Rangers Minor League Roundup – 8/4

The rookie-level Surprise Rangers picked up a big 10-inning victory on Saturday, getting help from Nick Williams' two-run homer. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 6 – Tucson 10 (10 innings)
L - Eyre (0-1)
HR - Hernandez (8)
51-64, 15.0 GB

The Express and Padres combined to score 13 runs over the final three innings. Round Rock plated five in the bottom of the eighth, Tucson came back with three in the top of the ninth, Round Rock tied it with one in the bottom, and the Padres scored four in the 10th.

Making his return to Triple-A, left-hander Martin Perez (4.53 ERA/.252 BAA) threw 70 pitches (40 strikes) over five innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and four walks, striking out one.

Express shortstop Luis Hernandez (.232/.277/.334) drove in four of Round Rock's six runs, and his big blast was a three-run homer off lefty Josh Spence in the eighth.

Catcher Luis Martinez (.275/.346/.397) was a perfect 4-for-4 with his 15th double of the season.

Although left-handed relievers Joe Ortiz (1.2 IP) and Neal Cotts (1 IP) worked scoreless ball out of the bullpen, Tucson tagged a pair of righty arms.

Johan Yan coughed up three runs on two hits and a walk without recording an out in the ninth inning. Willie Eyre then gave up four runs––a grand slam to slugging first baseman Matt Clark, his 22nd homer––in the 10th.

The 21-year-old Ortiz, who is listed at 5-foot-7, 175 pounds, has pitched well in 16 Triple-A appearances––20.2 ip, 19 h, 5 r, 1 bb, 16 k. All five of Ortiz's runs allowed have come on solo homers, but he's throwing strikes, inducing nearly two groundouts per airout, and has held lefty hitters to a .158 batting average.

Player of the Game: C Luis Martinez
4 1 4 1 0 0 0 0 .275

AA: Frisco 6 – (@) San Antonio 1
W - Loux (13-1)
20-22, 8.0 GB

Frisco starting pitcher Barret Loux (3.45 ERA/.247 BAA) improved to 13-1 through 20 Double-A starts after he pitched six innings of one-run ball, scattering seven singles. He struck out two without issuing a walk.

Loux's strikeout rate has dropped with each month this season, but he has continued to pitch well. After fanning a batter per inning in April and May, he's struck out 25 in 48 innings since the beginning of June.

Veteran Val Majewski committed an error while playing first base but went 2-for-5 with a triple and three runs batted in. Right fielder Jared Prince (2/5, 2B) singled and doubled for Frisco's only other extra-base hit.

Engel Beltre (3/6) singled three times while Tom Mendonca (2/5), Ryan Strausborger (2/4, BB) and Jose Felix (2/5) all singled twice.

Beltre stole his 31st base of the season while Strausborger swiped a pair of bags, making him a perfect 23-for-23. The speedy Strausborger is coming off a season-best month in July in which he batted .287/.388/.425 over 24 games.

Leury Garcia (.278/.315/.383) singled once and walked three times in six plate appearances, giving him 14 walks in 80 contests. He stole his 24th base.

Righty relievers Ryan Rodebaugh (2 IP) and Ross Wolf (1 IP) kept San Antonio off the scoreboard for the final three innings to preserve the victory.

The 23-year-old Rodebaugh has pitched well in Double-A this season while throwing strikes and missing bats at a high rate––39.1 ip, 34 h, 10 er (2.29 ERA), 8 bb, 47 k.

Player of the Game: RHP Barret Loux
6.0 7 1 1 0 2 0 3.45

A+: Myrtle Beach 4 – Frederick 3
W - Reyes (5-2)
SV - Mendez (1)
HR - DiFazio (4)
25-17, 0.0 GU

Joe Van Meter (1.93 ERA/.204 BAA), who recently moved back down from Double-A and slid into the Pelicans' starting rotation, hurled five shutout innings on Saturday. He gave up three hits, didn't walk a batter, and fanned six.

The 23-year-old Van Meter has struck out 52 and walked 11 in 46.2 innings with the Pelicans.

Cleanup-hitting DH Vin DiFazio (.209/.321/.317) socked a double and a home run in four at-bats, driving home three. Shortstop Hanser Alberto (1/4, 2B) also doubled while Odubel Herrera (2/3, BB) and Jeremy Williams (2/3) both had a pair of hits.

Left fielder Chris Grayson went 1-for-4 in his second High-A game, stealing his second base and his 29th overall.

Miami native Jimmy Reyes (2.68 ERA/.251 BAA) provided three innings of one-run ball out of the bullpen in relief of Van Meter. But Frederick made a game of it in the ninth against Francisco Mendoza.

Mendoza, who has scuffled all season, surrendered two runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Fireballing righty Roman Mendez got out of the jam by striking out the game's final hitter––the only man he faced.

Mendez, 22, has pitched well in three appearances since moving to the Pelicans' bullpen––7.1 ip, 4 h, 0 r, 1 bb, 13 k.

Player of the Game: DH Vin DiFazio
4 1 2 1 1 3 0 1 .209

A: Hickory 8 – (@) Greenville 4
W - Schwendel (1-0)
HR - Selen (10), Akins (9), Deglan (9)
23-20, 1.0 GB

Hickory's offense socked three home runs on Saturday evening, bringing them back to within a game of first place.

While struggling centerfielder Jordan Akins (.188/.210/.313) had only one hit in four at-bats, it was the game's biggest blow. He hit a three-run homer to put the Crawdads ahead in the seventh inning.

Alejandro Selen and Kellin Deglan both added a solo shot. Deglan went 2-for-4 with a double and that round-tripper, his ninth of the year.

Former first-round pick Kevin Matthews (4.80 ERA/.239 BAA) continued to struggle with control, as he issued five walks in four innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits, striking out one.

On the season, Matthews has surrendered 44 hits on 50.2 innings, walking 50 and striking out 45.

Sinkerballing righty Paul Schwendel, the Rangers' 40th-round pick in this year's MLB Draft, earned the win with four innings of three-hit shutout ball, walking two and fanning four.

Between the rookie Arizona League and Single-A Hickory, Schwendel has pitched well in his pro debut––23.1 ip, 19 h, 7 er (2.70 ERA), 8 bb, 32 k. His heavy sinker has reached 92-95 mph at times since signing this summer.

Third baseman Drew Robinson had two singles and a hit-by pitch in four plate appearances, raising his on-base percentage to .414. First baseman Trever Adams was 1-for-3 with a double and a free pass.

After going 0-for-5 on Saturday, second baseman Rougned Odor is now hitting just .259. The prospect hit .293/.357/.482 prior to the Sally League All-Star break, but he's batted just .219/.251/.319 since.

Tall reliever Phil Klein (2.03 ERA/.206 BAA) struck out one in a perfect ninth inning.

Player of the Game: C Kellin Deglan
4 1 2 1 1 1 0 0 .208

SSA: Spokane 2 – Boise 6
L - Blackwell (1-2)
6-5, 1.0 GB

Connor Sadzeck (3.73 ERA/.182 BAA) gave up two runs––one earned––on three hits in four innings, walking three and matching a season-high with seven strikeouts.

Although Sadzeck has fanned 46 and allowed just 26 hits in 41 innings this summer, he's also walked 29 and and plunked 10. Despite the control issues, his last five starts have been strong––20.2 ip, 9 h, 4 er, 17 bb (6 HBP), 27 k.

Hot-hitting second baseman Cam Schiller (.252/.322/.358) provided most of Spokane's offense by going 2-for-5 with his second triple.

Ryan Rua (1/3, HBP), Pat Cantwell (1/4, HBP), and Barrett Serrato (0/2, 2 BB) all reached safely twice.

Coming out of the bullpen, Shawn Blackwell surrendered three runs (one earned) on four hits in 2.1 innings.

Converted outfielder Jon Edwards then struck out three batters in 1.2 shutout frames. The 24-year-old Edwards has allowed only four hits in 13.1 innings with Spokane, but he's walked 18 while striking out 17. Saturday's appearance was his first without a walk.

Player of the Game: RHP Connor Sadzeck
4.0 3 2 1 3 7 0 3.73

RK: Surprise Rangers 10 – (@) Peoria Mariners 8 (10 innings)
W - de Jesus (1-1)
SV - Peralta (1)
HR - Williams (2)
22-14, 1.0 GU

In a battle for first place, the Rookie Rangers lost a late lead by coughing up four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. But they struck back with three in the 10th to take home the win.

Left fielder Nick Williams (.357/.424/.504) socked a two-run homer in the 10th inning, putting the game out of reach. Overall, he was 3-for-5 with that homer, a walk, and three RBI.

The 18-year-old Williams is 10-for-18 with a double and a home run over his last four contests.

The game, which took three hours and forty-five minutes to complete, included 18 walks, two hit batters, and six wild pitches.

Lefty starter Aliangel Lopez gave up two runs on four hits and two walks in 3.2 innings, striking out five.

The Rangers' star of the game on the mound was Casey Shiver, who hurled 3.1 innings of no-hit relief. He struck out four while walking one.

Shiver, the Rangers' 10th-round pick in this year's MLB Draft, hasn't allowed a hit in 6.1 innings over his last three appearances.

Shortshop Alberto Triunfel (.239/.330/.386) had a double, a triple, and a walk in five plate appearances. Fernando Vivili (2/4, 2B) and Lewis Brinson (1/5, 2B, BB) both doubled while Ronald Guzman (2/5) singled twice.

The only Rangers player without a hit on Saturday was DH Joey Gallo, who whiffed three times in six hitless at-bats. Gallo has struck out 10 times in his last four games.

Player of the Game: LF Nick Williams
5 1 3 0 1 3 1 1 .357

DSL: DSL Rangers – DSL Yankees2 – Suspended (Mid 2)
33-20, 0.5 GU

Saturday's contest between the Dominican Rangers and DSL Yankees2 was suspended in the middle of the second inning. The Rangers plated seven runs in the bottom of the first inning and will be leading 7-1 when the contest resumes.

The Rangers' offense was officially 7-for-8 in the first inning with two HBP and a sacrifice fly. Leadoff man Eduard Pinto went 2-for-2, raising his league-leading batting average to .413.

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