Minor League Roundup - 4/17

Triple-A Oklahoma City continued its winning ways on Saturday evening while Bakersfield narrowly avoided being no-hit in San Jose. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

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

Oklahoma City continued to tear up the Pacific Coast League with a mixture of excellent starting pitching and power hitting with Saturday's 7-2 victory, their fifth consecutive win.

Starting pitcher Mike Ballard scattered seven hits over 6.2 innings, allowing just two runs.

Third baseman Matt Brown (.371/.463/.686 in nine games) went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. He has five extra-base hits over his last four games, including three home runs.

First baseman Justin Smoak raised his early-season average to .353 with three hits, including two doubles, in four trips.

Backstop Max Ramirez was 2-for-3 with a walk.

Willie Eyre [1.1 IP] and Pedro Strop [1 IP] closed out the game with scoreless relief.

After a rough first outing, Strop has yielded just one hit in 4.1 innings in his last four times out.

Player of the Game: 3B Matt Brown
4 2 2 1 1 2 0 0 .371

AA: Frisco 4 - (@) Springfield 6
L - Garr (0-1)
HR - Butler (2)
2-7, 4.0 GB

The RoughRiders are headed in the opposite direction of their Triple-A brethren, as they dropped their seventh consecutive game on Saturday afternoon.

Starter Martin Perez was sharp through his first three innings, retiring all nine batters he faced, getting four strikeouts and a number of swinging strikes.

However, Perez threw a lot of pitches and struggled in the fourth. When the dust settled, he allowed three runs [two earned] on three hits in four innings pitched, throwing 69 pitches. The southpaw struck out five without issuing a base on balls.

Right fielder Joey Butler (.424/.513/.636 in nine games) continued to pace the Frisco offense, going 2-for-5 with a double and a solo home run.

Leadoff man Marcus Lemon (1/5, 3B) tripled and third baseman Jonathan Greene (2/4, 2B) doubled.

Matt Lawson and Kevin Richardson both singled twice in the contest.

Tanner Scheppers was once again sharp in relief, tossing two perfect innings with three strikeouts. He has nine strikeouts versus zero walks in his first six professional innings.

Player of the Game: RF Joey Butler
5 2 2 1 1 1 0 1 .424

A+: Bakersfield 1 - (@) San Jose 4
L - Gomez (0-1)
4-4, 1.5 GB

Centerfielder Engel Beltre led off the game by drawing his first walk of the season. In the fourth inning, he was plunked by a pitch.

But outside of Beltre, San Jose starter Justin Fitzgerald didn't allow a Bakersfield hitter to reach base safely. Overall, he faced the minimum through six innings and didn't allow a hit.

Oliver Odle came on and worked a hitless seventh.

Then, leading off the top of the eighth, right fielder David Paisano broke up the no-hit bid with his third double of the season. Jared Bolden followed with a single, and Paisano came home on a double play ball.

Starter Kennil Gomez was solid through five innings, but he gave up two singles, a double and a walk without getting an out in the sixth inning.

In all, the righty surrendered four runs [three earned] in five innings pitched. He gave up seven hits while walking four and fanning three.

Left-hander Tim Murphy pitched two more scoreless innings out of the bullpen, walking zero and fanning one.

Murphy has been effective out of the bullpen so far this season, giving up just two hits and no runs in 5.1 frames.

Justin Miller worked a scoreless eighth around two hits and a base on balls.

Player of the Game: RF David Paisano
3 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 .423

A: Hickory 4 - Kannapolis 1
W - Ramirez (1-1)
HR - Koncel (1)
SV - Lueke (3)
5-5, 1.0 GB

After arguably the worst outing of his professional career his last time out, Neil Ramirez bounced back with an excellent effort.

The right-hander tossed six scoreless innings against Kannapolis, allowing just three singles. He fanned five without issuing a walk.

The six innings matched a career high. He had also pitched six in June 2008 and July '09. It was also the first time in his career he had pitched more than three innings without walking a hitter.

First baseman Ed Koncel helped get the Crawdads on top early with his two-run homer in the second inning. The Illinois native was 1-for-3 overall.

DH Miguel Velazquez (1/4, 2B) added his sixth double and swiped his second base.

Third baseman Matt West raised his batting average to .294 with a pair of singles in three at-bats.

University of Oklahoma alum Andrew Doyle also rebounded from a poor outing by surrendering one run in two innings. Doyle got five groundouts and a strikeout.

Josh Lueke earned his third save with another scoreless inning. He gave up a hit and a walk without striking out a hitter.

Lueke has hurled five shutout innings this season, yielding two hits, walking two and striking out 11.

Player of the Game: RHP Neil Ramirez
6.0 3 0 0 0 5 0 5.40

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