L - Scheppers (1-3)
73-69, 2.0 GU
With the postseason fast approaching, the Texas Rangers' playoff-bound minor league affiliates are shaking up their rotations to prepare for the upcoming games.
Right-hander Tanner Scheppers got the three-inning start for Oklahoma City on Sunday. He threw 48 pitches (34 strikes) and yielded two runs on four hits, walking zero and fanning four.
Veteran hurler Mark Prior appeared in his first affiliated game since 2006, and he tossed a scoreless inning.
Prior's inning wasn't completely flawless. He needed 28 total pitches and yielded two singles (one infield) and a walk before getting out of the frame. He recorded a pair of swinging strikeouts on the breaking ball.
The 29-year-old (Prior turns 30 on Tuesday) was throwing his fastball between 90-91 mph (hitting 92 once) with a sharp mid-70s breaking ball.
Oklahoma City's scuffling offense was limited once again––this time scoring only one run on five hits.
Brandon Boggs was 2-for-4 with a double and the club's lone run batted in.
Max Ramirez (1/3, 2B, BB) and Ryan Garko (1/4, 2B) also added two-baggers.
Second baseman Davis Stoneburner, who was recently promoted from High-A Bakersfield, entered in the seventh inning and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a fielding error.
Esteban German started the game at second and stole his 50th base of the season.
The game got out of hand when lefty Ben Snyder was shelled for seven runs (five earned) on eight hits in 4.2 innings. The 25-year-old has allowed 17 runs in 7.2 innings since his promotion to OKC.
W - Chick (2-2)
34-35, 0.0 GU
After Sunday's contest, the RoughRiders and RockHounds enter the final day of the regular season tied atop the Texas League's South division.
Not that a second-half division title means much for either team––Frisco has already clinched the postseason with its first-half title, and they'll be playing Midland in the first round regardless.
The Frisco offense posted double-digit runs for the first time since July 15.
Leadoff man Marcus Lemon (.269/.320/.353) helped set the tone by going 1-for-2 with a double and three walks.
Third baseman Andy Jenkins, who was 3-for-5, also doubled once.
Renny Osuna (2/4), Emerson Frostad (2/4, BB) and Guilder Rodriguez (2/3, BB) all had two base knocks.
Centerfielder Engel Beltre was just 1-for-5, but he stole two bases and gunned down a runner at second base.
Starter Travis Chick was solid enough to earn his second victory. He pitched five innings, giving up three runs on five hits. The Irving native walked one and fanned three.
Tyler Tufts (2.50 ERA/.226 BAA) continued to stand out in the ‘Riders bullpen, working two shutout frames. The Indiana product hasn't permitted a run in his last five appearances, spanning seven innings.
W - Nam (4-2)
HR - Morrison (12, 13), Mendonca (10), McGuiness (7), Paisano (6)
38-31, 4.0 GB
The Blaze offense went off for 10 runs––including four homers––in the seventh and eighth innings.
Outfielder Erik Morrison (.278/.319/.532 in the second half) had perhaps the biggest game, as he was 3-for-6 with a pair of home runs and three RBI. He now has 13 round-trippers on the season.
Third baseman Tom Mendonca's first full season has no doubt been a disappointment, but he is finishing it off with a bang. On Sunday, Mendonca was 3-for-5 with a three-run homer.
The 22-year-old is 9-for-17 with three doubles and two homers over his last four contests. While streaky, he has battled back from a poor first half to post a respectable .830 OPS since the All-Star break.
Chris McGuiness (2/5, HR) and David Paisano (2/5, HR) both added long balls in the eighth inning. McGuiness has four homers in his last four games.
Mike Bianucci (3/5, 2B), Doug Hogan (2/3, 2B, BB) and Jake Kaase (2/5, 2B) all doubled once.
Catcher Vin DiFazio had two singles and a walk in five plate appearances.
In all, the Bakersfield offense the the 13 runs on 20 hits, including eight extra-base hits.
Starting pitcher Robbie Ross finished out his 2010 season by yielding five runs in five innings. He gave up eight hits and struck out six without walking a batter.
Shane Zegarac (2.79 ERA/.252 BAA) was the only Bakersfield pitcher to work scoreless ball. He struck out one in 1.1 shutout innings.
Trevor Hurley struck out the side but yielded a run in the ninth inning. He has 10 punchouts over his last four innings.
The Blaze will conclude their season against Stockton on Monday afternoon.
W - Bell (3-3)
SV - J. Ortiz (4)
34-34, 7.0 GB
Robbie Erlin (2.12 ERA/.213 BAA) shined in his final tune-up before the Sally League playoffs. The 6-foot-0 southpaw hurled three scoreless frames, walking zero and striking out four.
Erlin's outstanding strikeout-to-walk ratio now sits at 125-to-17 in 114.2 innings in his first full season.
The Crawdads bats did all of the damage on the scoreboard in the first inning, when they put up four runs and chased starter and Flower Mound native Ryan Pressly after he recorded just two outs.
Third baseman Matt West (2/4, 2B) and left fielder Travis Adair (1/4, 2B) had one double apiece.
Catcher Zach Zaneski raised his average to .308 with a pair of singles in four official at-bats. He also walked.
Leadoff hitter and shortstop Leury Garcia stole his 51st base in only 94 games. He has 47 swipes in 88 contests with Hickory.
Chad Bell earned his third victory after he gave up three runs over four innings.
Hard-throwing reliever Ovispo De Los Santos (3.48 ERA/.213 BAA) punched out four over 1.2 hitless, scoreless frames.
Joe Ortiz (1.52 ERA/.186 BAA) recorded the final out of the game to pick up his fourth save.
W - Stanford (6-0)
SV - Earls (2)
21-17, 4.0 GB
Tim Stanford (1.66 ERA/.222 BAA) finished off an excellent regular season for himself––and the Indians––with a lights-out performance.
The 21-year-old righty shut out Tri-City through a career-high seven innings. He gave up two hits while walking one and striking out five.
Stanford began the game by retiring the first nine batters he faced. He faced one batter over the minimum through the seven innings, and only four of the 22 hitters were able to lift the ball into the outfield.
Centerfielder Jake Skole provided his club's only extra-base hit with a run-scoring triple in the top of the ninth. He also singled and stole his sixth base.
Infielders Mike Olt and Santiago Chirino each singled twice in five at-bats.
Speedy leadoff man Ryan Strausborger struck out three times, walked twice, and stole two bases. He finishes with 21 steals on the year.
University of Georgia product Justin Earls worked a perfect ninth inning for his second save.
Spokane begins the playoffs immediately. They start a best-of-three series at Yakima on Monday night, and the final two games will be in Spokane on Tuesday and (if necessary) Wednesday.
31-24, 0.5 GU
The Surprise Rangers won the Arizona League's West Division but lost to the AZL Brewers in the league's semifinals.
42-23, 5.0 GU
The Dominican Rangers won the San Pedro Division for the third consecutive season, but they lost to the DSL Reds in the first round of the playoffs.
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