W - Mills (2-0)
SV - Meek (3)
6-2, 0.5 GU
Express starting pitcher Bradley Mills turned in a fantastic performance against the I-Cubs on Thursday, tossing seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball. Mills, who threw 96 pitches, walked two and struck out seven.
Through two starts this season, the University of Arizona product has permitted just one earned run in 13 innings. He posted a 5.86 ERA in 109 Triple-A innings as a member of the Angels' organization in 2012.
At the plate, right fielder Jim Adduci continued his strong start by going 2-for-4 with a double. Adduci slugged a career-best .419 between the Double- and Triple-A levels last season, but he has more raw power than he'd previously shown in game action. The former Cubs farmhand has a double, a triple, and two round-trippers in his first eight games this year.
Second baseman Yangervis Solarte (2/4) and DH Robinson Chirinos (2/3) both singled twice. Solarte knocked home both of Round Rock's runs. Chirinos was playing his first game with the Express.
Scuffling third baseman Mike Olt fanned three times in four at-bats, dropping his average to .097. He's now 3-for-31 with 14 strikeouts in eight contests.
The Express earned the victory despite a solid effort from Cubs starter and Texas A&M product Brooks Raley. The southpaw worked seven innings of two-run ball, scattering eight hits and punching out seven.
Righty relievers Johan Yan and Evan Meek worked one scoreless inning apiece to finish the game.
L - Buckel (0-2)
3-4, 3.0 GB
Cody Buckel's control problems turned even worse in Thursday's home opener for the ‘Riders, as he issued six walks and plunked a batter in just 1.2 innings. Although Buckel didn't allow a hit and struck out three, he gave up two runs, throwing just 21 of his 50 pitches for strikes.
The 20-year-old Buckel walked just 48 batters over 144.2 innings last season between High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco. Though two starts this season, he's already walked 11 in 4.1 frames.
Right-hander Randy Henry turned in fantastic long relief to keep his club in the game. The 22-year-old hurler worked 3.1 shutout innings, giving up three hits and fanning six without issuing a walk.
Henry has the following stat-line through three appearances––6.1 ip, 5 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 9 k.
Third baseman Alex Buchholz (1/4, 3B) tripled for Frisco's only extra-base hit of the game. DH Alejandro Selen (2/4) added two singles––plus an RBI––in four at-bats.
Arkansas put the game out of reach after Henry exited the game, facing reliever Ryan Rodebaugh. Rodebaugh was tagged for four runs in two-thirds of an inning, giving up three hits and walking two.
Tyler Tufts (1.1 IP) and Ben Rowen (2 IP) finished the game with shutout relief.
W - Jackson (1-0)
SV - McBride (1)
3-3, 1.0 GB
The Pelicans' pitching staff posted their second shutout of the young season on Thursday evening.
Right-handers Luke Jackson, Phil Klein, and Nick McBride combined on the three-hit shutout of the Lynchburg lineup.
Jackson was fantastic in his start, tossing five innings of three-hit ball, walking two and striking out six. Klein walked two batters in his two scoreless frames, and McBride finished the game by retiring all six batters he faced.
Myrtle Beach's offense did just enough to get the ‘W,' plating a solo run in the first followed by one more in the ninth.
DH Rougned Odor, who was lifted in the sixth inning for a pinch hitter, singled once and doubled once in his two trips. He's off to a .348 start this season.
Third baseman Drew Robinson (1/4, 2B) added his first double while Trever Adams (1/3, BB) and Zach Cone (1/4) both singled once.
W - Sadzeck (1-0)
HR - Rua (2)
3-5, 2.0 GB
The Crawdads got back in the win column with a 6-1 victory over Kannapolis on Thursday.
Hickory starting pitcher Connor Sadzeck surrendered a home run to the first hitter he faced, and then he settled in and kept Kannapolis off the scoreboard the rest of the day.
Overall, Sadzeck gave up just that one run in five innings. He yielded three hits, walked one, and struck out four.
Crawdads leadoff hitter Lewis Brinson raised his early-season batting average to .314 by going 3-for-5 with his first double. Left fielder Jordan Akins (2/4, 2B) and right fielder Nomar Mazara (1/4, 2B) also doubled once.
Second baseman Ryan Rua had the big knock of the game for the ‘Dads, as he socked a three-run homer in the third inning.
The Hickory offense whiffed 12 times on Thursday. Third baseman Joey Gallo, who was 0-for-4, took home a hat trick.
Hard-throwing righty Jose Valdespina and southpaw Ryne Slack tossed two scoreless innings apiece to finish out the victory. Slack walked one and struck out four.
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