Minor League Roundup - 4/20

The Single-A Clinton LumberKings headlined Friday's minor league action, as third baseman John Whittleman hit two home runs and southpaw Glenn Swanson allowed just one unearned run over eight innings.

AAA: Oklahoma 4 – Nashville 5
L – German (0-1)

In a game where the wind was blowing hard out to left field, Nashville starting pitcher and Texas A&M product Zach Jackson did a good job of keeping the ball on the ground and in the park.

Oklahoma starter Josh Rupe (4.24 ERA/.266 BAA) struggled with his command, as he allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings. Rupe, who walked four and fanned just one, gave up a two-run homer to Nashville first baseman Brad Nelson in the top of the sixth inning.

Ezequiel Astacio (0.00 ERA/.130 BAA) fanned the side in the sixth after walking a hitter and allowing an infield single.

Right fielder Marlon Byrd (.381/.447/.500) was 1-for-2 with a walk and a double.

First baseman Kevin West, playing in his third game with the RedHawks, was 2-for-4 with a double.

Second baseman Dave Matranga came up with a game-tying two-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning. He was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in.

Though Jason Botts (.179/.281/.268) was hitless in four at-bats, he flashed his arm by gunning down a runner at home from left field.

Reliever Wes Littleton walked one in two innings of hitless ball.

Littleton, who is typically a sidearming sinkerball specialist, often worked out of the three-quarters arm slot and threw 94 MPH four-seam fastballs in his outing. The style was reminiscent of Littleton's days as a starting pitcher at Cal State Fullerton.

Player of the game: 2B Dave Matranga
4 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 .290

AA: Frisco 11 – Corpus Christi – 4
W – Galarraga (1-1)
HR – Mahar (3)

Despite allowing ten hits – five doubles – in just 5.1 innings, righty Armando Galarraga (3.24 ERA/.266 BAA) gave up just three runs without the benefit of a double play. Galarraga, who walked two and struck out two, picked up his first win of the season.

The Frisco offense gave Galarraga plenty of run support, as right fielder Kevin Mahar led the way, going 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and a walk. Mahar also gunned down a runner at the plate.

Left fielder Steve Murphy (.380/.436/.540) was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles.

First baseman Emerson Frostad (3/5), DH Jim Fasano (2/4, BB), and second baseman German Duran (3/4, 2B) also made significant contributions.

Former Houston Astro Brandon Puffer allowed one hit while fanning two in 1.1 innings to close out the victory.

Player of the game: RF Kevin Mahar
4 2 2 0 1 3 1 0 .268

A+: Bakersfield 0 – (@) Modesto 5
L – Bay (1-1)

The suddenly slumping Bakersfield offense continued to struggle on Friday, as the Blaze were able to scratch out just five hits against the Modesto pitching staff.

CF Terry Blunt, second baseman Micah Furtado, and catcher Brian Valichka each had one single.

Starting pitcher Bear Bay battled, but was hung with the loss. Bay yielded three runs – two earned – on six hits over six innings. The native Texan walked two and fanned eight.

Reliever Jon Wilson followed Bay with a scoreless seventh inning.

Player of the game: RHP Ronald Bay
6.0 6 3 2 2 8 0 3.27

A: Clinton 3 – (@) West Michigan 1
W – Swanson (3-0)
SV – Gudex (1)
HR – Whittleman (1, 2), Gerrard (1)

The LumberKings only had four hits on Friday, but they made each of them count. All four hits went for extra bases, with three clearing the fences at Fifth Third Ballpark.

Third baseman John Whittleman (.325/.449/.550) hit two solo home runs in three at-bats. Whittleman's power has been known to come in bunches, as all nine home runs he hit last year came in the same period.

Right fielder Grant Gerrard (.341/.417/.537) hit the other home run, a solo shot in the top of the fifth.

Chad Tracy doubled for Clinton's other hit.

Starting pitcher Glenn Swanson was excellent once again, as he surrendered just one unearned run on seven hits in eight frames. The southpaw struck out three and did not issue a walk.

Swanson's selection in the 49th round was a misleading one. Limited to just nine innings because of injury in 2005, the Rangers selected UC Irvine product in the 49th round of the 2005 draft. Swanson rebounded with a phenomenal year in 2006, going 9-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 91.1 innings for the Anteaters. The lefty's outstanding 2006 season included a no-hitter against the University of San Diego. Because his school did not make the NCAA postseason, the Rangers were able to sign Swanson as a fifth-year senior draft-and-follow candidate just prior to the 2006 draft.

Player of the game: 3B John Whittleman
3 2 2 0 2 2 0 0 .325

Future Rangers Top Stories