Rangers Minor League Roundup – 7/5

The rookie-level Surprise Rangers earned the victory behind the powerful bat of Lewis Brinson and brilliant performance from the pitching staff, which included 4.2 no-hit innings from C.J. Edwards. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 9 – (@) Albuquerque 10
L - Heilman (1-1)
HR - Brown (5)
38-50, 12.5 GB

After squandering what was a 9-5 lead going into the bottom of the seventh on Thursday, the Express became the sixth Pacific Coast League team this season to reach 50 losses.

Round Rock got a big boost in the sixth inning from nine-hole hitting catcher Dusty Brown (.233/.367/.421), who launched a grand slam––his fifth home run of the season––for his only hit in four at-bats.

But the grand slam wasn't enough, as the Express bullpen surrendered five runs in the final three innings. Albuquerque won it in the bottom of the ninth inning off closer Aaron Heilman on a two-run walkoff homer from first baseman Jerry Sands.

Express starter Greg Reynolds (5.01 ERA/.322 BAA) was knocked around for five runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings. He also struck out three.

Although southpaws Neal Cotts (1 IP) and Joe Ortiz (0.2 IP) worked scoreless ball out of the bullpen, veteran reliever Willie Eyre allowed three runs (two earned) in 1.1 innings.

The 21-year-old Ortiz has pitched relatively well in his first five Triple-A appearances––7.0 ip, 9 h, 2 r, 0 bb, 3 k. Both of the runs have come on solo homers.

Left fielder Yangervis Solarte (2/5, 2B) and first baseman Brad Nelson (2/4, 2B, BB) both singled once and doubled once. Ryan Spilborghs (1/5, 2B) and Joey Butler (1/4, 2B, BB) also added one two-bagger apiece.

Julio Borbon (1/3, 2 BB) and Luis Hernandez (1/2, BB, SF) also reached safely multiple times.

Player of the Game: C Dusty Brown
4 1 1 0 1 4 0 1 .233

AA: Frisco 11 – Springfield 7
W - Tepesch (2-1)
HR - McGuiness (18), Beltre (7), Hoying (1)
5-8, 5.5 GB

Frisco starting pitcher Nick Tepesch cruised through the first four innings before running into some trouble in the fifth and sixth.

Although Tepesch began the outing with four scoreless frames, he ultimately allowed five runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings, walking one and striking out five.

The University of Missouri product threw 63 of his 90 pitches for a strike, including first-pitch strikes to 17 of the 25 hitters he faced. He also induced nine swings and misses.

Tepesch has the following stat-line through his first five Double-A appearances (four starts)––25.1 ip, 34 h, 17 r, 6 bb, 22 k.

Centerfielder Engel Beltre (3/5, HR), first baseman Chris McGuiness (1/5, HR) and right fielder Jared Hoying (2/4, HR) each hit a two-run homer.

Although Beltre flashed good power during the season's first two months, he posted a punchless .180/.219/.240 slash line with three extra-base hits, two walks, and 23 strikeouts in June. Beltre also stole his 19th base on Thursday.

McGuiness' home run was his 18th of the year and eighth in his last 11 contests. The 2-for-4 performance brought Hoying up to 16-for-43 (.372) since his recent promotion to Double-A.

Jurickson Profar (2/5, 2B), Ryan Strausborger (2/3, 2B, BB) and Val Majewski (2/3, 2B, BB) all doubled once. Third baseman Mike Olt drew two walks in five plate appearances.

After Tepesch exited the game, righty reliever Carlos Pimentel (2.48 ERA/.187 BAA) worked 2.2 innings and surrendered a run on one hit. He struck out four and walked one, giving him 60 strikeouts (with 33 walks) in 58 innings. Pimentel also plunked a batter and uncorked two wild pitches.

Ryan Rodebaugh gave up a solo home run in the ninth, raising his earned-run average to 2.05.

Player of the Game: CF Engel Beltre
5 2 3 0 1 3 0 0 .237

A+: Myrtle Beach 5 – (@) Winston-Salem 12
L - Jackson (0-1)
HR - Williams (2)
11-4, 1.0 GU

The Pelicans' five-game winning streak was snapped after pitchers Luke Jackson and Kyle DeVore each surrendered a five-run frame.

Winston-Salem jumped on top early against Jackson, plating five runs in the bottom of the first inning. While Jackson eventually settled down, he gave up six runs on seven hits in four innings. He struck out six and walked two.

The 20-year-old prospect has the following stat-line in three High-A starts––15.0 ip, 20 h, 11 r, 7 bb, 11 k.

DeVore followed by giving up five runs on five hits in two innings, and Joe Van Meter permitted a solo home run for the only damage against him in two frames.

Switch-hitting catcher Tomas Telis, who's showing signs of heating up after batting .205/.250/.250 in June, went 3-for-4 with a double––his third consecutive multiple-hit performance.

Odubel Herrera (2/5, 2B), Edwin Garcia (1/4, 2B) and Yefry Castillo (1/1, 2B) also doubled. Herrera, playing second base, committed his 31st error.

Corner outfielder Jeremy Williams socked a solo home run for his only hit in four trips. Between the Low- and High-A levels this year, the 25-year-old Williams is hitting .302/.337/.492 with 20 doubles, 10 homers, 10 walks, and 71 strikeouts in 70 contests.

Josh Richmond (2/3) raised his batting average to .173 with two singles in three at-bats.

Player of the Game: DH Tomas Telis
4 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 .263

A: Hickory 4 – Delmarva 6
L - Mavare (3-4)
11-4, 2.0 GU

The Crawdads dropped Thursday's game––ending their four-game winning streak, after surrendering three runs on only one hit in the sixth inning.

Victor Payano (3.33 ERA/.216 BAA) worked five-plus innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits. He struck out four and walked three.

Payano came out for the sixth inning but was pulled after yielding a single and a walk. Although Arlett Mavare fanned the side in relief of Payano, two walks, a wild pitch, a hit-by pitch, and an error were sandwiched between the strikeouts. Both of Payano's runs scored, and Mavare gave up a run of his own.

The Hickory offense scored four runs on 11 hits, stranding 10 men on base.

Left fielder Jhonny Gomez (2/4, 2B), shortstop Rougned Odor (2/5, 2B) and third baseman Drew Robinson (1/4, 2B, BB) all doubled once.

The 18-year-old Odor, who has flipped between second base and shortstop recently, is now hitting .299/.354/.488 this year.

Jorge Alfaro (3/5) singled three times while Chris Grayson (0/2, 2 BB) walked twice.

After going 1-for-5 with three strikeouts on Thursday, second baseman Nick Urbanus is now 7-for-29 (.241) with a double in his first eight Sally League games. A native of the Netherlands, Urbanus was the first European-born amateur prospect to sign with the Rangers.

Hard-throwing reliever Daniel Lopez punched out two batters in a 1-2-3 ninth inning. After getting out to a slow start, the former Braves farmhand has worked a hitless frame in each of his last three appearances.

Player of the Game: LF Jhonny Gomez
4 1 2 1 0 2 0 0 .234

SSA: Spokane 0 – Yakima 5
L - Asher (0-1)
8-13, 4.0 GB

The Indians and Bears both played scoreless ball through the game's first seven innings on Thursday before Yakima busted out for five runs in their final two at-bats.

Spokane actually didn't get its first base runner until third baseman Ryan Rua (0/3, BB) led off the fifth inning with a walk. The club didn't record its first hit until a Gabriel Roa (1/4) line-drive single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

The Indians' offense was shut out and one-hit, striking out 12 times. Joe Maloney (0/3, 3 K) and and Saquan Johnson (0/3, 3 K) both strikeout in all three of their plate appearances.

Starting pitcher Eric Brooks (2.92 ERA/.234 BAA) hurled four shutout innings while yielding two hits and striking out two. He didn't walk a batter.

Brooks, a product of McLennan Community College in Waco, has pitched well in four starts––12.1 ip, 11 h, 4 er, 3 bb, 11 k.

Although Richard Alvarez (2.2 IP) and Carlos Melo (0.1 IP) worked scoreless ball out of the bullpen, Yakima took the lead and blew the game open when hard-throwing reliever Alec Asher surrendered five runs in two innings.

Asher gave up the five runs on five hits––including two home runs–-while walking two and striking out two.

Player of the Game: RHP Eric Brooks
4.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 2.92

RK: Surprise Rangers 11 – (@) Goodyear Indians 0
W - Edwards (3-0)
HR - Gallo (5), Brinson (1)
10-3, 3.0 GU

Rehabbing hurler Roman Mendez allowed an infield single to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Mendez, left-hander Austen Thrailkill, and righty C.J. Edwards then combined to retire 13 consecutive Indians hitters.

Mendez, making his first rehab start with the rookie club, struck out two batters while allowing that infield single in two scoreless innings. Thrailkill fanned all three hitters he faced after failing to record an out in his pro debut.

Edwards, the star of the night, then worked 4.2 innings of no-hit ball. He walked two and struck out eight.

A 20-year-old South Carolina native, Edwards has combined for 10.1 hitless frames over his last two outings. He's yet to surrender a run in 20 innings this season, giving up only six hits, walking six, and striking out 25.

Video from the first inning of Edwards' June 30 start against the AZL Athletics can be seen at this link.

After Edwards left the game, sidearming lefty Alexander Claudio worked around a single in 1.1 shutout innings to finish the game.

Leadoff man Lewis Brinson (.298/.365/.632) had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, his first professional home run, and four RBI. He also struck out twice.

Brinson, 18, is 17-for-57 (.298) with 13 extra-base hits. He leads the Arizona League in both extra-base hits (13) and strikeouts (20).

Third baseman Joey Gallo (2/4, HR) singled, homered––his fifth–-and whiffed twice.

The Rangers' raw talent was on display to both the positive and negative on Thursday. The club plated 11 runs on 12 hits, including seven extra-base knocks. They also combined to strike out 11 times.

Brinson, Gallo, Ronald Guzman (0/5) and Desmond Henry (0/2, 2 BB) all whiffed twice.

Nomar Mazara (1/3, 2B, 2 BB), Luis Marte (1/5, 2B) and Jamie Jarmon (2/5, 2B) doubled once apiece.

Puerto Rico native and second baseman Janluis Castro had two singles and a walk in five plate appearances.

Player of the Game: RHP C.J. Edwards
4.2 0 0 0 2 8 0 0.00

DSL: DSL Rangers 1 – (@) DSL Mets2 2
L - Pena (0-2)
18-11, 0.0 GU

The Dominican Rangers had their nine-game winning streak snapped on Thursday, as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Mets2. The Mets2 moved into a tie for first place in the division with the Rangers.

The DSL Rangers had outscored their opponents 98-36 during the winning streak.

Despite suffering the loss, 18-year-old starting pitcher Richelson Pena (3.80 ERA/.169 BAA) pitched well. The Dominican Republic native allowed a run on two hits in five innings while walking two and striking out two.

Panamanian left fielder Jose Santos (.282/.384/.318) doubled for his only hit in three at-bats and the Rangers' lone extra-base hit of the game. Belarmino Campos (1/5), Jose Cardona (1/4) and Diego Cedeno (1/2, 2 BB) singled for the club's other knocks.

The Rangers went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men on base.

Right-hander Ricardo Rodriguez (4.32 ERA/.310 BAA) worked around a walk in a scoreless sixth inning, and Jose Leclerc (1.59 ERA/.198 BAA) surrendered a solo homer for the only damage against him in two frames.

Player of the Game: RHP Richelson Pena
5.0 2 1 1 2 2 0 3.80

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