L - Robertson (0-1)
19-15, 2.5 GB
After trailing 4-0 early in the contest, Round Rock stormed into the lead by plating five runs in the top of the seventh inning. But they gave up two in the eighth and ultimately lost 6-5.
The Express fell into an early hole when right-hander Colby Lewis, making his first rehab start with an affiliate, allowed three runs in two innings of work. Throwing 23 of his 41 pitches for strikes, Lewis yielded four hits while walking two and striking out two.
At the plate, first baseman Chris McGuiness continued his hot hitting by going 2-for-4 with a triple––his first–-and three RBI.
Left fielder Aaron Cunningham (2/4, 2 2B) doubled twice in four at-bats while Engel Beltre (1/4, 2B, BB) and Alex Buchholz (1/4, 2B) both doubled once.
Sinkerballing southpaw Richard Bleier was uncharacteristically wild on Thursday, but he kept the Express in the game with a solid long relief effort. Although he walked four batters and allowed four hits in 3.1 innings, Bleier limited the damage to just one run.
Johan Yan (1.2 IP) and Cory Burns (0.2 IP) both pitched scoreless ball out of the bullpen. But lefty Nate Robertson suffered the loss after giving up two runs on two hits in one-third of a frame.
W - Ramirez (3-0)
SV - Font (5)
HR - Nicholas (7), Chiang (1)
18-15, 1.0 GB
Frisco starting pitcher Neil Ramirez (2.75 ERA/.155 BAA) worked a season-best 6.2 innings en route to earning the victory. The hard-throwing righty limited Corpus Christi to three runs––one earned––on four hits, walking one and striking out nine.
The 23-year-old hurler has the following stat-line through seven starts––36.0 ip, 18 h, 11 er, 18 bb, 44 k.
While Frisco's pitching did its job, the bats plated all six runs in their final four at-bats.
First baseman Brett Nicholas (2/4, HR) and left fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang (1/3, HR, BB) both blasted solo round-trippers.
Third baseman Guilder Rodriguez, not typically known for his power, was 3-for-4 with his third double. He also stole his fifth base.
Hanser Alberto (2/4) and Tomas Telis (2/4) both singled twice. The suddenly hot-hitting Telis raised his batting average to .260.
Ramirez actually worked the first five innings without yielding a run, but he began to tire in the sixth and seventh. Phil Klein yielded an unearned run while recording the final out of the seventh.
Closer Wilmer Font (0.56 ERA/.098 BAA) then slammed the door with a pair of shutout frames, giving up a hit, walking one, and punching out three.
W - Jackson (4-1)
20-13, 3.5 GU
The Pelicans jumped out to a big early lead and didn't look back, cruising to a 12-3 victory after leading 10-0 at one point.
Myrtle Beach righty Luke Jackson (1.72 ERA/.230 BAA) turned in another solid effort, as he worked five innings of four-hit shutout ball. He walked two and struck out six.
Through seven starts this season, the 21-year-old Jackson has permitted just six runs on 26 hits in 31.1 frames, walking 13 and striking out 36.
Second baseman Rougned Odor bumped his average up to .295 by going 3-for-4 with a triple, a walk, three RBI, and four runs scored.
Although Myrtle Beach scored 12 runs, Odor's triple was the club's only extra-base hit.
Drew Robinson (2/4) and Trever Adams (2/5) both singled twice. Leadoff man Jake Skole singled once and walked three times in five trips.
W - Edwards (3-1)
SV - Claudio (4)
19-13, 0.5 GB
The Crawdads got more excellent pitching from ace righty C.J. Edwards and closer Alexander Claudio on Thursday.
Edwards (2.27 ERA/.181 BAA) needed only 82 pitches to complete a career-high seven innings pitched. The South Carolina native yielded a run on four hits while walking one and striking out eight.
Claudio (1.88 ERA/.148 BAA) closed out the game with two hitless, scoreless frames. He struck out three.
Through 24 innings, the sidearming lefty has allowed 12 hits, walked four, and struck out 32.
Hickory won the game despite getting only two runs on five hits. They struck out 14 times.
Right fielder Nomar Mazara (2/4) led the way with two singles and the club's only RBI. Joe Maloney (1/4), Jorge Alfaro (1/3, BB), and Joey Gallo (1/4) had the other knocks.
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