L - Jackson (3-10)
38-49, 12.5 GB
Round Rock was beaten by former Express and Houston Astros hurler Fernando Nieve in Wednesday's series opener at Albuquerque.
Playing in front of a crowd of 15,309 at Isotopes Park, left-hander Zach Jackson worked into the seventh inning but surrendered six runs on 10 hits in 6.1 innings. Jackson, who threw 62 of his 88 pitches for a strike and induced 13 groundouts to one flyout, struck out three and walked one.
On the season, the 29-year-old Texas A&M product has the following stat-line––99.1 ip, 122 h, 56 er (5.07 ERA), 29 bb, 50 k.
The Express offense was held to fewer than seven runs for the 21st consecutive game.
Second baseman Guilder Rodriguez (2/3, BB) and catcher Luis Martinez (2/4) led the way with two singles apiece.
First baseman Brad Nelson (1/3, BB) singled once and walked once.
DH Elio Sarmiento, who was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, was 0-for-3 with a walk in four plate appearances.
Round Rock's scuffling offense now ranks 12th in the 16-team Pacific Coast League with a .272 team batting average. They're 10th in on-base percentage (.338) and 12th in slugging (.418).
Meanwhile, the pitching staff is ninth in earned-run average at 4.87 but also last in strikeouts with 526 in 771.1 innings.
Reliever Fabio Castillo, who had pitched well in his first two Triple-A games, threw only 14 of his 29 pitches for a strike in 1.2 innings. He gave up two runs while walking three and allowing two hits. He also struck out one.
W - Buckel (1-2)
HR - McGuiness (17)
4-8, 6.5 GB
Since earning the promotion to Double-A Frisco, Cody Buckel has certainly had his share of growing pains, but he also also showed improvement in each of his three Texas League starts.
On Wednesday, the circuit's youngest pitcher hurled six innings of one-hit shutout ball at Arkansas while walking three and striking out four. He was able to keep the Travelers at bay despite throwing only 45 of his 81 pitches for a strike. He induced eight swings and misses and threw a first-pitch strike to 11 of the 21 hitters he faced.
After Buckel exited the game, relievers Tim Murphy (1 IP), Zach Osborne (1 IP) and Richard Bleier (1 IP) worked around five base runners allowed in three total innings to finish off the shutout.
The Arkansas lineup included former Rangers farmhands Renny Osuna (2B) and Jimmy Swift (LF).
Slugging first baseman Chris McGuiness (.256/.344/.500) went 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk, and three RBI. The 24-year-old former Red Sox prospect now has seven round-trippers in his last 10 contests and 17 on the season.
McGuiness, who hit only three home runs in 55 games last year, blasted 19 in 112 games between the Low- and High-A levels in 2010.
Right fielder Jared Hoying raised his Double-A batting average to .359 with two singles in four at-bats. He also brought home a run on a sacrifice fly. Through his first 10 contests with Frisco, Hoying has 14 hits in 39 at-bats.
Val Majewski (1/2, 2B, 2 BB) and Zach Zaneski (1/3, 2B) both doubled once. Zaneski drove in two.
Ryan Strausborger, who played at second base, had a single and a walk in four trips.
Having already clinched a playoff spot by winning their first-half division title, the ‘Riders are working on increasing the versatility of some of their more athletic players. Strausborger, normally an outfielder, is seeing some time at second base. Middle infielder Leury Garcia has gotten a couple starts in center field. Top prospects Jurickson Profar (second base) and Mike Olt (first base and right field) are also getting an opportunity to play new positions with greater frequency.
W - Rojas (7-1)
SV - Rowen (5)
11-3, 2.0 GU
The Pelicans improved to 11-3 in the second half and won their season-best fifth consecutive game on Wednesday.
The Myrtle Beach offense, which scuffled through practically the entire first half, has now scored at least eight runs three times in their last four games.
Red-hot centerfielder Teodoro Martinez (.280/.326/.358) led the offense on Wednesday by going 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI.
The 20-year-old Martinez batted just .188/.205/.238 in May. But he hit a respectable .286/.365/.375 in April followed by a .323/.369/.387 mark in June.
Starting pitcher Randol Rojas (2.33 ERA/.251 BAA) earned his seventh victory after he yielded one run and scattered seven hits over five innings. He struck out three and walked one.
Brett Nicholas (3/4, BB) singled three times and walked once while Christian Villanueva (2/5) and Tomas Telis (2/5) both singled twice.
Right fielder Josh Richmond had a double for his only hit in five trips.
Leadoff man and second baseman Odubel Herrera got a single and two walks in five plate appearances, but he was also caught stealing and committed his 30th error of the year.
W - Lamb (2-6)
SV - McBride (2)
11-3, 3.0 GU
Like their High-A counterparts, the Crawdads missed out on a first-half division title but have started the second half on a nice run. Hickory also currently sits at 11-3, and they're three games up in the division.
Lefty starter Will Lamb (4.19 ERA/.230 BAA) and reliever Nick McBride (2.33 ERA/.201 BAA) combined on a one-hit effort in front of a sellout crowd of 5,468.
Lamb worked seven innings of one-hit ball, yielding an unearned run while walking one and striking out seven. McBride tossed two hitless frames to close the game. He struck out three.
Although the 21-year-old Lamb scuffled early in the season, he has been much better in his last five outings––21.0 ip, 10 h, 5 er, 8 bb, 22 k.
Switch-hitting leadoff man Luis Sardinas (.296/.354/.339) had a single and a double in four at-bats. He's now hitting .452 (19-for-42) over his last 10 contests.
Rougned Odor (2/4) singled twice and stole his 12th base while first baseman Jorge Alfaro (1/2, BB, SF) had a single, a walk, a sacrifice fly, and two steals.
W - de los Santos (3-1)
SV - McElwee (2)
HR - Rua (2)
8-12, 3.0 GB
Three Indians right-handers––Abel de los Santos, Cody Kendall, and Josh McElwee, combined on a six-hit shutout of the Bears on July 4.
De los Santos worked the first five scoreless innings, giving up two hits while walking two and striking out four.
The 19-year-old Dominican Republic native is off to a fantastic start in the Northwest League. Through 21 innings, he has yielded two earned runs on 12 hits while walking eight and striking out 20. He's also working on a current 15.2-inning scoreless streak.
Kendall and McElwee fired two shutout frames apiece to finish off the game.
Switch-hitting leadoff man Chris Garia (.303/.410/.485) continued to impress, going 3-for-4 with a double. Best known for his speed, the Curacao native is 20-for-66 (.303) with three doubles, three triples, and a homer. He's also drawn 10 walks and fanned 14 times in 17 contests.
Third baseman Ryan Rua (1/4, HR) added his second home run of the summer while second baseman Cam Schiller (1/2, 2 BB) singled and walked twice.
W - Peralta (2-0)
SV - de Jesus (1)
9-3, 3.0 GU
Playing Wednesday's July 4 game in front of a large crowd inside Surprise Stadium, the Rookie Rangers took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Lefty Aliangel Lopez began the game with four innings of no-hit ball. He struck out three and didn't walk a batter. The 18-year-old Venezuela native has the following stat-line this season–-14.2 ip, 4 h, 2 r, 0 bb, 15 k.
After reliever Brandon Kuter allowed two runs on four hits in 1.1 innings, Denny Peralta (2.2 IP) and Jorge de Jesus (1 IP) held the Angels both hitless and scoreless through the remainder of the game.
Outfielder Lewis Brinson (1/4, 3B) tripled and drove home three runs while first baseman Ronald Guzman (2/4, 2B) had a single and a double. The duo had the Rangers' only hits, but it was all they needed.
Kent State product and catcher David Lyon, appearing in his second professional game, struck out three times in four hitless at-bats.
W - Decena (2-0)
18-10, 1.0 GU
After getting out to a relatively slow start, the Dominican Rangers have now won nine consecutive games and currently sit on top of the Dominican Summer League's Boca Chica North Division.
Starting pitcher Albert Decena (2.63 ERA/.165 BAA) limited the Marlins to one run on two hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven.
Mexico native Jose Cardona had a perfect day at the plate, as he went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks. Diego Cedeno (2/4, BB), Carlos Garay (2/3) and Rodrigo Ayarza (2/4, BB) also singled twice.
First baseman Elio Castillo (1/2, 3B, BB) added a triple while second baseman Ramon Urias (2/5, 2B) hit his eighth double.
The Dominican Marlins mounted a comeback attempt by plating six runs against relievers Gionny Fracchiolla in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Stanley Solano retired the game's final hitter to end the threat.
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