L - Hamburger (0-2)
HR - Davis (8), Butler (2)
29-20, 1.5 GU
The Express owned a 4-2 lead through seven innings, but the bullpen continued its inconsistent ways by giving up four runs in the final two frames.
Round Rock got an excellent start from right-hander Derek Hankins (5.96 ERA/.297 BAA) who held the I-Cubs to just two runs on six hits over seven innings pitched. The former Pirates farmhand threw 93 pitches, striking out a season-high six without walking a man.
The club plated all four of its runs on sixth-inning long balls.
Right fielder Joey Butler (.298/.343/.479) started the Express' scoring with his solo home run to lead off the frame. Then, after Esteban German walked and Omar Quintanilla singled, third baseman Chris Davis launched a three-run shot––his eighth in 10 Triple-A games.
In five games since returning to Triple-A, Davis has exactly five hits. Four of them are home runs. The other was a run-scoring single. He has 21 RBI in 10 Triple-A games on the season.
After perhaps his best Triple-A outing last time out, right-hander Mark Hamburger suffered both the blown save (his first) and the loss (his second). The reliever permitted three runs on four hits in 1.1 innings, striking out one.
Zach Phillips, who entered after Hamburger, allowed an unearned run to score in two-thirds of an inning.
W - Tufts (2-1)
SV - Castillo (3)
HR - Bianucci (12), Greene (5)
25-23, 7.0 GB
The RoughRiders raced out to a 5-1 lead, fell into a two-run deficit in the seventh, tied it in the bottom of the frame, and won in the eighth. To make a long story short, Saturday's series opener was a back-and-forth affair.
Starting pitcher Carlos Pimentel pitched well early before running out of gas late in his start. Overall, the 21-year-old worked five-plus innings, giving up five runs. He allowed five hits, walked three, and struck out five.
Frisco got back into the contest when it got back-to-back solo home runs from DH Mike Bianucci (2/4, HR, HBP) and third baseman Jonathan Greene (2/4, HR). Greene had three total RBI on the night.
The home run was Bianucci's 12th of the season, but it was his first in 14 games––since May 10.
Leadoff hitter Leonys Martin (.355/.437/.565) continued to get on base and show some gap power. On Saturday, the 23-year-old went 2-for-3 with a double and two walks. He now has eight free passes and just two strikeouts in 15 games.
Left fielder Travis Adair (2/3, 2B, BB) doubled, singled, and walked. Shortstop Renny Osuna singled twice in five trips, raising his average to .326.
After Ben Snyder allowed three runs in 1.1 innings, righty Tyler Tufts helped put out the fire by tossing 1.2 shutout frames. Fabio Castillo earned his third save with a perfect ninth inning, throwing eight of his 12 pitches for strikes.
W - Wieland (5-3)
HR - Olt (9), Prince (3), DiFazio (1)
29-19, 4.5 GU
With seven more walkless innings on Saturday, right-hander Joe Wieland (1.53 ERA/.222 BAA) has now faced 174 batters since his last base on balls. It's a streak that includes seven consecutive starts without a walk.
On Saturday, the 21-year-old tossed seven shutout innings against the Blue Rocks, giving up five hits and striking out nine. He has 70 strikeouts against only three walks in 59 innings for the season.
With Wieland dealing on the mound, the middle of the Pelicans' order showed off some power. Third baseman Mike Olt (.294/.407/.531) went 1-for-2 with a homer, two RBI, two walks, and a strikeout. Olt has drawn nine walks and struck out 10 times over his last 10 games.
Catcher Vin DiFazio (1/4, HR) and right fielder Jared Prince (1/4, HR) also added solo home runs off starting pitcher Noel Arguelles, who gave up all three. Arguelles was ejected in the sixth inning after throwing behind DiFazio following Olt's two-run homer.
Centerfielder Ryan Strausborger had just one single in four trips, but he also stole his 16th base and added an outfield assist by gunning down a runner at home.
Left-handers Kasey Kiker and Chad Bell, who have both struggled with control this season, worked one hitless, scoreless inning apiece to close out the victory. Both pitchers walked one and struck out one.
Kiker was pitching in his first game in 10 days, when he walked three and allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning on May 18.
L - Tepesch (0-3)
HR - Villanueva (4)
26-22, 4.0 GB
Starting pitcher Nick Tepesch was strong through four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. Overall, the tall righty yielded five runs in five innings, giving up seven hits, walking three, and striking out only one.
Third baseman Christian Villanueva produced an early run for Hickory with a solo home run––his fourth of the season. He also walked once in four trips.
Andrew Clark (2/4) singled twice while Jurickson Profar (1/4, 2B) added his 12th double of the season. Tomas Telis, Jake Skole, and Odubel Herrera all went 1-for-3 with a base on balls.
Righty reliever Ben Henry worked two hitless, scoreless innings of relief. He walked one and struck out a pair.
The 22-year-old Henry has made four appearances since coming up from extended spring training, giving up just one hit in five shutout frames. He has fanned six while walking one.
L - Gil (0-1)
0-1, 1.0 GB
With the Rangers temporarily taking over the Jays' old complex, they're now playing in the Boca Chica South Division. The DSL Rangers had played in the San Pedro de Macoris Division during the last few seasons.
The club dropped Saturday's season opener after surrendering six runs in the top of the ninth inning.
Starting pitcher Jose Valdespina permitted two first-inning runs but cruised through the remainder of his outing. Overall, he yielded two runs on two hits in five innings, walking three and striking out four.
Making his professional debut, catcher Fernando Vivili went 1-for-4 with a double. He also struck out twice.
Left fielder Anderson Jesus was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.
Alex Gonzalez (2/3, 2B) also doubled and had a pair of RBI. The 19-year-old played 2009 with the rookie-level Arizona Rangers and 2010 back in the Dominican Summer League.
Designated hitter Luis Mendez, who batted .256/.376/.311 in an injury-shortened DSL stint last season, singled twice and walked three times in five plate appearances.
First baseman Christefer Obispo singled three times in five trips.
After Jose Gomez (1 IP) and Luis Moreno (2 IP) worked scoreless ball out of the bullpen, Jorge De Jesus (0.1 IP) and Leonel Gil (0.2 IP) combined to cough up six runs in the ninth.
Third baseman Aneudy Feliz, 18-year-old brother of Neftali, made his professional debut as a pinch hitter and fanned in his only plate appearance.
Subscribe to LoneStarDugout.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on LoneStarDugout.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
Sample the LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.