Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/15

Powered by a nine-run inning and strong pitching from lefty Victor Payano, the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans returned to their winning ways on Wednesday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock – OFF
20-19, 3.5 GB

The Express traveled back to Round Rock on Wednesday. They'll begin a series against Colorado Springs on Thursday.

AA: Frisco 4 – Midland 8
L - Pucetas (4-4)
HR - Martinez (2, 3)
20-19, 3.0 GB

The RoughRiders fell into an early 8-0 hole when starting pitcher Kevin Pucetas (5.32 ERA/.301 BAA) was tagged for eight runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings, walking four and striking out one.

The 28-year-old Pucetas pitched well in five of his first six starts this season, but his last two outings have been messy––8.1 ip, 15 h, 13 r, 5 bb, 4 k.

Perhaps the lone bright spot for Frisco on Wednesday was nine-hole hitting left fielder Teodoro Martinez, who went 4-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI.

Martinez (.263/.306/.388) isn't known for his power––he entered the year with 10 career round-trippers over four seasons. Since hitting just .175 with one extra-base hit in April, the 21-year-old outfielder has posted a .350 batting average with three homers in 12 May contests.

Third baseman Guilder Rodriguez (1/3, 2 BB) and catcher Tomas Telis (1/4) singled for Frisco's only other hits on the afternoon.

Jared Hoying went hitless in five at-bats, striking out once. Hoying impressed in 24 April games, hitting .293/.363/.543 and tapping into some of his raw power. But in his first 13 games this month, he's just 7-for-52 (.135) with one double, dropping his average to .236.

Right-handed relievers Phil Klein (2 IP), Ben Rowen (2.2 IP), and Wilmer Font (1 IP) combined to toss 5.2 scoreless innings to finish the game.

Klein, 24, has the following stat-line in five Double-A appearances––9.1 ip, 7 h, 2 er, 7 bb, 14 k.

Font now has 26 strikeouts and 12 walks through 18 innings, yielding one earned run on six hits.

Player of the Game: LF Teodoro Martinez
4 2 4 0 2 4 0 0 .263

A+: Myrtle Beach 9 – (@) Winston-Salem 2
W - Payano (4-2)
25-14, 6.5 GU

The Pelicans sent 13 men to the plate and scored nine in the top of the third inning. That was all they'd need to cruise to victory.

On the mound, left-hander Victor Payano (3.83 ERA/.197 BAA) turned in another strong outing. The 20-year-old prospect limited the Dash to one run on three hits over 6.2 innings, walking two and fanning four.

During his current stretch, the 6-foot-5 Payano is consistently pitching deep into games for the first time in his career. He has logged at least six innings in each of his last four starts, pitching at least into the seventh inning three times.

For the season, Payano has yielded 30 hits in 42.1 innings, walking 17 and striking out 50. His 50 punchouts currently rank second in the Carolina League.

Leadoff man Luis Sardinas (.290/.350/.352) led the offensive attack, going 4-for-5 with his second triple and three RBI. The switch-hitting Sardinas, who turns 20 on Thursday, is hitting .326 over his last 10 games.

Catcher Kellin Deglan (1/5, 3B) also tripled and drove home three runs. Royce Bolinger (1/4, 2B) doubled while Rougned Odor (2/2) singled in both of his at-bats before being lifted.

Odor, Sardinas' 19-year-old double-play partner, is hitting .293/.364/.489 with 10 steals in 11 tries through 36 games.

Righty reliever Jose Monegro, recently promoted from extended spring training, struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings. Paul Schwendel gave up a run in the ninth to finish the game.

Player of the Game: LHP Victor Payano
6.2 3 1 1 2 4 0 3.83

A: Hickory 8 – West Virginia 7 (10 innings)
W - Burns (1-0)
HR - Gallo (11), Rua (9), Lyon (1), Vickerson (1)
21-17, 2.0 GB

Wednesday's game between the Crawdads and Power was a back-and-forth affair. West Virginia knotted the game by scoring three in the top of the ninth. They took the lead with a run in the 10th, but Hickory came back with two and the walkoff victory.

Jordan Akins tied the game when he reached on a throwing error. David Lyon then won it with a run-scoring single to center.

Lyon, who was 2-for-5, also belted a solo home run in the sixth inning.

The Crawdads also got solo shots from 3B Joey Gallo (2/5, 2B, HR), LF Nick Vickerson (1/4, HR, BB), and DH Ryan Rua (1/2, HR, 3 BB).

For his second consecutive start, big righty Connor Sadzeck pitched well but was bitten by one poor inning. Overall, Sadzeck worked five innings and gave up three runs. He allowed five hits, walked one, and fanned four.

After Ryan Bores worked 2.2 scoreless frames out of the bullpen, Cody Kendall was tagged for three runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Joe Burns picked up the ‘W' despite allowing a run in the top of the 10th.

Shortstop Luis Marte (1/4, 2B) hit his second double and committed his 15th error of the season.

Leadoff man Lewis Brinson went 1-for-5, striking out four times. The talented outfielder has now whiffed 65 times in his first 37 games this season.

To the surprise of nobody, the Crawdads lead the South Atlantic League in both home runs (61––next closest has 36) and strikeouts (404––next closest has 342). They're hitting 1.6 home runs per game and whiffing 10.6 times per game.

Player of the Game: DH Ryan Rua
2 2 1 0 1 1 3 1 .228

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