Rangers Minor League Roundup – 7/26

The High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans picked up an extra-innings victory on Thursday while the Rookie and Dominican Rangers both won in walkoff fashion. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

Prospect Video and Scouting Report

  • Ben Rowen, RHP, Myrtle Beach

  • AAA: Round Rock 3 – Albuquerque 2
    W - Jackson (4-12)
    SV - Tateyama (3)
    44-61, 17.0 GB

    Left-handed pitcher Zach Jackson (4.81 ERA/.299 BAA) earned just his second victory since the beginning of June with a season-long 7.2-inning effort on Thursday. He limited Albuquerque to two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out five.

    Although the 29-year-old Jackson is having a rocky season for the Express, he has been able to eat innings. Jackson has worked into at least the sixth inning 17 times this season. He's worked into the seventh in 11 games.

    Red-hot first baseman Brad Nelson, who's hitting .296/.402/.617 this month, tripled for his only hit in four at-bats. The three-bagger was just his sixth in his last seven seasons.

    Round Rock won the game behind the power of two runs in the bottom of the second inning. DH Matt Kata led off the frame with his third triple. He was 2-for-2 with a double, a triple, and an HBP.

    Kata, Luis Hernandez (1/3) and Tom Mendonca (0/2, SF) each had a run batted in.

    Sidearming reliever Yoshinori Tateyama (0.32 ERA/.184 BAA) earned the save by retiring the game's final four batters, striking out three of them.

    Although the 36-year-old Japanese import has scuffled in the majors this year, he's allowed only one earned run in 28 Triple-A innings while throwing 71.4 percent of his pitches for a strike.

    Player of the Game: LHP Zach Jackson
    7.2 6 2 2 1 5 1 4.81

    AA: Frisco 6 – (@) Midland 0
    W - Tepesch (3-2)
    HR - Beltre (11)
    14-19, 8.0 GB

    Led by starting pitcher Nick Tepesch's eight scoreless innings, the RoughRiders' pitching staff posted their 10th shutout of the campaign on Thursday.

    Tepesch, who threw 64 of his 100 pitches for a strike over the eight blank frames, induced nine swings and misses. He scattered five hits, walked one, and struck out five.

    The 23-year-old University of Missouri product has experienced his ups and downs since earning the mid-June promotion to the Texas League. But he's also worked at least seven innings in four of his seven Double-A starts.

    Tepesch's overall stat-line in Double-A––52.1 ip, 58 h, 24 er (4.13 ERA), 13 bb, 34 k. Between the High- and Double-A levels this season, he has a 3.41 ERA in 124 innings. Tepesch totaled 138.1 frames at Single-A Hickory in 2011––his first full year in professional ball.

    Leadoff hitter Engel Beltre (.251/.293/.418) belted a triple (his 13th) and a solo home run (his 11th) in five at-bats.

    The 22-year-old Beltre, who was recently named the Texas League's player of the week, is making a run to win this week's crown. He's 17-for-44 (.386) with three doubles, two triples, and four round-trippers over his last 10 contests.

    Catcher Zach Zaneski (2/4, 2B) singled and doubled while second baseman Leury Garcia (2/4) singled twice in four trips. Alex Buchholz, who was 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, drove in a pair.

    Top prospects Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt each had one hit in four at-bats. Olt played in right field for the third time this summer.

    Lefty sinkerballer Richard Bleier (5.40 ERA/.278 BAA) finished off the game by punching out two in a nine-pitch, eight-strike 1-2-3 ninth inning.

    Neil Ramirez is scheduled to come off the disabled list and make the start for Frisco on Friday. He'll be followed by Cody Buckel.

    Player of the Game: RHP Nick Tepesch
    8.0 5 0 0 1 5 0 4.13

    A+: Myrtle Beach 5 – (@) Salem 3
    W - Reyes (4-2)
    SV - Rowen (12)
    21-13, 2.0 GU

    The Pelicans earned a hard-fought 13-inning victory in a game that took nearly four hours to complete.

    Myrtle Beach currently leads the Carolina League's South Division second-half standings by two games, and they've been led by the pitching staff all season. Although the offense sports a league-low .650 cumulative OPS, the pitchers top the circuit with a 3.23 ERA.

    The bullpen has been particularly impressive. In Thursday's game, three Pelicans relievers hurled 7.1 innings of two-hit shutout ball, walking one and striking out 10. On the season, the Birds' bullpen has combined for a 2.65 ERA while yielding just 297 hits in 367 innings.

    Venezuelan right-hander Randol Rojas (2.88 ERA/.261 BAA) got the start for Myrtle Beach on Thursday, and he was matched up against University of Texas product Brandon Workman.

    Rojas permitted three runs––one earned––in 5.2 innings, scattering five hits, walking three, plunking two, and striking out four.

    Workman was similarly solid, as he gave up three runs––but just one earned––in 6.1 innings of work.

    When Rojas exited, the Pelicans' bullpen took control.

    Making his second appearance since moving to the ‘pen, fireballing prospect Wilmer Font punched out five batters in 2.1 innings. He didn't allow a run, a hit, or a walk, though he did plunk one.

    Font's stat-line in the two relief appearances––4.1 ip, 0 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 10 k.

    Southpaw Jimmy Reyes (2.72 ERA/.254 BAA) then pitched in with a career-high four innings of scoreless long relief. He limited Salem to one hit while walking one and fanning five.

    The 23-year-old Reyes has been superb in his last 10 appearances, striking out 32 batters over 22.2 innings.

    Ben Rowen (1.31 ERA/.184 BAA) closed out the game with his 17th consecutive scoreless appearance.

    The Birds' offense contributed with five runs on 13 hits––12 of which were singles.

    Cleanup-hitting third baseman Christian Villanueva (.318/.427/.471 in July) led the way with three singles in five at-bats, raising his season batting average to .280.

    Hanser Alberto (2/6), Brett Nicholas (1/5), Villanueva, and Vin DiFazio (2/6) began the top of the 13th with four consecutive singles, putting the game away.

    Left fielder Santiago Chirino also added two knocks in six trips while right fielder Yefry Castillo went 1-for-5 with his seventh double.

    Myrtle Beach manager Jason Wood and pitching coach Brad Holman were both ejected in the 11th inning after a close play at home plate.

    Player of the Game: LHP Jimmy Reyes
    4.0 1 0 0 1 5 0 2.72

    A: Hickory 9 – Delmarva 1
    W - Eickhoff (11-4)
    HR - Selen (9), Deglan (8), Sardinas (1)
    20-14, 0.0 GU

    The Hickory bats busted out for seven second-inning runs and cruised to victory, holding on to a share of first place. The game took only two hours and 19 minutes to complete.

    Left fielder Alejandro Selen (.409/.443/.784) keyed the big second inning with a grand slam, his ninth long ball in 97 plate appearances (10.8 PA per HR) this summer. Overall, he was 3-for-4 with a double, that home run, and five RBI.

    Selen's grand slam capped off the seven-run frame. The inning began with a Jorge Alfaro double and a Kellin Deglan two-run bomb.

    The 19-year-old Alfaro (.290/.349/.479) had a single, a double, and a HBP in four plate appearances.

    Speedy shortstop Luis Sardinas (.305/.361/.359) later added the first home run of his professional career. He also walked and stole his 26th base in 34 attempts.

    Chris Grayson (2/3, 2B, 2 BB) singled, doubled, walked twice, and also stole his 26th bag. Third baseman Drew Robinson doubled and walked in five plate appearances.

    Seven of the Crawdads' 11 hits went for extra bases.

    While the offense posted plenty of early runs, the pitching staff also cruised through the game.

    Starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff (4.79 ERA/.268 BAA) picked up his 11th win after he hurled five shutout innings. Eickhoff yielded two hits and fanned two without issuing a walk.

    Paul Schwendel, the Rangers' 40th-round pick in this year's MLB Draft, allowed a solo home run for the only damage against him in two innings. The hard-throwing sinkerballer induced five groundouts and fanned one.

    Right-hander Daniel Lopez (3.60 ERA/.240 BAA) finished the contest by going six up, six down and striking out five.

    Player of the Game: LF Alejandro Selen
    4 1 3 1 1 5 0 0 .409

    SSA: Spokane 2 – (@) Tri-City 1
    W - Brooks (2-1)
    SV - McElwee (5)
    2-1, 0.0 GU

    Right-handed pitching prospects John Kukuruda and Eric Brooks tossed four innings apiece on Thursday, helping lead Spokane to the road series victory.

    The 20-year-old Kukuruda (1.93 ERA/.198 BAA) opened the game by allowing one unearned run on three hits in four innings, striking out three without walking a batter.

    Brooks (2.52 ERA/.255 BAA), 21, followed his worst outing of the summer with four shutout frames. He scattered four hits, walked one, and fanned four.

    The Central Texas native has the following stat-line in his first eight professional appearances––25.0 ip, 25 h, 7 er, 8 bb, 24 k. He's also inducing more than 1.9 groundouts per airout.

    Infielders Cam Schiller (2/4, 2B) and Smerling Lantigua (2/4, 2B) both singled once and doubled once. Lantigua, normally a third baseman, got the start at first base.

    Ryan Rua went 1-for-4 with a double, but he also committed two errors at the hot corner.

    Closer Josh McElwee worked around two hits in a blank ninth inning––fanning one––to pick up his fifth save.

    Player of the Game: RHP Eric Brooks
    4.0 4 0 0 1 4 0 2.52

    RK: Surprise Rangers 5 – Mesa Cubs 4 (10 innings)
    W - Cowgill (1-0)
    HR - Gallo (13)
    16-13, 1.0 GB

    After trailing 4-1 late in the game, the Rangers plated two runs in the bottom of the eighth, one to tie in the ninth, and one to win it in the 10th.

    Slugging third baseman Joey Gallo (.316/.461/.816), who initially had the night off, came off the bench to launch a game-tying home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

    Gallo's clutch blast, his 13th in fewer than 100 official at-bats, was no cheapie, either. It easily cleared the batter's eye in dead center (400-plus feet) on the Surprise back fields.

    The Rookie Rangers won it in walkoff fashion on left fielder Jamie Jarmon's (1/4, BB) infield single.

    Lefty starter Luis Parra worked the first four innings and allowed three runs, two of which were earned.

    Kent State product Ryan Bores yielded a run in two innings, and right-handers Brandon Kuter (2 IP) and Coby Cowgill (2 IP) finished the contest with two scoreless frames apiece.

    Although Gallo and Jarmon had the clutch hits, second baseman Janluis Castro had the biggest overall night. The Puerto Rico native went 3-for-4 with a triple, a walk, and two runs batted in.

    Fernando Vivili (1/2, 2B) added his third double.

    Player of the Game: 2B Janluis Castro
    4 0 3 0 0 2 1 0 .394

    DSL: DSL Rangers 7 – DSL Red Sox 6
    W - Carvallo (5-0)
    30-15, 3.0 GU

    The Rangers moved to three games up with Thursday's walkoff victory.

    Left fielder Jose Santos (1/2, 2B, BB) opened the bottom of the ninth with a double. After Anderson Jesus sacrifice him to third, shortstop Alex Gonzalez brought Santos home on the game-winning sacrifice fly.

    Aside from Santos' double, catcher Ricardo Valencia's (2/4, 2B) double was the Dominican Rangers' only extra-base hit of the game.

    First baseman Diego Cedeno (2/4) and centerfielder Jose Cardona (2/4) both singled twice. Cedeno stole his third base.

    Leadoff man Eduard Pinto singled and walked in his two plate appearances before being lifted from the game. He also committed two errors in right field––uncharacteristic for him as an advanced defender.

    Starter Jose Gomez and reliever Gabriel Larrazabal each surrendered three runs in three innings pitched. But Stanley Solano (1 IP) and Felix Carvallo (2 IP) held the Red Sox off the scoreboard for the final three innings.

    Carvallo (3.03 ERA/.261 BAA) was particularly impressive, fanning three while retiring all six hitters he faced.

    Player of the Game: LF Jose Santos
    2 2 1 1 0 1 1 0 .268

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