Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/21

Single-A Hickory second baseman Ryan Rua continued to show power on Tuesday, as he went 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs, and six RBI. He now leads the South Atlantic League with 13 round-trippers. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers system.

AAA: Round Rock 6 – Reno 0
W - Perez (1-1)
HR - Solarte (4), Buchholz (2)
24-21, 2.5 GB

With Tuesday's shutout victory, the Express have now tossed 18 consecutive scoreless innings to start their series with Reno.

Making his second Triple-A start this season, Rangers top pitching prospect Martin Perez needed just 77 pitches to complete seven innings of three-hit shutout ball. He struck out seven without issuing a walk.

After giving up a trio of base runners during the first three innings, the 22-year-old Perez settled down and retired the final 14 batters he faced.

Perez is inching his way back to spring training form, when he pitched well and appeared a lock for the Rangers' no. 5 starter job before suffering the broken left wrist. The Venezuelan has continued to flash excellent velocity, working in the low-to-mid 90s and topping out at 96 mph.

Hitting in the eight hole, third baseman Alex Buchholz went 2-for-3 with a double and a solo home run, his second in as many days.

The 25-year-old Buchholz opened the season by hitting .247/.295/.427 in 23 contests for Double-A Frisco. He earned a promotion to Round Rock when Mike Olt went on the disabled list, and in 11 Triple-A games, he's 13-for-39 (.333) with six doubles and two round-trippers.

Second baseman Yangervis Solarte (.275/.326/.383) added a single and a two-run shot––his fourth––in four at-bats.

Left fielder Aaron Cunningham (.295/.377/.438) went 3-for-4 with his 15th double. The two-bagger was his seventh in eight games. Jim Adduci (1/3, 2B) also doubled.

Sidearming reliever Johan Yan (2.81 ERA/.245 BAA) finished the shutout with a pair of scoreless innings, working around two hits and a walk. He struck out four.

Fellow right-handers are now batting just .154 versus Yan this season. His total stat line––25.2 ip, 23 h, 8 er, 8 bb, 27 k.

Player of the Game: LHP Martin Perez
7.0 3 0 0 0 7 0 3.00

AA: Frisco – OFF
24-20, 1.0 GB

The entire Texas League was quiet on Tuesday. Frisco traveled to Springfield, where they will begin a three-game series on Wednesday evening.

A+: Myrtle Beach 3 – Carolina 2 (11 innings)
W - Harvey (4-0)
28-16, 5.5 GU

With Edwin Garcia's pinch-hit walkoff single in the bottom of the 11th inning, the Pelicans improved to an incredible 17-4 at home this season.

Long before the game concluded, lefty Victor Payano (3.80 ERA/.195 BAA) got the start and allowed two runs over five innings. Payano had to work his way out of trouble, as he permitted three hits and walked four. He also struck out five.

The 20-year-old Dominican, who stands 6-foot-5, has yielded just 33 hits in 47.1 innings this season. He has been particularly strong over his last three starts––18.2 ip, 8 h, 3 r, 9 bb, 18 k.

At the plate, catcher Kellin Deglan (.221/.328/.510) led the offensive attack by going 2-for-4 with his fourth double of the campaign.

Left fielder Chris Grayson (1/3, 2 BB) singled once, walked twice, and stole his eighth base. Luis Sardinas (1/5) added his 14th steal.

Third baseman Drew Robinson swiped his first two bags of the season while going 1-for-3 with a pair of free passes.

The Pelicans' bullpen was lock-down for the final six innings. Joe Van Meter (2 IP), Will Lamb (1.2 IP), Randol Rojas (1.1 IP), and Ryan Harvey (1 IP) combined for the shutout relief.

Van Meter (2.25 ERA/.242 BAA) retired all six batters he faced, fanning a pair.

Player of the Game: LHP Victor Payano
5.0 3 2 2 4 5 0 3.80

A: Hickory 7 – Greenville 2
W - Stafford (1-4)
HR - Rua (12, 13)
25-19, 2.5 GB

With a 7-2 victory on Tuesday, Hickory sent Greenville to its ninth loss in 10 games. While the young Crawdads are playing well with a 25-19 record, the Drive currently sit at the bottom of the Sally League with a 13-32 mark.

The Crawdads got plenty of power from cleanup-hitting second baseman Ryan Rua, who went 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs, and six RBI.

Rua (.248/.364/.614) now leads the Sally League with 13 round-trippers in 42 games. Seven of those home runs have come within his last 10 contests. After hitting just .225 in April, the 23-year-old Rua has posted a .277/.377/.738 slash line in May.

Rua's first home run––a solo shot–-was Hickory's only hit in five innings against fireballing Red Sox prospect Francellis Montas, who fanned eight. The Crawdads plated six runs in three innings off Francisco Taveras.

On the mound for Hickory, lefty Andrew Faulkner scattered four hits and a walk over five scoreless innings. Although he didn't record a strikeout, he induced 10 groundouts to five flyouts.

Sam Stafford, who has moved into the bullpen after scuffling in the starting rotation, earned the victory despite yielding two runs on three hits in one inning. He struck out two.

Righties Ryan Bores (2 IP) and Jose Leclerc (1 IP) finished the game with three total shutout frames. Since getting out to an inconsistent start, the 19-year-old Leclerc––who sits in the mid-90s with his fastball––has pitched well in his last four outings––5.1 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 1 bb, 6 k.

Catcher Jorge Alfaro raised his batting average to .248 with two singles in four at-bats.

Nomar Mazara went 0-for-2 but walked twice, giving him seven walks in his last six contests. Mazara went through a brutal April but is hitting a respectable .271/.377/.390 in 18 games this month.

Player of the Game: 2B Ryan Rua
4 3 3 1 2 6 0 0 .248

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