Minor League Roundup - 4/5

All the way from Kevin Millwood to Neftali Feliz, Saturday was yet another solid night for pitching in the Rangers organization. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Oklahoma 7 – Memphis 1
W – Mathis (1-0)
HR – Shelton (2), Roberts (1)
2-1, 1.0 GB

Doug Mathis opened his 2008 season with an outstanding performance, as he needed just 93 pitches to get through eight innings. The righty surrendered one run on five hits, walking none and fanning four. Mathis recorded 15 ground ball outs versus four flyouts, evidence that his excellent sinker was working well.

First baseman Chris Shelton went deep for the second time in as many nights, this time providing a monster three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning. The former Detroit Tiger also walked in the contest.

Ryan Roberts added a solo home run, his first of the year. The third baseman also committed his fourth error in the last two games.

Backstop Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 2-for-4 with a run batted in. He also picked off Cardinals top prospect Colby Rasmus at first base.

Joaquin Arias broke his 0-for-9 mini-slump with two singles – including a stolen base – in four at-bats.

German Duran (1/4, 2B, BB) picked up his first Triple-A extra-base hit while Brandon Boggs (1/3, BB) picked up his first Triple-A hit.

Reliever Frank Francisco hurled a hitless ninth inning to finish the game.

Player of the Game: RHP Doug Mathis
8.0 5 1 1 0 4 0 1.13

AA: Frisco 7 – (@) Springfield 4 (11 innings)
W – Gonzalez (1-0)
HR – Fox (1), Ramirez (1), Teagarden (1)
3-0, 0.0 GU

Lefty Mike Ballard made it three strong starts in three days for the RoughRiders, giving the club six solid innings. The former Virginia Cavalier yielded two runs on five hits, walking one and fanning six.

Adam Fox won it with his home run.
It took until the top of the sixth inning for the Frisco offense to get rolling, but catching prospects Taylor Teagarden (1/4, HR, 2 BB) and Max Ramirez (1/4, HR, BB) were able to give their club a quick 3-2 lead when they hit back-to-back home runs.

Although Frisco had 10 hits in the contest, right fielder John Mayberry was the only player to record multiple knocks. He was 2-for-5 with a double and a walk.

Adam Fox had the game's biggest hit, as his two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning put Frisco up for good. The round-tripper was his first of the season.

Right-handed relief pitcher Alfredo Gonzalez helped the ‘Riders pick up the extra-inning victory with three scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out three.

Player of the Game: 2B-3B Adam Fox
4 1 1 0 1 2 1 1 .250

A+: Bakersfield 3 – San Jose 4
L – Falcon (0-1)
0-3, 3.0 GB

Like Tommy Hunter and Zach Phillips before him, Omar Poveda was a little more erratic than usual in his first start of the season. The righty, who is normally a control freak, hit one batter, threw a wild pitch, and walked two in 4 2/3 innings.

Though Poveda did not make it through the fifth inning, he only surrendered two runs. He also struck out six.

Left fielder Grant Gerrard continued his hot start by going 1-for-3 with a base on balls.

John Whittleman appeared in his first game of the season and reached base three times. He singled and walked twice.

First baseman Mauro Gomez went 2-for-4 with a double and the team's lone run batted in.

Leadoff man Julio Borbon went hitless in five at-bats, dropping him to 2-for-14 in the season's first three games.

Player of the Game: 3B John Whittleman
2 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 .500

A: Clinton 1 – Cedar Rapids – 0 (7 innings – Game 1)
W – Reed (1-0)
SV – Lueke (1)

After Evan Reed posted a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings with the L-Kings last season, it was somewhat of a surprise that he opened the '08 season with Clinton.

Reed tossed six scoreless in his 2008 debut.
The right-hander went up against hard-throwing Angels prospect [and Fort Worth native] Jordan Walden today and was obviously up to the challenge.

Reed picked up where he left off last season, tossing six shutout innings with two walks and six punchouts.

Infielders Renny Osuna (2/3) and Ian Gac (1/2, BB) each tripled, but neither player was a factor in Clinton's lone run of the game.

In the bottom of the second inning, outfielder David Paisano singled and stole second base. He was then driven home on an RBI double off the bat of DH Cristian Santana, who was 2-for-3 in the game.

Josh Lueke picked up his first save of the year after pitching a 1-2-3 seventh inning. He struck out two.

Player of the Game: RHP Evan Reed
6.0 4 0 0 2 6 0 0.00

A: Clinton 4 – Cedar Rapids – 3 (7 innings – Game 2)
W – Feliz (1-0)
SV – Castillo (1)
HR – Gac (2, 3)
2-1, 1.0 GB

Neftali Feliz's final line doesn't begin to show how well he actually pitched. Feliz allowed two of his three runs after he had already recorded two outs in the seventh inning.

The fireballing righty went 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out six. But entering the seventh inning, Feliz had surrendered only one run on three hits, walked none, and struck out five.

Still, it was an outstanding effort by the 19-year-old pitcher.

Veteran first baseman Ian Gac continued his hot start by going 3-for-3 with a pair of home runs. In Gac's first three games, he has gone 5-for-10 with a triple and two home runs. That's a slugging percentage of 1.600, if you're scoring at home.

Leadoff hitter Engel Beltre singled and tripled in three at-bats. He also made a slick diving catch in centerfield.

Third baseman Jonathan Greene had just one official at-bat. That was because he was plunked by two pitches – both times immediately following an Ian Gac home run.

Fabio Castillo picked up the save by retiring the only batter he faced on a ground ball to shortstop Andres James.

Player of the Game: 1B Ian Gac
3 2 3 0 2 2 0 0 .500


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