three outings––6.0 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 4 k.

Rangers lefty Derek Holland is scheduled to make his second minor league rehab start at the Dell Diamond on Monday.

Player of the Game: LHP Chad Bell
6.0 4 0 0 2 2 0 0.77

AA: Frisco 3 – (@) Springfield 8
L - Ramirez (1-1)
HR - McGuiness (16), Profar (9)
2-7, 5.5 GB

Although Neil Ramirez suffered the loss in his second start back at Double-A, he missed plenty of bats.

In five innings of work, Ramirez yielded four runs (three earned) while allowing four hits, walking two, and striking out eight. Ramirez, who threw 58 of his 95 pitches for a strike in the five innings, induced 13 swings and misses.

He has the following line through two Double-A starts––11.0 ip, 6 h, 4 er, 5 bb, 14 k.

Springfield broke the game wide open in the bottom of the eighth against lefty Richard Bleier, who coughed up four runs on six hits without recording an out. Bleier gave up the six hits––including a three-run homer to Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras––on only 14 pitches.

Leadoff hitter and shortstop Jurickson Profar (.291/.369/.482) was 1-for-4 with a homer and two RBI, his second round-tripper in as many nights.

The 19-year-old Porfar scuffled a bit leading up to the All-Star break, but he's 4-for-12 with a double and two home runs in three games since. His extra-base hits on June 30 snapped a nine-game streak without one––dating back to June 17 against Corpus Christi.

Slugging first baseman Chris McGuiness (1/3, HR, BB) launched his 16th homer of the year, a solo shot.

Jared Prince (1/4, 2B) also doubled while Jared Hoying (1/4), Ryan Strausborger (1/4) and Jose Felix (1/3) all singled once.

The 23-year-old Hoying is 9-for-26 (.346) with a double, one walk, and three strikeouts in his first seven Double-A contests.

Toolsy prospect Leury Garcia, playing in center field for the second time in his professional career, committed a fielding error. He was also 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. After getting out to a hot start at the plate, the switch-hitting Garcia is just 23-for-107 with five extra-base hits, three walks, and 25 strikeouts since the beginning of June.

Righty relievers Carlos Pimentel (2 IP) and Ryan Rodebaugh (1 IP) both worked scoreless ball out of the bullpen.

Pimentel, who ran his fastball up to 95 mph at the recent Texas League All-Star Game, continues to pitch exceedingly well out of the bullpen––27.2 ip, 13 h, 4 er, 13 bb, 37 k.

Player of the Game: 1B Chris McGuiness
3 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 .254

A+: Myrtle Beach 16 – Salem 3
W - DeVore (1-1)
HR - Villanueva (7), Martinez (2), Williams (1)
8-3, 1.0 GU

The Pelicans pounded out a season-high 16 runs on Sunday––the franchise's largest offensive output since a 17-2 win over Kinston on August 4, 2008. The 13-run margin was also Myrtle Beach's largest of the season.

Appearing in only his second Carolina League game, right fielder Jeremy Williams went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, and four runs batted in.

Williams, 25, was the Rangers' 36th-round pick in last year's MLB Draft. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound outfielder has a raw approach, but he shows good strength and raw power to all fields. After hitting .357/.426/.650 for the rookie Surprise Rangers last season, he hit .304/.340/.481 at Single-A Hickory to start this year.

Christian Villanueva (.273/.329/.415) had a single, a home run, a hit-by pitch, and a sacrifice fly in five plate appearances.

The 21-year-old Villanueva has been treading water through much of this season, but he's reached his hottest stretch of the season. The Mexico native now has three round-trippers in his last five games, and he's hit safely in 12 of his last 13 contests.

Villanueva is hitting .380/.421/.680 over that 13-game (57-plate appearance) stretch.

Centerfielder Teodoro Martinez (3/4, HR) singled twice and added a two-run homer.

Second baseman Odubel Herrera (2/5, 2B) singled and doubled while Hanser Alberto (3/5) had three hits and a pair of stolen bases.

Starting pitcher Wilmer Font ran his fastball up to 98 mph on Sunday, but he was a bit erratic. The big, hard-throwing righty surrendered three runs in 4.1 innings, yielding five hits and walking four. He also struck out four.

Kyle DeVore finished the game with 4.2 shutout frames to earn his first professional victory. The sinkerballer allowed two hits, walked one, fanned three, and induced eight groundouts to two flyouts.

Player of the Game: RF Jeremy Williams
5 4 4 2 1 4 0 0 .500

A: Hickory 4 – (@) Greensboro 2 (13 innings)
W - Dennis (1-0)
SV - Lopez (1)
HR - Selen (4)
8-3, 1.0 GU

The Crawdads knotted Sunday's game at two by plating a run in the sixth inning, and both teams remained scoreless until the top of the 13th.

Hickory finally broke through in the 13th when Rougned Odor doubled home Jordan Akins, who had knocked a one-out two bagger of his own.

Odor (.292/.349/.491) was 2-for-6 with his 17th double of the year. Akins went 1-for-5 with his 11th double.

Cleanup hitter Alejandro Selen continued to have little trouble with the South Atlantic League pitching, as he went 4-for-5 with a homer and two RBI. In 12 games with Hickory, Selen is 20-for-45 (.444) with five doubles and four home runs.

Crawdads starter Nick Martinez surrendered two runs on six hits and two walks in four innings.

After Martinez exited the game, Nick McBride (3 IP), Phil Klein (2 IP), Taylor Dennis (3 IP) and Daniel Lopez (1 IP) teamed up to hurl nine scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Dennis, who was making his Hickory debut, scattered four hits and a walk in three shutout innings. He struck out one.

Shortstop Luis Sardinas raised his season batting average to .290 with three singles in six trips. He's 15-for-31 (.484) with four doubles, a walk, and a strikeout in seven games since the All-Star break.

Player of the Game: LF Alejandro Selen
5 1 4 0 1 2 0 0 .444

SSA: Spokane 7 – (@) Yakima 5
W - Kendall (1-1)
SV - Asher (2)
7-10, 2.0 GB

After committing five more errors on Sunday, the Indians now have 45 miscues through their first 17 games this season. They're fielding just .933 as a group.

Spokane still got the victory, however, after getting seven runs on nine hits.

Right fielder Preston Beck (.317/.371/.476) led the way, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and a triple.

Joe Maloney (1/2, 2B, BB, SF) also doubled while Royce Bolinger (2/3, BB) singled twice and walked once.

Middle infielders Gabriel Roa (1/3, BB) and Cam Schiller (1/3, BB) each singled once and walked once.

Tall starting pitcher Shawn Blackwell worked the game's first four innings and surrendered four runs (three earned) on six hits. He struck out two without issuing a walk.

Fresno State product Cody Kendall picked up his first pro victory after he scattered three singles in two shutout frames. Alec Asher finished the game, earning his second save, after working around two singles in an otherwise clean ninth. He fanned two.

Hard-throwing righty Jon Edwards, who was promoted to Spokane on Sunday, gave up an unearned run while walking four in two hitless innings. He also struck out a pair.

Player of the Game: RF Preston Beck
5 1 3 2 0 2 0 1 .317

RK: Surprise Rangers – OFF
6-3, 0.5 GU

The Rookie Rangers were off on Sunday.

DSL: DSL Rangers – OFF
15-10, 0.0 GU

As usual, the Dominican Rangers were also off on Sunday.

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