Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/17

The High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans took Friday's series opener against Wilmington, 12-0, behind a solid all-around performance. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 7 – Colorado Springs 4
W - Wolf (1-1)
SV - Cotts (1)
HR - McGuiness (6)
21-20, 3.5 GB

Although veteran righty Ross Wolf has been a reliever through practically his entire 12-year pro career, he's showing little issue with his recent move into Round Rock's starting rotation.

The 30-year-old Wolf tossed a career-high seven innings on Friday, limiting Colorado Springs to three runs–-two earned. He gave up five hits, walked two, and struck out six.

In six starts with the Express, Wolf has the following stat-line––34.0 ip, 27 h, 7 er, 9 bb, 25 k.

The Round Rock offense busted out in the victory, plating seven runs on 13 hits.

First baseman Chris McGuiness (.267/.393/.504) launched a big two-run homer––his sixth––in the seventh inning. He was 1-for-3 with that round-tripper and a walk.

McGuiness is now hitting .321/.449/.536 in 15 games this month.

Jurickson Profar (.264/.360/.386), playing second base on Friday, went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. The 20-year-old prospect is beginning to heat up, hitting .378 over his last nine games.

Engel Beltre (1/2, 2B) and Aaron Cunningham (1/4, 2B) also doubled. Beltre added a sacrifice bunt and a sac fly. DH Alex Buchholz singled three times in four at-bats.

Speedy right fielder Jim Adduci had a single and a walk in his four trips.

With closer Cory Burns recently promoted to the major leagues, the Express relied on a pair of southpaws to finish Friday's game. Nate Robertson (3.38 ERA/.328 BAA) gave up an unearned run––via his own error––while striking out two in the eighth.

Neal Cotts (0.82 ERA/.178 BAA) struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth, earning his first save. He has now fanned 40 hitters in 22 innings this season, walking just five. Fellow lefties are 0-for-27 against him with 21 K's.

Oddly enough, Cotts was never a big splits guy during his long big-league career. In fact, he was slightly better against right-handed hitters than lefties. It's certainly hard to ignore his current dominance in Round Rock, however, and if he keeps it up, he should get a look in Arlington at some point this season.

Player of the Game: RHP Ross Wolf
7.0 5 3 2 2 6 0 1.85

AA: Frisco 12 – San Antonio 1
W - Pimentel (5-1)
HR - Hoying (5), Chiang (3, 4), Zaneski (2)
22-19, 2.0 GB

The ‘Riders jumped on top early with five first-inning runs off Padres prospect Matt Wisler.

Wisler, making his second Double-A start, surrendered back-to-back homers against Frisco catcher Zach Zaneski and DH Chih-Hsien Chiang.

Zaneski, who was 2-for-4 with a walk, launched a three-run shot. It was followed by Chiang's solo homer. He also added a two-run round-tripper later in the contest.

Frisco hit four total home runs in the game, also getting an eighth-inning grand slam from right fielder Jared Hoying. Hoying was 1-for-4 with that shot and a walk.

On the mound, righty Carlos Pimentel (2.93 ERA/.209 BAA) worked five innings of one-run ball, yielding three hits while walking one and striking out six. He now has 57 strikeouts with just 12 walks in 46 innings this season.

Making his official 2013 debut, former Cardinals right-hander Kyle McClellan worked around a hit and a walk in a scoreless inning. He struck out one, throwing 11 of his 19 pitches for strikes.

Justin Miller followed by logging his first official appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery following the 2011 season. The hard-throwing reliever tossed a scoreless seventh inning on just 10 pitches, striking out one.

Ben Rowen (0.87 ERA/.243 BAA) fanned three while keeping San Antonio off the scoreboard for the game's final two innings.

Third baseman Alejandro Selen (3/4, 3B) singled twice, tripled once, and committed two errors in the field. Ryan Strausborger (1/4, 3B) also tripled while Odubel Herrera (2/5, 2B) and Brett Nicholas (1/3, 2B, BB) both doubled.

Overall, the RoughRiders plated 12 runs on 13 hits, including eight extra-base knocks.

Player of the Game: DH Chih-Hsien Chiang
5 2 2 0 2 3 0 0 .203

A+: Myrtle Beach 12 – (@) Wilmington 0
W - Asher (4-2)
HR - Bolinger (4)
27-14, 7.5 GU

The Pelicans' offense plated 12 runs for the second consecutive day, and the pitching staff recorded its fourth shutout of the season in Friday's series opener.

Myrtle Beach starter Alec Asher (2.70 ERA/.197 BAA) scattered five hits over six scoreless innings, striking out five without issuing a walk.

In Asher's first two appearances this season, he coughed up a whopping nine runs on nine hits over 3.2 innings. His numbers in seven starts since––43.0 ip, 25 h, 8 er (1.67 ERA), 9 bb, 39 k.

During that seven-start stretch, the 21-year-old Asher has logged at least six innings six times, and he hasn't permitted more than three runs in any outing.

Centerfielder Royce Bolinger put the Pelicans on top early with his three-run blast in the first inning. Bolinger was 2-for-5 overall with that homer and four RBI.

3B Drew Robinson (3/5, 2B), 2B Rougned Odor (3/4, 2B), 1B Trever Adams (1/4, 2B, BB), and RF Preston Beck (1/5, 2B) all doubled once. Odor raised his batting average to .308.

After Asher exited the game, righties Joe Van Meter (1 IP) and Randol Rojas (2 IP) worked three shutout frames to preserve the victory.

Player of the Game: RHP Alec Asher
6.0 5 0 0 0 5 0 2.70

A: Hickory 2 – (@) Delmarva 5
L - Burns (1-1)
HR - Rua (10)
21-19, 4.0 GB

The Crawdads whiffed 18 times while taking the loss on Friday. Delmarva starter and Orioles prospect Brandon Kline struck out 13 batters over 5.2 innings, yielding just two runs.

Hickory's runs came in the top of the first inning, courtesy of a Ryan Rua two-run homer. The second baseman was 2-for-3 with a walk.

Right fielder Nomar Mazara (2/3, 2B, BB) and Joe Maloney (1/4, 2B) both doubled. Mazara also added a single and a base on balls.

The Crawdads' 18 strikeouts included an 0-for-5, five punchout game from leadoff hitter Lewis Brinson. Shortstop Nick Urbanus whiffed in all four of his plate appearances, and catcher Jorge Alfaro was 0-for-4 with three K's.

Hickory starting pitcher Tyler Smith pitched well and didn't factor in the decision. The righty gave up just an unearned run in five innings, yielding four hits, walking two, and striking out three.

Hard-throwing righty Jose Valdespina punched out two in a scoreless ninth inning. He worked around a single.

Player of the Game: 2B Ryan Rua
3 1 2 0 1 2 1 0 .233

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