Rangers Minor League Roundup – 6/30

The High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans took home a 10-2 victory on Sunday, moving back into a tie for first place in their division. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers system.

AAA: Round Rock 5 – New Orleans 1
W - Font (1-0)
48-36, 1.0 GU

Round Rock finished off a series victory over the Zephyrs, taking three-of-four and remaining one game above second-place Albuquerque.

Veteran right-hander Scott Richmond (6.80 ERA/.266 BAA) limited New Orleans to one run over 6.1 innings, scattering seven singles while walking one and striking out two. Richmond threw 96 pitches, including 62 strikes.

Round Rock relievers Wilmer Font (0.2 IP), Joakim Soria (1 IP), and Ben Rowen (1 IP) then combined to retire the game's final eight batters over 2.2 perfect innings.

Font, making his Triple-A debut, got a strikeout and a groundout, throwing seven of 12 pitches for strikes. According to Scott Lucas of the Newberg Report, his fastball touched 98 mph.

Soria, making his second rehab appearance with the Express, fanned one in a 1-2-3 eighth inning, throwing 11 pitches. The 29-year-old reliever has now tossed five innings of one-hit shutout ball, striking out seven without walking a batter in five rehab appearances. He has worked two innings with Round Rock, two with Frisco, and one in the rookie Arizona League.

Rowen, a submarining righty, punched out two and induced a groundout in the ninth. Between the Double- and Triple-A levels this season, he has yielded just two earned runs in 38.2 innings––a 0.47 ERA.

Rowen has also logged 24 consecutive scoreless appearances between the two levels. His stat-line during that time––25.0 ip, 13 h, 0 r, 5 bb, 26 k. At Myrtle Beach last season, he had a string of 23 scoreless outings that encompassed 31.2 frames.

Express leadoff man Leury Garcia continued to hit well since returning from the majors, going 3-for-4 with his fourth double and two RBI.

Jose Felix went 2-for-3 with a triple while Mike Olt was 1-for-4 with his 10th double.

In 27 games since returning to Round Rock, Olt has a .255/.364/.520 slash line with a 15 percent walk rate and a 26 percent strikeout rate.

Jared Hoying (2/4) and Mike Bianucci (2/4) both singled twice.

With one single in four at-bats, Yangervis Solarte (.311/.353/.471) extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Player of the Game: RHP Scott Richmond
6.1 7 1 1 1 2 0 6.80

AA: Frisco 5 – (@) Northwest Arkansas 8
L - Pimentel (7-6)
HR - Nicholas (15), Telis (4)
5-6, 0.0 GU (44-37)

All four teams in the Texas League's Southern Division are now tied for first place––and last, in a way––with a 5-6 second-half record.

‘Riders starting pitcher Carlos Pimentel (4.55 ERA/.234 BAA) was tagged for six runs––five earned––on eight hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out eight.

Although the 23-year-old Pimentel was brilliant through April and May, his June was a nightmare. In six starts this month, the righty was 1-5 with a 7.34 ERA, giving up seven home runs. His last four starts have been particularly nightmarish––19.0 ip, 29 h, 24 r, 9 bb, 19 k.

Despite all his recent struggles, Pimentel still ranks second in the Texas League with 99 strikeouts in 89 innings. His 15 home runs allowed are tied for second-most surrendered, however.

First baseman Brett Nicholas (.307/.370/.537) nearly got Frisco back into the game by going 2-for-3 with a home run––his career-high 15th––and three RBI.

Catcher Tomas Telis (.277/.304/.395) was 2-for-4 with his 11th double and his fourth round-tripper.

Although the 22-year-old Telis is hitting .277 on the season, he has drawn only five walks in 50 games played.

Teodoro Martinez (1/3, 2B, BB) added a double, a walk, and his 18th stolen base in 23 attempts.

After Richard Bleier surrendered two runs on five hits in two innings, righty Lisalverto Bonilla fanned two in a perfect eighth inning.

Bonilla recently joined the RoughRiders after coming down from Triple-A Round Rock, where he flashed good stuff but was battered to the tune of a 7.95 ERA in 43 innings.

Player of the Game: C Tomas Telis
4 1 2 1 1 2 0 0 .277

A+: Myrtle Beach 10 – Lynchburg 2 (7 innings – Game 1)
W - Martinez (7-4)

The Pelicans jumped all over the Hillcats in the first game of Sunday's twinbill, plating all 10 runs within the first four innings.

Myrtle Beach first baseman Joe Maloney went 2-for-3 with a double and a hit-by pitch, driving home four runs. Rougned Odor (2/4, 2 2B) added two doubles while Preston Beck (1/3, 3B) tripled.

Odor now has 24 two-baggers on the season, placing him second in the Carolina League. His .828 OPS ranks seventh.

Luis Sardinas (2/3, BB) and Trever Adams (2/3, BB) both singled twice and walked once. Sardinas also swiped his 21st base in 25 tries.

On the mound, starting pitcher Nick Martinez (2.77 ERA/.241 BAA) permitted two runs––one earned––on five hits over 5.1 innings, walking four and striking out four.

The 22-year-old Martinez has now allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts. On the season, he has struck out 70 and walked 29 in 84.1 innings.

Sinkerballing Venezuelan Randol Rojas finished the game with 1.2 scoreless frames, giving up a hit and striking out two.

Player of the Game: 1B Joe Maloney
3 1 2 1 0 4 0 0 .288

A+: Myrtle Beach 3 – Lynchburg 2 (SUSP – Rain)
5-3, 0.0 GU (45-32)

Sunday's nightcap between the Pelicans and Hillcats was suspended due to rain in the third inning. They'll make it up when Lynchburg returns to Myrtle Beach in August.

A: Hickory – (@) Charleston – PPD (Rain)
6-4, 1.5 GB (45-35)

The Crawdads and RiverDogs were washed out by rain on Sunday. They'll make it up as part of a doubleheader on July 29.

SSA: Spokane 10 – (@) Everett 9
W - McElwee (1-0)
SV - Cordell (1), Serrato (1)
7-10, 7.0 GB

Despite entering the contest with a sub-.200 batting average as a team, the Indians busted out for 10 runs on 11 hits on Sunday.

Spokane actually trailed 6-0 through four innings before plating seven in the top of the fifth. They got two more in the seventh and ultimately held on for the victory.

Centerfielder Ryan Cordell had his best game as a professional, going 3-for-5 with a double and a solo home run. He scored three runs and stole his fourth base of the young season.

First baseman Barrett Serrato (1/5, HR) had just one hit, but it was a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

Chris Garia (2/5), Janluis Castro (1/4, BB), Gabriel Roa (1/3, BB, HBP), Marcus Greene (1/4, BB), and Kevin Torres (1/3, BB) all reached base multiple times.

Rangers first-round pick Alex Gonzalez got the start for Spokane and allowed three runs (two earned) in two innings. Kyle Castro (2 IP) and Eric Brooks (1.2 IP) each permitted three runs in relief.

Righty Sam Wolff, the Rangers' sixth-round pick, punched out three in two scoreless innings. Josh McElwee finished the game with 1.1 shutout frames, fanning four.

The 24-year-old McElwee now has 20 strikeouts through 8.1 innings for the Indians this season.

Player of the Game: CF Ryan Cordell
5 3 3 1 1 1 0 1 .237

RK: Surprise Rangers 5 – (@) Goodyear Reds 7
L - Kukuruda (0-1)
4-5, 1.0 GB

Rookie Rangers starter Kevin Sosa didn't factor in the decision on Sunday after he allowed three runs––two earned––in 4.1 innings. He gave up five hits while walking two and striking out four.

After opening his season in the Dominican Summer League, the 18-year-old Sosa has yielded four earned runs in 14 state-side innings over three starts.

Former infielder Brett Anderson helped Sosa get out of the fifth inning, getting two outs without yielding a run.

Another conversion project, former catcher Tim Kennelly, struggled in his first official outing on the mound. The Australian righty failed to retire any of the three hitters he faced, walking two, plunking one, and uncorking two wild pitches.

At the plate, leadoff man Diego Cedeno led the offense by going 2-for-4 with his second double and two RBI. Cleanup hitter Jose Cardona (1/3, 2B, BB) also doubled for the second time.

Luis Mendez (1/4, BB), Smerling Lantigua (1/4, BB), Carlos Garay (0/2, 2 BB), and Steven Teschner (1/3, BB) all reached base twice.

Teschner, a catcher who played at DH on Sunday, was recently signed as a non-drafted free agent.

Player of the Game: LF Diego Cedeno
4 0 2 1 0 2 0 0 .276

DSL: DSL Rangers – OFF
20-5, 5.0 GU

As usual, the Dominican Rangers had Sunday off. They'll return to action on Monday at home against the second-place DSL Mets2.

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