Minor League Roundup - 4/20

Tuesday evening marked a perfect 3-0 day for the Texas Rangers' affiliates down on the farm. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Oklahoma City 8 - (@) Nashville 6
W - Geary (2-2)
SV - Eyre (1)
HR - Moreland (2)
9-4, 2.0 GU

Starting pitcher Michael Kirkman was a bit shaky with his control on Tuesday, but in the end, he got by with a solid start.

Making his third Triple-A appearance, Kirkman allowed two runs over five innings of work. He threw 91 pitches [55 strikes] and allowed five hits while walking five and striking out three.

Right fielder Mitch Moreland continued to heat up, going 2-for-5 with a home run and two runs batted in. The strong-armed Mississippi native also picked up yet another outfield assist, gunning down a runner at third base.

Shortstop Gregorio Petit was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Esteban German (2/4, BB) and Chad Tracy (2/4, BB) both singled twice and walked once. Not generally known for his speed, Tracy also swiped his third base.

Rehabbing catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out once and walked twice in his first game off his back and shoulder injury. He committed an error on an errant pickoff throw in the second inning.

Elizardo Ramirez was rocked for four runs in just one inning, but fellow veterans Geoff Geary [1.1 IP] and Willie Eyre [1.2 IP] each struck out two batters in scoreless relief to help carry OKC to victory.

Longtime Rangers farmhand A.J. Murray worked a scoreless inning while striking out two for Nashville, the Milwaukee Brewers' Triple-A affiliate.

Murray, now a sidearming reliever, split the 2009 season between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma City, logging a 2.87 ERA in 59.2 innings.

Player of the Game: RF Mitch Moreland
5 1 2 0 1 2 0 1 .211

AA: Frisco 4 - (@) Arkansas 3
W - Bleier (1-1)
SV - Phillips (2)
5-7, 2.0 GB

Frisco got back on track with a three-game road sweep of the Travelers, finishing it off with Tuesday's 4-3 victory.

Starter Richard Bleier picked up his first Double-A win after he worked into the seventh inning. The southpaw surrendered three runs [two earned] while scattering six hits in 6.2 innings. He walked one and struck out two.

Although Bleier uncharacteristically plunked two batters in the game [perhaps a sign of pitching inside more often, which is a positive], he was his usual self, throwing strikes and getting plenty of ground balls.

Through three Texas League starters, the 23-year-old has logged 18 innings, walking just three and getting 3.27 groundouts per flyout.

Matt Lawson (1/5, 2B), Wes Bankston (2/4, 2B) and Jonathan Greene (1/4, 2B) all doubled. Bankston and Greene combined to drive home three of Frisco's runs.

After a very slow start, the 26-year-old Bankston appears to be heating up. The Dallas native has hit safely in each of his last six games, and he has five extra-base hits and eight RBI over that span.

Joey Butler singled, reached on a hit-by pitch, and stole his first base.

It was another hitless day for DH Marcus Lemon, who is just 3-for-23 with no walks and 11 strikeouts to begin his year.

Hard-throwing righty Evan Reed fanned three batters in 1.1 scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit.

Zach Phillips punched out two in a perfect 10-pitch ninth inning, picking up his second save.

Player of the Game: LHP Richard Bleier
6.2 6 3 2 1 2 1 5.00

A+: Bakersfield - (@) Modesto – PPD (Rain)
4-6, 3.0 GB

The Blaze and Nuts will now play a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m. Central time on Wednesday afternoon. Michael Main and Carlos Pimentel are the projected starting pitchers.

A: Hickory 8 - Charleston 6
W - Font (2-0)
SV - Lueke (4)
HR - Velazquez (1)
6-7, 2.0 GB

The Rangers' big league club may not be able to beat the Yankees, but the Low-A Crawdads held off the New York affiliate Charleston RiverDogs on Tuesday.

Starting pitcher Wilmer Font was outstanding, allowing just two runs [one earned] in five innings. The righty gave up only two hits while walking one and striking out five. One of the hits was a solo homer off the bat of Yankees prospect Zoilo Almonte, who hit two bombs in the game.

Kyle Ocampo surrendered the other homer to Almonte. He gave up four runs in just two innings of work.

Three-hole hitter Miguel Velazquez (.260/.302/.460) was 1-for-4 with his first round-tripper of the 2010 season. In his first 50 at-bats, Velazquez has seven doubles and a homer.

Left fielder Cody Podraza's (2/3, 2B) double was the team's only other extra-base hit.

Jared Prince (2/4), Matt West (1/3, BB) and Zach Zaneski (1/3, BB) all reached base twice.

Josh Lueke earned his fourth save by retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth inning, getting a strikeout, a lineout, and a groundout. Lueke now has 12 strikeouts in six scoreless innings this year.

Player of the Game: RHP Wilmer Font
5.0 2 2 1 1 5 1 3.07

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