Minor League Roundup - 4/16

Engel Beltre and the Bakersfield Blaze busted out for a big day at the plate on Friday night, scoring 11 runs. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Oklahoma City 7 - (@) Memphis 0
W - Geary (1-2)
HR - Tracy (4), Brown (1, 2)
6-3, 1.0 GU

It was an all-around great game for the RedHawks on Friday evening, as they won their fourth consecutive game with a road victory over Memphis.

Guillermo Moscoso started the four-man shutout, pitching three innings of scoreless ball. The right-hander was quite erratic, throwing 78 pitches and walking four, but he allowed just two hits and kept the Redbirds off the board.

Veteran hurlers Geoff Geary [3 IP], Clay Rapada [2 IP] and Elizardo Ramirez [1 IP] combined for six innings of shutout relief to close out the game. Each pitcher struck out one.

Third baseman Matt Brown continued his strong start, going 3-for-4 with a pair of solo home runs.

Another hot hitter––DH Chad Tracy––was 2-for-5 with a home run and three runs batted in. The 24-year-old now has eight extra-base hits, including four homers, in his first nine Triple-A games.

Tracy also stole his second base of the season. He had just five steals last season and four in 2008.

Max Ramirez (2/3, 2B) and Gregorio Petit (1/3, 2B, BB) both doubled while Esteban German (2/5) singled twice in five trips.

Player of the Game: 3B Matt Brown
4 3 3 0 2 2 0 1 .355

AA: Frisco 3 - (@) Springfield 4
L - Snyder (0-1)
2-6, 3.5 GB

Frisco starting pitcher Kasey Kiker didn't factor in on the decision after he allowed three runs over five innings pitched. The southpaw gave up five hits while walking four and striking out seven.

In his first two starts this season, Kiker has seven walks and 14 strikeouts in 9.2 innings of work.

Marcus Lemon returned to the lineup for the first time since opening day after missing six games with a mild oblique strain. He was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.

Right fielder Joey Butler had a perfect day at the plate, singling five times in five at-bats. He also picked up an outfield assist by gunning down a runner at the plate.

The 24-year-old Mississippi native is off to an outstanding start in Double-A, going 12-for-28 [.429] with one home run and five walks in his first eight games.

Outside of Butler, however, Frisco wasn't able to generate much offense.

Left fielder Wes Bankston and catcher Elio Sarmiento both went 1-for-4 with their first doubles of the season, and they combined to drive in all three of Frisco's runs.

Player of the Game: RF Joey Butler
5 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 .429

A+: Bakersfield 11 - (@) San Jose 3
W - Pimentel (2-0)
HR - Stoneburner (1), Morrison (1), Beltre (1)
4-3, 0.5 GB

Bakersfield went off on Friday evening against a San Jose team that has seemingly dominated the Cal League's North Division for the last two seasons.

The Blaze offense pushed across a season-high 11 runs on 15 hits, including seven extra-base knocks.

Leadoff hitter Engel Beltre fell just a double short of the cycle. He went 4-for-6 with two singles, a triple, and a grand slam. In all, the 20-year-old had five runs batted in.

Coming into Friday's game, Beltre was just 4-for-23 on the season with one double. A four-hit, two extra-base knock night is a nice way to negate a slow start.

And in fun with small sample sizes, the left-handed hitting Beltre is 5-for-8 with a triple and a homer off his fellow southpaws this year.

But Beltre wasn't the only Bakersfield slugger with four hits. Third baseman Tom Mendonca (.310/.310/.483 in seven games) was 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, bringing him to five on the season.

Shortstop Davis Stoneburner and left fielder Erik Morrison both hit their first home runs of the year.

Starting pitcher Carlos Pimentel also turned in an excellent start in just his second High-A outing, yielding only an unearned run on two infield singles in five scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out four.

Sidearming righty Cody Eppley allowed two hits but no runs in the ninth. He struck out the side, giving him six punchouts in three frames.

Player of the Game: CF Engel Beltre
6 2 4 0 1 5 0 0 .276

A: Hickory 4 - Kannapolis 8
L - Nelo (0-1)
HR - Santana (2)
4-5, 2.0 GB

For a pitcher that walked just two batters in his final 36.1 innings last season, right-hander Matt Thompson was a bit erratic on Friday.

All things considered, the Burleson native allowed nine baserunners in four innings of work. He gave up three runs on six hits and two walks, also uncorking two wild pitches. Thompson also missed bats, though, as he fanned five.

Slugging left fielder Cristian Santana was 1-for-3 with a home run and two runs batted in.

Third baseman Matt West (2/4, 2B) and first baseman Michael Ortiz (1/2, 2 BB) had the rest of Hickory's hits.

After a slow start, Ortiz appears to be coming along. The lefty is 4-for-8 with three walks over his last three contests. He also committed two fielding errors, giving him four on the young season.

Left-hander Chad Bell struggled in his relief outing, allowing three runs [two earned] on a pair of hits and a pair of walks in only one-third of an inning.

Kyle Ocampo finished out the game with four strikeouts in 2.1 frames. He gave up a run on a solo homer. Ocampo has seven strikeouts in his first four innings with the Crawdads.

Player of the Game: LF Cristian Santana
3 1 1 0 1 2 0 1 .200

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