Rangers Minor League Roundup – 7/1

The Single-A Hickory Crawdads played an all-around strong game on Monday, getting eight scoreless innings from lefty Luis Parra and a home run from first baseman Ronald Guzman. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers system.

AAA: Round Rock 2 – (@) Nashville 3
L - Robertson (2-4)
HR - Bianucci (4)
48-37, 0.0 GU

Round Rock fell in the bottom of the ninth inning, when an error from second baseman Yangervis Solarte––his seventh of the season––allowed Nashville left fielder Khris Davis to cross the plate.

Solarte had his 11-game hitting streak snapped, going 0-for-4 and dropping his batting average to .328.

Although the Express lost on Monday, left-hander Ryan Feierabend (3.75 ERA/.284 BAA) turned in another strong start. The 6-foot-3 hurler gave up two runs in 7.1 innings, scattering eight hits. He struck out three and walked one.

The 27-year-old Feierabend has been outstanding over his last three starts––19.1 ip, 22 h, 5 r, 5 bb, 22 k.

Despite the solid pitching performance, Round Rock's offense collected only two hits in the game. Both runs came via a Mike Bianucci two-run homer, his fourth of the season. He was 1-for-3.

Right fielder Joey Butler (1/4) singled for the club's only other hit. Leury Garcia (0/3, BB), Mike Olt (0/3, BB), and Jim Adduci (1/2, BB) all walked once.

After Feierabend exited the game, righty Cory Burns retired from the disabled list and retired both batters he faced, getting out of the eighth inning.

Nate Robertson then permitted the game-winning run––an unearned run––in two-thirds of a frame.

Player of the Game: LHP Ryan Feierabend
7.1 8 2 2 1 3 2 3.75

AA: Frisco 7 – (@) Northwest Arkansas 4
W - Tufts (2-2)
HR - Martinez (9)
6-6, 0.0 GU (45-37)

The ‘Riders busted out for seven runs on 15 hits to grab Monday's series finale in Northwest Arkansas.

Leadoff man Teodoro Martinez (.280/.323/.415) led the way by going 4-for-5 with a solo home run, his career-best ninth of the season.

The 21-year-old Martinez is having a strong season in Double-A, posting his best numbers at any level. He's hitting .280 with six doubles and nine home runs, drawing 15 walks and striking out 37 times. The outfielder has also stolen 18 bases in 23 attempts.

Tomas Telis raised his batting average to .285 by going 3-for-5 with his 12th double and two RBI. The switch-hitting backstop opened his July on a good note after hitting a season-best .338/.365/.563 in 18 June contests.

Centerfielder Ryan Strausborger (1/4, 2B) and third baseman Alex Buchholz (1/5, 2B) both doubled once, as well. Brett Nicholas (2/5) and Chih-Hsien Chiang (3/5) each had multiple knocks.

On the mound, sinkerballing righty Tyler Tufts (3.54 ERA/.274 BAA) induced 13 ground-ball outs over six innings, yielding three runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out one.

Relievers Jimmy Reyes and Justin Miller both followed by fanning two in a scoreless inning. Randy Henry gave up a run in the ninth while closing it out.

Miller, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, pitched well in his first few outings before scuffling for a two-week period. He has since righted the ship in his last four appearances––4.0 ip, 1 h, 0 er, 0 bb, 7 k.

The 26-year-old Miller has flashed a 92-95 mph fastball––often sitting at 93-94––to go along with a low-to-mid 80s slider and occasional changeup.

Shortstop Hanser Alberto left Monday's game with an apparent injury after going 0-for-3 at the plate, dropping his batting average to .218. His absence caused the ‘Riders to pull their DH.

Player of the Game: LF Teodoro Martinez
5 2 4 0 1 1 0 1 .280

A+: Myrtle Beach 8 – Salem 1 (6 innings – Rain)
W - Lamb (2-0)
6-3, 0.0 GU (46-32)

The Pelicans and Red Sox were abbreviated to six innings on Monday due to rain, but Myrtle Beach had wasted no time in getting runs on the scoreboard.

Myrtle Beach plated eight runs within their first three at-bats and cruised to victory.

Catcher Kellin Deglan (.217/.313/.418) has only played part-time of late, but he made the most of his start on Monday by going 2-for-3 with a double––his seventh–-and three RBI.

Jake Skole (2/3, 2B), Preston Beck (1/2, 2B, HBP), and Rougned Odor (1/3, 2B) also doubled, as well.

The 19-year-old Odor has been perhaps the hottest hitter in the Pelicans' lineup, as he extended his hitting streak to eight games on Monday. He has multiple knocks in six of those contests.

On the season, Odor is hitting an impressive .298/.367/.462 in the pitcher-friendly environment. He opened July with a strong performance on Monday, and he posted a .322/.384/.489 slash line in June.

Odor also now has six doubles over his last six games.

Pelicans right Alec Asher did his job on the mound, although he worked only three innings. Asher tossed scoreless ball, yielding four hits, walking two, and striking out two.

Will Lamb earned the victory after giving up a run in two innings. Righty reliever Taylor Dennis tossed a 1-2-3 sixth to finish the game.

While the game lasted only six innings, all nine hitters in the Pelicans' lineup had at least one hit. Six of them drove home at least one run.

Player of the Game: C Kellin Deglan
3 1 2 1 0 3 0 0 .217

A: Hickory 5 – (@) Savannah 0
W - Parra (4-1)
HR - Guzman (3)
7-4, 0.5 GB (46-35)

The Crawdads played one of their most complete games of the season on Monday to best Savannah 5-0.

Hickory didn't commit an error, plated five runs on seven hits, struck out only eight times, and got phenomenal work from left-handed starting pitcher Luis Parra.

Parra (0.88 ERA/.201 BAA) hurled a career-high eight innings of four-hit shutout ball, walking two and striking out four. He also induced 10 groundouts to just four flyouts.

In nine starts with Hickory, the 21-year-old Parra has the following stat-line––51.0 ip, 37 h, 5 er, 18 bb, 37 k. While he isn't overpowering––his fastball typically sits in the upper-80s and touches 90-91 mph, with the occasional 92––he has shown the ability to throw his fastball, curveball, and changeup for strikes.

Parra has also now worked at least seven innings in each of his last three starts.

At the plate, first baseman Ronald Guzman (.326/.348/.477 in 23 games) was 3-for-5 with his third home run and four RBI. Nick Williams (1/5, 3B) added his eighth triple while Nick Vickerson (1/2, 2B, 3 BB) hit his ninth double and walked three times.

Williams' eight triples rank second in the South Atlantic League. His .616 slugging percentage is third and first on the Hickory club––yes, he's slugging higher than both Ryan Rua (24 HR) and Joey Gallo (23 HR).

Hard-throwing Dominican righty Jose Leclerc punched out two in a perfect ninth inning. The 19-year-old now has 47 strikeouts in 36.1 frames this year.

Player of the Game: LHP Luis Parra
8.0 4 0 0 2 4 0 0.88

SSA: Spokane 3 – (@) Tri-City 1
W - Mendez (1-1)
SV - Sprenger (2)
8-10, 7.0 GB

Indians southpaw Yohander Mendez earned his first state-side victory after dealing another strong performance on Monday.

The 18-year-old southpaw, who stands 6-foot-5, permitted just an unearned run on three hits in five innings, striking out one without walking a batter.

Mendez issued four walks over three innings in his first start with Spokane, but he has since walked only one batter in 14.2 frames. Either way, he has pitched very well in four starts––17.2 ip, 14 h, 2 er, 5 bb, 14 k.

DH Brandon Garcia, a 2012 non-drafted free agent from USC, had perhaps the best game of his pro career, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk.

Garcia had both of Spokane's extra-base hits, and he scored two of their three runs.

Right fielder Ryan Cordell raised his average to a team-leading .254 with two singles in four at-bats. Chris Garia (1/3, HBP) and Barrett Serrato (1/3, BB) both reached base twice.

Garia, who has true 80-grade speed, stole his seventh base in 10 attempts.

Following Mendez, relievers Travis Dean (2 IP), John Straka (1.2 IP), and Justin Sprenger (0.1 IP) all worked scoreless relief.

Player of the Game: LHP Yohander Mendez
5.0 3 1 0 0 1 0 1.02

RK: Surprise Rangers 3 – Goodyear Reds 2 (11 innings)
W - Napiontek (1-0)
HR - Lantigua (2), Moorman (1)
5-5, 1.0 GB

The Rookie Rangers tied Monday's game with a run in the top of the ninth––on Smerling Lantigua's leadoff solo homer––and won it in the bottom of the 10th, getting a walkoff sacrifice fly.

Long before the game ended, left-hander Derek Thompson worked two shutout frames while getting the start. He gave up two hits and struck out two.

David Gates (1 IP) and Anyelo Leclerc (3 IP) allowed one run apiece in relief of Thompson. Ryan Ledbetter (1 IP), Ricardo Rodriguez (2 IP), and Easton Napiontek (1 IP) then combined for four big scoreless innings.

Napiontek, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound righty, was one of the Rangers' later picks in this year's draft. But the 20-year-old hurler has been impressive in the early going, working 5.1 scoreless innings. He has walked two and fanned six.

In addition to Lantigua's solo home run, catcher Charles Moorman (1/4, HR) also went deep in the fourth inning.

Luis Mendez (2/5) and Oliver Caraballo (2/4) both singled twice.

Player of the Game: 3B-1B Smerling Lantigua
3 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 .231

DSL: DSL Rangers 2 – DSL Mets2 1
W - Hernandez (2-0)
SV - Carvallo (3)
21-5, 6.0 GU

The Dominican Rangers are 21-5 this season. Among the primary reasons for their success has been the strikeout-to-walk rate on both sides of the ball. DSL Rangers pitchers are walking few hitters and striking out lots. Meanwhile, the Rangers hitters are rarely punching out, and drawing walks at a high rate.

That was on display in Monday's game, as the Rangers' hitters drew two walks and struck out only two times. Meanwhile, the pitching staff fanned 13 Mets2 hitters and walked just one.

DSL Rangers starter Jonathan Hernandez yielded one run on four hits in six innings, walking one and striking out eight. Albert Decena followed by striking out four in two innings, and Felix Carvallo fanned one in a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Rangers now have a 3.00 ERA as a team this summer. Decena, 22, lowered his ERA to 0.46 in 19.2 relief innings––he has allowed one earned run, walked four, and struck out 30.

Meanwhile, the club's offense plated two runs on six hits––all of which were singles.

Curacao native Sherman Lacrus got the start at DH and singled twice in four at-bats.

Carlos Arroyo (1/3, BB), Elio Castillo (1/4), Kevin Mendoza (1/3), and Rubell Castro (1/3) had the only other knocks.

Castro, who signed with the Rangers out of the Dominican Republic in April, was making his professional debut. He's a 16-year-old outfielder.

Player of the Game: RHP Jonathan Hernandez
6.0 4 1 1 1 8 0 1.00

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