Minor League Roundup - 4/9

The Texas Rangers system had a perfect night on Friday, going 5-0 between the Major Leagues and Single-A Hickory. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at the day's minor league action.

AAA: Oklahoma City 4 - Albuquerque 3
W - Peguero (1-0)
1-1, 1.0 GB

After losing their opening game of the season in extra innings, the RedHawks came back the next day and won on a walkoff wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth.

Starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy was sharp in his return to the PCL, as he used 84 pitches over seven innings, surrendering one run on five singles. McCarthy walked two and struck out three.

With Craig Gentry getting the day off after he was beaned in the head last night, Esteban German played centerfield and batted leadoff. The veteran responded well, falling just a home run short of the cycle. German was the tablesetter all night, going 3-for-3 with a pair of walks. He also scored the game-winning run.

Left fielder Andy Jenkins (1/4, 3B) also tripled while 2B Hernan Iribarren (1/2, 2B, BB) and SS Gregorio Petit (1/3, 2B, BB) both doubled.

Sluggers Justin Smoak, Mitch Moreland and Max Ramirez all went hitless, striking out twice. Moreland and Ramirez had one walk apiece.

Dominican righty Jailen Peguero earned the victory after he fanned three batters in 1.1 hitless, walk-less innings.

Player of the Game: CF Esteban German
3 2 3 0 0 0 2 0 .625

AA: Frisco 4 - Springfield 2
W - Tatusko (1-0)
SV - Scheppers (1)
HR - Richardson (1)
2-0, 0.0 GU

Richard Bleier did what he usually does in his first-ever Double-A start––he threw strikes, kept the ball down, and got groundouts early in the count.

The 22-year-old threw just 77 pitches in 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He walked one and fanned three.

Bleier was working on a masterpiece through 5.2, but he quickly surrendered a double, a home run, and then walked a hitter before being lifted from the game. That Bleier––or any pitcher, for that matter––showed signs of fatigue late in an outing isn't particularly surprising this early in the season.

Also making his Double-A debut, righty Ryan Tatusko got out of the jam with a lineout, and he worked a scoreless seventh inning to earn the victory.

At the plate, catcher Kevin Richardson clocked a solo home run to re-give the RoughRiders the lead in the bottom of the sixth. It was his only hit of the night.

Shortstop Guilder Rodriguez (1/2, 3B) tripled while DH Matt Lawson (2/3, 2B) singled and doubled. Rodriguez also had a sacrifice bunt.

Three-hole hitter and right fielder Joey Butler singled once and walked twice in four trips to the plate. He has reached safely in five of his first seven Double-A plate appearances.

Fireballer Tanner Scheppers earned the save in his official professional debut, working two shutout innings. He allowed a single but didn't walk a batter and struck out three.

Player of the Game: LHP Richard Bleier
5.2 5 2 2 1 3 1 3.18

A+: Bakersfield 3 - Lancaster 2
W - Flores (1-0)
2-0, 0.0 GU

The RedHawks weren't the only Rangers affiliate to win in walkoff fashion on Friday––Bakersfield did it as well.

In an outstanding pitching matchup, Astros prospect Ross Seaton went up against the Blaze's Michael Main. While Seaton threw five scoreless innings, Main delivered a strong outing of his own.

The former first-round pick yielded two runs [a pair of solo homers] over six innings of work. He gave up five hits total, walking one and striking out four.

The start was Main's first since June 7 last year, when he was shut down with an illness. He returned late in the season, but as a reliever.

Right fielder David Paisano paced the Blaze offensively, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a walk, and two runs scored.

First baseman Jared Bolden won the game with a two-RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. It was his lone hit of the day.

Engel Beltre (1/4, 2B) and Jose Felix (1/2, 2B) both doubled once. Felix also hit a sacrifice fly.

Shortstop Davis Stoneburner singled three times in four at-bats.

Relievers Tyler Tufts (2 ip) and Adalberto Flores (1 ip) both worked hitless, scoreless ball to finish off the game. Tufts fanned one while Flores struck out two in his 1-2-3 inning.

Player of the Game: RF David Paisano
3 2 2 2 0 0 1 0 .429

A: Hickory 7 - (@) Hagerstown 2
W - Ross (1-0)
HR - West (1)
1-1, 1.0 GB

The Crawdads used five talented pitchers to shut down the Hagerstown lineup and earn their first victory of the season on Friday evening.

Starting pitcher Robbie Ross kept the ball on the ground, and he yielded just one unearned run on five singles over five innings pitched. Ross walked two, fanned four, and posted a 9:2 groundout-to-flyout ratio.

Ross' 90-93 mph fastball is a special pitch because of the late movement that runs into right-handed hitters, often jamming them and leading to plenty of ground balls. The southpaw got 3.21 groundouts per flyout with short-season Spokane last summer.

Both teams combined to strike out 24 times in the game. The Hickory offense scored seven runs, but they also whiffed 14 times.

Former first-round pick Josh Smoker, Hagerstown's starter, fanned seven in four innings, but he also allowed four runs.

Third baseman Matt West crushed a three-run homer off Smoker in the fourth inning. He was 1-for-4 on the night.

Vin DiFazio (1/3, 2B, 2 BB), Cristian Santana (1/3, 2B, BB), Michael Ortiz (1/4, 2B) and Ed Koncel (1/3, 2B, BB) all doubled.

Second baseman Edwin Garcia, who was 1-for-3 with a free pass, had Hickory's only single of the game.

Neil Ramirez, who is schedule to start Monday's game, worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning, getting a strikeout.

Making his professional debut, lefty Chad Bell fanned one in a perfect frame. Josh Lueke struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to finish off the victory.

Player of the Game: LHP Robbie Ross
5.0 5 1 0 2 4 0 0.00

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