Rangers Minor League Roundup – 7/21

The short-season Spokane Indians picked up an 8-6 victory on Saturday while the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans narrowly avoided being no-hit. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 2 – Omaha 4
L - Jackson (3-12)
HR - Hernandez (6), Spilborghs (5)
41-59, 17.0 GB

Round Rock fell to 2-7 since the Triple-A All-Star break after Saturday's loss to Omaha.

Left-hander Zach Jackson (4.98 ERA/.305 BAA) fell to 3-12 on the season after he surrendered three runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings. He walked three and struck out one.

Jackson's outing on Saturday snapped a nine-start stretch in which he'd worked at least six innings. He's gotten eight total runs of support from the Express' offense during his last four starts.

Second baseman Luis Hernandez (.233/.275/.332) and left fielder Ryan Spilborghs (.305/.381/.447) each hit a solo home run, providing Round Rock's two runs on the evening. Both players were 1-for-3, and Spilborghs also drew a walk.

Right fielder Joey Butler, who singled twice in four at-bats, extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Nine-hole hitting catcher Elio Sarmiento went hitless in three trips. He's just 2-for-26 in eight games since returning from the disabled list.

After righty Willie Eyre allowed one run in one inning, Joe Ortiz (0.2 IP) and Yoshinori Tateyama (1.2 IP) each hurled scoreless ball out of the bullpen.

Although Tateyama has struggled mightily in the major leagues this season, he's given up only one earned run in 24.2 Triple-A innings––a 0.36 earned-run average.

Player of the Game: LF Ryan Spilborghs
3 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 .305

AA: Frisco 0 – (@) Corpus Christi 3
L - Tepesch (2-2)
11-17, 8.0 GB

Astros prospect and Corpus Christi hurler Jarred Cosart has made 15 Double-A starts this season, and seven of them have come against the RoughRiders.

Cosart, who has a 3.52 ERA on the season, has also done his best pitching against Frisco––he's got a 2.68 ERA in 40.1 innings (out of 87 innings overall) against the ‘Riders.

Cosart turned in arguably his best outing of the season on Saturday, working 7.2 innings of three-hit shutout ball. First baseman Chris McGuiness (2/3, BB) singled twice and walked once. Right fielder Val Majewski (1/3) had Frisco's only other hit of the game.

On the other side, tall righty Nick Tepesch (4.87 ERA/.299 BAA) scattered eight hits (all singles) and a walk in six innings, giving up three runs (one earned). While he didn't record a strikeout, he induced 11 groundouts to two flyouts.

Righty relievers Zach Osborne and Joe Van Meter combined to retire the final six Corpus Christi hitters. They worked one perfect inning apiece, striking out one each.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick Tepesch
6.0 8 3 1 1 0 0 4.87

A+: Myrtle Beach 0 – (@) Potomac 9
L - Rojas (8-2)
18-11, 2.0 GU

Pelicans second baseman Edwin Garcia broke up the Nationals' no-hit bid with one out in the ninth inning. Garcia's knock was a clean single to center field.

Still, the Pelicans dropped their second consecutive game in Potomac, losing 9-0 on Saturday while being out-hit 15-1.

Potomac starting pitcher Nathan Karns, a Texas Tech product, began the game with six hitless frames. Minor league veteran Jimmy Barthmaier followed with two clean innings before Neil Holland permitted the single in an otherwise clean ninth.

Myrtle Beach fell behind early when sinkerballing Pelicans starter Randol Rojas (2.99 ERA/.262 BAA) was tagged for a season-high eight runs on 13 hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out five and walked two.

Reliever Ben Henry (3.16 ERA/.186 BAA) then worked 1.2 hitless, scoreless frames, and Kyle DeVore permitted a run while working the eighth.

The 23-year-old Henry has been particularly strong in his last seven appearances––9.2 ip, 3 h, 1 r, 6 bb, 11 k.

Since going 5-for-10 with two doubles and a home run in his first two Carolina League games, outfielder Jeremy Williams is just 6 for his last 56 (.107).

Player of the Game: RHP Ben Henry
1.2 0 0 0 1 1 0 3.16

A: Hickory – Lakewood – PPD (Rain)
16-12, 0.0 GU

The Crawdads and BlueClaws will play a doubleheader on Sunday.

SSA: Spokane 8 – (@) Vancouver 6
W - Kendall (2-2)
12-24, 8.0 GB

Entering Saturday's game, the Indians were 0-13 when allowing six runs or more this season. But they picked up their first high-scoring victory with a come-from-behind 8-6 triumph over the Canadians.

Left fielder Royce Bolinger (1/4, 2B, BB) provided the game-winning hit with his RBI double in the top of the ninth inning. Ryan Rua (2/5) added a run-scoring single for insurance.

Righty starting pitcher Eric Brooks (3.00 ERA/.253 BAA), who has pitched well this summer, failed to get out of the first inning for Spokane. The McLennan Community College product surrendered four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning.

Right-hander John Kukuruda (2.33 ERA/.200 BAA) was Spokane's star of the game on the mound. Coming out of the bullpen, the California native hurled 3.1 shutout innings, giving up one hit, walking one, and striking out a season-high five.

Fresno State product Cody Kendall (0.93 ERA/.239 BAA), another sinkerballer, recorded five groundouts in two perfect innings to finish the contest.

Hirotoshi Onaka (3/3, BB) and Cam Schiller (3/5) each singled three times. Rua and Barrett Serrato (2/4, BB) had two knocks apiece.

Player of the Game: RHP John Kukuruda
3.1 1 0 0 1 5 0 2.33

RK: Surprise Rangers 4 – (@) Peoria Mariners 6
L - Parra (1-4)
13-12, 3.0 GB

The talented-but-scuffling Rookie Rangers lost for the fourth time in their last five games, dropping to three games out of first place.

Puerto Rico native Janluis Castro was one of the stars for the Rangers. He was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and a walk in four plate appearances.

Castro, 18, was the Rangers' 16th-round pick in this year's MLB Draft. A 5-foot-9, 165-pound switch-hitting infielder, he's 22-for-57 (.386) with four doubles, eight walks, and 10 strikeouts in his first 15 professional games.

Corner outfielders Rashad Harlin (2/3, 2B, HBP) and Nomar Mazara (1/4, 2B, BB) also doubled once. Mazara drove home three runs.

Rangers left-handed starter Luis Parra (5.84 ERA/.320 BAA) gave up four runs (three earned) in three innings pitched.

Parra was followed by four 2012 draft picks. Right-handers Coby Cowgill (2 IP), Ryan Bores (1 IP) and Brandon Kuter (1.1 IP) all kept the Peoria Mariners off the scoreboard.

Liberty product John Niggli surrendered two runs (one earned) in two-thirds of an inning.

Player of the Game: DH Janluis Castro
3 1 3 1 0 0 1 0 .386

DSL: DSL Rangers 3 – DSL Pirates1 1
W - de la Cruz (1-1)
27-14, 2.5 GU

Since beginning the summer with a sluggish 9-10 start, the Dominican Rangers have gone 18-4. They're now 2.5 games up in the division.

Dominican starting pitcher Kelvin Vasquez (3.48 ERA/.235 BAA) helped lead his club to victory on Saturday, working a career-high five innings of shutout ball. He allowed two hits and fanned three without issuing a free pass.

Panamanian infielder Rodrigo Ayarza, who was born in February 1995, went 1-for-4 with a triple and two runs batted in.

Eduard Pinto (1/3, BB), Carlos Garay (1/3, BB) and Elio Castillo (1/2, HBP) all reached base twice. By reaching two times in four plate appearances, Pinto's on-base percentage actually fell to .531.

Alex de la Cruz (1.04 ERA/.123 BAA) closed out the game by striking out four in 2.2 blank innings. Since signing with the Rangers in mid-June, the 5-foot-11 righty has permitted two runs in seven hits in 17.1 innings, striking out 16 and walking none.

Player of the Game: RHP Kelvin Vasquez
5.0 2 0 0 0 3 0 3.48

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