Rangers Minor League Roundup – 4/29

Top prospect Jurickson Profar and the rest of the Triple-A Round Rock lineup helped carry the Express to a series-opening victory at Iowa on Monday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 10 – (@) Iowa 9
W - Cotts (3-1)
SV - Burns (6)
HR - Butler (3), Solarte (3), Cunningham (1)
14-11, 0.5 GB

Through four and a half innings on Monday, the Express and I-Cubs had already combined for a whopping 18 runs––they were locked in a 9-9 tie.

The scoring then settled down until the top of the eighth, when Robinson Chirinos' sacrifice fly brought home shortstop Jurickson Profar to secure the victory for Round Rock.

Former Cubs hurler Randy Wells was socked around the yard on Monday, as he gave up seven runs––four earned––on eight hits in 2.2 innings. Throwing just 37 of his 68 pitches for strikes, Wells walked three and struck out one.

The 30-year-old veteran has scuffled through five starts this season––23.2 ip, 32 h, 16 er, 12 bb, 20 k.

At the plate, Profar (.230/.360/.419) doubled twice and walked twice in six plate appearances.

Even though Profar isn't off to the hottest start through 20 games––he's hitting just .230––the overall results haven't been bad. The 20-year-old prospect has four doubles, two triples, and two home runs. He has drawn 15 walks and whiffed 15 times.

On Monday, the Round Rock lineup belted five doubles and three home runs while drawing nine walks.

Joey Butler (2/3, 2B, HR) doubled and homered. Yangervis Solarte (2/4, HR) and Aaron Cunningham (1/5, HR) also went deep.

While first baseman Chris McGuiness was 0-for-2, he drew three walks.

Not to be overlooked, leadoff hitter Engel Beltre (.316/.368/.367) singled twice, walked twice, and stole a pair of bases. Beltre is now 9-for-15 on the base paths to open this season.

Out of the bullpen, southpaw Neal Cotts retired all nine batters he faced, striking out six of them, over three perfect innings. The 33-year-old has pitched exceedingly well so far this season––13.2 ip, 8 h, 2 er, 5 bb, 27 k. Yes, that's not a typo––Cotts has 27 strikeouts in 13.2 Triple-A innings.

Cory Burns finished off the game with a scoreless ninth. He has yet to surrender a run in 9.2 innings this season.

Player of the Game: LHP Neal Cotts
3.0 0 0 0 0 6 0 1.32

AA: Frisco 4 – Corpus Christi 2
W - Pucetas (3-2)
SV - Rowen (2)
13-11, 0.0 GU

The RoughRiders, Hooks, Missions, and RockHounds moved into a four-way tie for first place following Monday's action. All four teams in the Texas League's South Division have a 13-11 record.

Veteran righty Kevin Pucetas (3.45 ERA/.259 BAA) helped lead his team to victory, logging at least seven innings for the third time in five starts this season.

Pucetas limited Corpus Christi's bats to two runs on five hits over seven innings. He struck out seven, walked only two, and induced 11 ground-ball outs.

Through five starts, Pucetas is inducing nearly three groundouts per airout.

Monday's pitching-dominated game was plated in just two hours and twelve minutes.

Second baseman Guilder Rodriguez (2/3, 2B) and right fielder Jared Hoying (1/3, 2B, BB) both doubled. Third baseman Alex Buchholz (2/4) and left fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang (1/3, BB) also reached base multiple times.

After going 1-for-4, shortstop Hanser Alberto extended his modest hitting streak to six games. The 20-year-old prospect is 9-for-23 over that span, walking twice and striking out once.

Reliever Ryan Rodebaugh fanned all three batters he faced––while throwing just 13 pitches––in a perfect eighth inning. Ben Rowen picked up his second save with a scoreless ninth, working around a single and inducing three groundouts.

Player of the Game: RHP Kevin Pucetas
7.0 5 2 2 2 7 1 3.45

A+: Myrtle Beach – (@) Frederick – PPD (Rain)
14-9, 1.5 GU

The Pelicans and Keys were washed out on Monday. They'll play a doubleheader on Tuesday evening, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

A: Hickory – (@) Hagerstown – PPD (Rain)
14-10, 1.0 GU

The final game of Hickory's series with Hagerstown was postponed due to rain.

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