Rangers Minor League Roundup – 8/18

The Single-A Hickory Crawdads pounded the ball on Saturday, as Trever Adams, Zach Cone, and Drew Robinson hit back-to-back-to-back home runs while Alejandro Selen had four extra-base hits. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 4 – Oklahoma City 5
L - Eyre (0-2)
59-69, 14.0 GB

Although the Express led 4-1 through seven innings, Oklahoma City battled back to win it with a four-run rally in the top of the eighth.

Round Rock starter Chad Bell (4.76 ERA/.279 BAA) pitched well despite not getting a decision. The 23-year-old southpaw limited the RedHawks to one run on five hits in six innings, striking out five without issuing a walk. He threw 50 of his 79 pitches for a strike.

Bell, who began the season in the bullpen at High-A Myrtle Beach, has pitched between three levels this year. His stat-line in Triple-A––64.1 ip, 68 h, 34 er, 32 bb, 42 k.

Veteran reliever Willie Eyre (5.00 ERA/.271 BAA) worked a scoreless seventh inning after Bell exited, but he was tagged for four runs in the eighth.

Oklahoma City starting pitcher Jose Cisnero, who was recently promoted from Double-A Corpus Christi, allowed 11 hits in five innings but gave up just three runs.

First baseman Brad Nelson (2/5, 2B) and right fielder Joey Butler (1/3, 2B, BB) both doubled.

Julio Borbon (2/4, BB) and Robinzon Diaz (2/4) had two singles apiece.

DH Luis Hernandez (.265/.306/.375) extended his hitting streak to 14 games with three hits in five trips. The switch-hitting Hernandez is 31-for-65 (.477) during the streak, raising his batting average from .231 to .265.

The Express scored only four runs on 13 hits. They went 4-for-14 with men in scoring position, and OKC left fielder J.D. Martinez gunned down a pair of Express base runners at home plate.

Player of the Game: LHP Chad Bell
6.0 5 1 1 0 5 1 4.76

AA: Frisco – Northwest Arkansas – PPD (Rain)
27-26, 5.5 GB

Saturday's contest between the RoughRiders and Naturals was postponed due to rain. It'll be made up as part of a doubleheader on Sunday.

A+: Myrtle Beach 7 – Carolina 2
W - Jackson (5-1)
HR - Grayson (2)
32-23, 3.0 GB

Four Pelicans hurlers––Luke Jackson, Jimmy Reyes, Jon Edwards, and Francisco Mendoza––combined to strike out 16 Carolina batters on Saturday.

Jackson (4.37 ERA/.269 BAA) worked the first five innings, giving up two runs on four hits. He struck out seven and walked three.

The 20-year-old righty still isn't without his inconsistencies, but he's pitched well in his last five starts––29.1 ip, 26 h, 8 er, 14 bb, 29 k.

Lefty Jimmy Reyes (2.63 ERA/.251 BAA) punched out four batters in two innings of one-hit scoreless relief. Jon Edwards, making his High-A debut, fanned all three batters in a perfect eighth. Francisco Mendoza worked around a walk in an otherwise clean ninth inning, striking out two.

Twelve of Carolina's final 19 hitters in Saturday's game went down on strikes–-a stretch that began with two outs in the fourth inning.

Speedy outfielder Chris Grayson (.146/.281/.291 in 14 High-A games) belted a homer and walked in four plate appearances.

Josh Richmond (1/3, 2B) doubled while Hanser Alberto (2/4, HBP), Brett Nicholas (2/4, BB, HBP) and Vin DiFazio (2/3, HBP) all singled twice.

After batting just .231/.242/.308 in July, the 19-year-old Alberto is hitting .356/.368/.507 in 17 games this month. An ultra-aggressive hitter who makes lots of contact, Alberto has gone 27 games without drawing a base on balls.

Player of the Game: RHP Luke Jackson
5.0 4 2 2 3 7 1 4.37

A: Hickory 12 – Savannah 5
W - Perez (4-9)
HR - Cone (16), Robinson (11), Adams (8)
30-25, 1.5 GB

The Crawdads pounded back-to-back-to-back home runs in the third inning of Saturday's game, and that was only the beginning of their offensive barrage.

DH Alejandro Selen didn't play a role in the three consecutive home runs, but he had perhaps the best game of any Hickory hitter. The Dominican Republic native went 4-for-5 with three doubles, a triple, and four runs batted in.

Selen had four extra-base hits and nine total bases on the evening.

The back-to-back-to-back shots came from right fielder Trever Adams (2/5, HR), centerfielder Zach Cone (1/4, HR, BB) and third baseman Drew Robinson (2/5, 2B, HR).

First baseman Kevin Torres (1/3, 2B, SF) added his eighth double and two RBI.

Leadoff hitter Luis Sardinas reached base four times in five plate appearances, hitting two singles and walking twice. He added his 30th stolen base of the season.

Crawdads starter Jerad Eickhoff allowed three runs in four innings, giving up three hits, walking two, and striking out one.

Dominican right-hander Santo Perez earned the victory after he permitted two runs (one earned) over three innings of long relief.

Hard-throwing lefty Greg Williams, recently activated from the DL, worked around a walk in an otherwise clean inning. Coby Cowgill fanned two in a perfect ninth.

Player of the Game: DH Alejandro Selen
5 2 4 3 0 4 0 0 .342

SSA: Spokane 9 – (@) Yakima 0
W - Valdespina (2-6)
HR - Rua (6)
10-15, 7.0 GB

Although 20-year-old righty Jose Valdespina may be the most talented pitcher on the Indians' pitching staff this summer, he's been a highly inconsistent performer.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound prospect turned in his best outing of the season on Saturday, however. Valdespina tossed six innings of four-hit shutout ball while walking one and striking out five.

Valdespina's last five starts have produced a mixed bag of results––21.1 ip, 20 h, 8 er, 12 bb, 19 k.

Relievers Joseph Burns (2 IP) and Josh McElwee (1 IP) followed Valdespina to finish off Spokane's fifth shutout of the summer.

The offense busted out for nine runs on 13 hits.

After scuffling in his first two Northwest League games, slugging third baseman Joey Gallo got off the schneid by going 2-for-4 with a double and a base on balls. In his first three games, Gallo is 2-for-11 with a double, a walk, and eight strikeouts.

Ryan Rua (.297/.378/.437) played at second base and went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI. Royce Bolinger (1/2, 2B, BB) and Joe Maloney (1/5, 2B) both doubled.

Catcher Pat Cantwell and right fielder Preston Beck each singled twice in five trips.

Player of the Game: RHP Jose Valdespina
6.0 4 0 0 1 5 0 6.29

RK: Surprise Rangers 3 – Glendale Dodgers 4
L - Wiles (1-1)
28-19, 1.5 GU

The Rookie Rangers weren't able to recover after falling behind 3-0 in the second inning.

Supplemental first-round pick Collin Wiles worked a scoreless first inning before allowing an RBI double and a two-run homer in the second. His ERA was raised to 7.71 after giving up those three runs in two innings.

The Rangers' bullpen pitched well, although the offense wasn't quite able to mount a comeback.

Lefty Ryne Slack surrendered just an unearned run in three innings. Right-handers Keone Kela and Jorge de Jesus sat down the game's final 12 batters, working two perfect frames apiece.

Kela, who can run his fastball up to 98 mph, has struck out 12 and yielded only three hits over his first nine professional innings.

After Gallo was promoted to Spokane, talented first baseman Ronald Guzman (.307/.362/.425) moved into the AZL club's cleanup spot. Guzman had a big game on Saturday, going 3-for-4 with his 12th double.

Outfielders Lewis Brinson (1/4, 2B, BB) and Nomar Mazara (1/4, 2B) also doubled once. The extra-base hit gave Brinson 32 through 46 professional contests.

Player of the Game: 1B Ronald Guzman
4 1 3 1 0 1 0 0 .307

DSL: DSL Rangers 11 – DSL Red Sox 8
W - Beltre (1-0)
SV - de la Cruz (8)
40-26, 1.0 GB

The Dominican Rangers earned a key victory with a furious seven-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. Eleven Rangers batted during the frame, which included five singles, one double, a walk, an error, a wild pitch, and a passed ball.

The Dominican Summer League's leading hitter, outfielder Eduard Pinto (.398/.475/.485), went 4-for-5 with his 13th double and two RBI.

The 17-year-old Pinto has been remarkably consistent this summer. After batting .400 in June, he's hit .397 in both July and August.

Venezuelan shortstop Elio Castillo (.294/.411/.386) had two singles, a triple, and three RBI in five at-bats.

Carlos Garay (3/4, BB) singled three times and walked once in five trips. Third baseman Ramon Urias (2/5) and catcher Ricardo Valencia (2/4) also turned in two-hit efforts.

The Rangers used six pitchers in the game. Left-hander Yohander Mendez got the start and yielded two runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, and fanned two.

Relievers Albert Decena (2 IP), Ricardo Rodriguez (2.1 IP) and Gabriel Larrazabal (0.2 IP) then gave up two runs apiece.

But the bullpen was able to hold the Red Sox down late in the contest, as Dario Beltre recorded the final out of the seventh and Alex de la Cruz pitched perfect ball in the eighth and ninth.

De la Cruz now has a 1.32 ERA with eight saves in 16 appearances this summer. The 20-year-old righty has walked one and fanned 29 in 34 innings.

Player of the Game: LF-RF Eduard Pinto
5 2 4 1 0 2 0 0 .398

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