Minor League Roundup - 4/14

Solid pitching and timely hitting was the theme for the Rangers' minor league affiliates on Saturday. Rangers Insider takes a look at all of the action.

AAA: Oklahoma 5 – Memphis 2
W – Simon (1-1)
SV – Francisco (1)

The Oklahoma pitching shined on Saturday, as they held the Memphis Redbirds to just two runs on two hits.

Starting pitcher Alfredo Simon (2.70 ERA/.133 BAA) allowed two runs on two hits in eight spectacular innings. The right-hander, whose fastball touched as high as 96 MPH several times, walked four and struck out four.

Simon had a whirlwind offseason after the Rangers signed him to a minor league contract. The 25-year-old, who had struggled between Double-A and Triple-A in 2006, posted a 1.72 ERA over 31.1 innings in the Dominican Winter League early in the offseason.

Because he was not protected on the 40-man roster, the Rangers worried that other clubs had taken notice of Simon's success. Just before the Rule 5 draft, the club pulled him out of the Dominican Winter League, citing medical issues. The attempt to slide the 6-foot-4 hurler through the draft failed, however, and he was selected by the Orioles. The Orioles then shipped Simon off to the Phillies for catcher Adam Donachie.

But Simon struggled in the spring, giving up six runs in 4.1 innings of work. Philadelphia decided that the native of the Dominican Republic would not crack the big league roster and returned him to Texas. The Rangers placed him at Triple-A Oklahoma, where he currently resides in the rotation.

Despite the outstanding performance from Simon, the ‘Hawks needed the bats to come through as well. Third baseman Tug Hulett (1/2) provided a game-tying RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Second baseman Dave Matranga (2/3) later broke the tie with a run-scoring triple in the bottom of the seventh.

The RedHawks scored their final run of the night on a double off the bat of Marlon Byrd. Byrd was 2-for-4 in the contest.

Reliever Frank Francisco continued to dominate, as he struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth inning. After walking the first hitter he faced on four pitches, Frankie proceeded to fan the side on nine pitches. The right-hander featured a fastball that ranged between 94-96 MPH.

Star of the game: RHP Alfredo Simon
8.0 2 2 2 4 4 1 2.70

AA: Frisco 1 – (@) Arkansas 3 (7 innings/Game 1)
L – Galarraga (0-1)

The RoughRiders faced a tough assignment in game one of Saturday's twinbill, as they went up against top prospect Nick Adenhart.

Adenhart, who had allowed just one hit in 5.1 innings in his Double-A debut, gave up one run in six innings on Saturday evening.

Frisco's lone run came on an RBI groundout from Steve Murphy in the top of the first inning.

Starting pitcher Armando Galarraga (2.38 ERA/.184 BAA) yielded three runs on four hits over five innings. Galarraga battled with control issues, as he walked four, hit a batter, and threw a wild pitch. After allowing a three-run first, the righty settled down to toss four scoreless frames.

Star of the game: RHP Michael Bumstead
1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 14.73

AA: Frisco 4 – (@) Arkansas 2 (10 innings/Game 2)
W – Puffer (1-0)
SV – Ingram (2)
HR – Mahar (2)

Though the game was only scheduled for seven innings, the RoughRiders ended up playing a full game plus one inning anyway.

Starting pitcher Steve Rowe did his job, permitting two runs on three hits over four innings.

Twenty-eight-year-old southpaw Kenneth Chenard (7 IP/.048 BAA) followed with three spectacular innings of relief. Chenard retired all nine batters he faced, punching out five.

After starting the season on the disabled list, first baseman Jim Fasano made his 2007 debut. Fasano singled twice in five at-bats.

Center fielder Todd Donovan and left fielder Steve Murphy also had two singles in five at-bats.

Former undrafted free agent Kevin Mahar (.250/.368/.500) broke the tie with a two-run homer in the top of the tenth inning. Mahar's home run was Frisco's first extra base hit in 17 innings of baseball on Saturday.

Reliever Jesse Ingram picked up the save, as he worked out of a ninth inning jam with a pair of strikeouts.

Player of the game: DH-RF Kevin Mahar
4 1 2 0 1 2 0 1 .250

Jim Fasano had two hits in his first game of the season

A+: Bakersfield 11 – Modesto 2
W – Bay (1-0)
SV – Batista (1)
HR – Teagarden (2)

Making his first start in the Rangers' organization, native Texan Bear Bay allowed two runs over five innings. The right-hander gave up five hits while walking one and striking out two.

Bay, 23, had a 4.33 ERA in 133 innings with the Cleveland Indians' Double-A affiliate in 2006.

It was a successful day for the Bakersfield bats, as every player in the lineup reached base at least one time.

Leadoff hitter Micah Furtado (.256/.293/.333) picked up three singles and a walk in five plate appearances.

The team's two-hole hitter, Taylor Teagarden (.385/.590/.731), was 1-for-3 with two walks and a three-run homer. The home run was Teagarden's second of the year.

Right fielder John Mayberry (.273/.304/.500) was only 1-for-5, but his one hit was a triple. Shortly after his two-out triple, Mayberry flashed his speed by stealing home on Modesto pitcher Darric Merrell.

First baseman Freddie Thon (2/4) singled twice and DH Chris Davis (2/4) singled and doubled. After falling into a slump, Davis has gone 6-for-12 with two doubles, a triple, and two home runs in his last three games.

Righty Kendy Batista (10 K/0 BB) gave up just one hit in four innings. Batista did not issue a walk and struck out five.

The 25-year-old native of Venezuela, who is pitching in the U.S. for the first time in his career, has allowed two runs on six hits in 11 innings this year. He has fanned ten without walking a batter.

Player of the game: RHP Kendy Batista
4.0 1 0 0 0 4 0 1.64

A: Clinton 2 – Beloit 1 (10 innings)
W – Gudex (1-0)

The L-Kings kept with the trend of great pitching, as no affiliate allowed more than three runs on Saturday.

Southpaw Zach Phillips, 20, struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings. The Sacramento native recorded strikeouts on both his fastball and above-average curve. Phillips allowed one run on three hits and a walk.

Beloit starter Jeff Manship, a product of San Antonio's Reagan High School and Notre Dame, matched Phillips pitch-for-pitch. The righty, who was once said to possess one of the best curveballs for a high school pitcher in the last 15 years, fanned 10 while allowing one unearned run in 5.2 frames.

Left fielder Chad Tracy (2/5) had both runs batted in for Clinton.

Right fielder Grant Gerrard (.435/.500/.609) was 2-for-4 with a double, his fourth in seven games.

Yale product Jon Hollis did not yield a hit in 1.2 innings of relief.

Tim Gudex, a nondrafted free agent out of the University of Iowa, picked up the victory after blanking the Snappers for three innings. Gudex gave up just one hit and struck out five.

Player of the game: LHP Zach Phillips
5.1 3 1 1 1 8 1 6.48

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