Minor League Roundup - 7/29

Young left-handers Robbie Ross and Chad Bell provided seven strong innings for their respective clubs on Thursday night. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Oklahoma City 8 - Round Rock 1
W - Kirkman (10-3)
56-48, 3.0 GU

Every time it appears the RedHawks are about to relinquish their first-place standing, they go on another winning streak and extend the lead to three or four games.

Oklahoma City picked up its third consecutive victory over the Express with an excellent all-around performance.

Michael Kirkman (3.07 ERA/.233 BAA) earned his 10th victory of the season after yielding just one run over six innings. He threw 83 pitches [53 strikes], scattered five hits and fanned six without walking a batter.

Though Kirkman leads the PCL in walks, the rates are improving. He has issued 24 free passes [while striking out 62] in 60.2 innings over the last two months.

Third baseman Esteban German (.278/.369/.365) extended his hitting streak to eight games by going 3-for-5 with a double and three runs batted in.

Matt Brown (.301/.346/.503) was 2-for-5 with his 12th two-bagger and two runs batted in.

Craig Gentry (2/4, BB), Brandon Boggs (2/3, BB), Hernan Iribarren (2/4) and Guilder Rodriguez (2/4) all singled twice.

The switch-hitting Rodriguez is batting .282 with six walks, five strikeouts, and two steals in his first 12 Triple-A contests.

Sidearming righty Cody Eppley tossed a pair of scoreless innings on 20 pitches, getting four groundouts and two strikeouts.

Warner Madrigal finished it off with a perfect ninth.

Player of the Game: LHP Michael Kirkman
6.0 5 1 1 0 6 0 3.07

AA: Frisco 0 - (@) Midland 6
L - Roark (10-5)
19-14, 1.0 GB

Midland took the game, the series, and first place from the RoughRiders on Thursday night.

On the bright side, Frisco doesn't need to win the second-half division crown––the club qualified for the Texas League playoffs by winning the first-half title.

Starting pitcher Tanner Roark was knocked around for five runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings. He dropped to 10-5 on the season.

Centerfielder Engel Beltre (.290/.346/.419) continued to heat up once again, going 2-for-4 with his fourth triple in 25 Double-A games. Beltre has eight total three-baggers on the year.

Reliever Beau Jones fanned four batters in 1.2 innings, but he also yielded an unearned run. In 28.2 frames this season, the lefty has allowed 24 hits while walking 12 and striking out 37.

Player of the Game: CF Engel Beltre
4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 .290

A+: Bakersfield 5 - Modesto 2
W - Ross (3-1)
SV - Hamburger (18)
22-12, 4.0 GU

The Blaze completed a three-game sweep of the Nuts to reach 10 games above the .500 mark.

Starting pitcher Robbie Ross (2.70 ERA/.207 BAA) came through with his best outing in High-A. The young left-hander yielded two runs [one earned] on only three hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out five.

The 21-year-old Ross has been able to keep the ball on the ground thus far in the hitter-friendly California League. He is getting over three groundouts per flyout through his first four High-A starts.

First baseman Jonathan Greene went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.

Left fielder Cody Podraza was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.

Erik Morrison (2/4) singled twice while Miguel Velazquez (1/3, HBP) singled once and was plunked once.

Velazquez is hitting .283 with Bakersfield, but he has just five extra-base hits in 28 games.

The lights-out bullpen duo of Fabio Castillo and Mark Hamburger once again tossed one scoreless inning apiece to secure the victory.

Player of the Game: LHP Robbie Ross
7.0 3 2 1 2 5 0 2.70

A: Hickory 1 - Kannapolis 4
L - Erlin (5-3)
18-14, 3.0 GB

Robbie Erlin began his outing with five scoreless innings, but he surrendered four sixth-inning runs and ended up taking the loss.

The young southpaw gave up those four runs over six frames, allowing five hits, walking one, and fanning five. He was bitten by a three-run homer from DH Jose Vargas.

First baseman Michael Ortiz (.251/.307/.382) was 1-for-3 with a run-scoring double, his third two-bagger in four contests.

Jared Bolden (2/4) singled twice while Jared Prince (1/3, BB) singled once and walked once.

Joe Ortiz (1.37 ERA), Johan Yan (1.00 ERA), and Sam Brown (3.97 ERA) all chipped in with one shutout frame out of the bullpen.

Player of the Game: 1B Michael Ortiz
3 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 .251

SSA: Spokane 4 - (@) Eugene 1
W - Steggall (2-0)
SV - Rodebaugh (2)
HR - Olt (4)
1-1, 1.0 GB

Left-hander Chad Bell (3.25 ERA/.213 BAA) retired the first 12 batters of the game. He didn't allow a Eugene hitter to lift a ball into the air until there were two outs in the sixth.

After starting the game with 5.1 no-hit innings, Bell ended up yielding one run on three hits over seven frames. He walked two, struck out five, and recorded 14 ground ball outs.

The 21-year-old has been outstanding in eight starts with the Indians. He now has 47 strikeouts in 44.1 innings, getting over 3.4 groundouts per flyout.

DH Jason Kudlock came through with a bases-clearing double in the top of the ninth to give Spokane a 4-1 lead and the eventual victory. It was his only hit.

Clark Murphy (2/4, 2B), Kevin Rodland (2/4, 2B) and Josh Richmond (2/3, 2B, HBP) also doubled.

Third baseman Mike Olt was 1-for-4 with a solo home run, his fourth of the summer.

Tim Steggall and Ryan Rodebaugh worked scoreless innings of relief. Steggall earned the victory while Rodebaugh got the save.

Player of the Game: LHP Chad Bell
7.0 3 1 1 2 5 0 3.25

RK: AZL Rangers - AZL Angels - PPD (Rain)
15-15, 3.0 GB

The Surprise Rangers had a rare Arizona League rainout on Thursday night.

DSL: DSL Rangers - DSL Indians
24-19, 1.5 GB

The Rangers played the Indians on Thursday, but the box score has yet to be posted online.

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