W - Hamburger (5-4)
SV - Valdez (5)
66-46, 8.0 GU
The Express improved to 50-15 this season when holding their opponent to fewer than six runs with the come-from-behind victory on Wednesday.
Starting pitcher Eric Hurley (3.65 ERA/.288 BAA) threw 100 pitches (61 strikes) over six innings of work. The righty allowed two runs while scattering eight hits, walking three, and striking out four.
Once again, shortstop Nick Green (.346/.393/.519 in 12 games) came up big for Round Rock. The veteran was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI. His last double was the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth.
Esteban German (1/4, 2B) added his 23rd double. Leadoff hitter Leonys Martin had a single, two walks, and two stolen bases––giving him three steals in Triple-A.
Reliever Mark Hamburger (5.08 ERA/.266 BAA) worked around two hits and a walk while tossing two scoreless innings. The 24-year-old hasn't allowed a run in his last four appearances, spanning seven frames.
Hard-throwing righty Merkin Valdez (3.46 ERA/.246 BAA), who was recently signed to a minor league contract, punched out one in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
After posting a 7.91 ERA with 26 walks and 35 strikeouts over 58 innings in Triple-A last season, Valdez has been much improved this year. This season, Valdez has a 3.46 ERA in 42 appearances. He has logged 54.2 innings, walking 24 and fanning 45.
W - Bleier (4-6)
HR - Mendonca (22)
21-18, 3.0 GB
Left sinker specialist Richard Bleier (6.21 ERA/.343 BAA) spread eight hits and two walks over his five innings, allowing just two runs (one earned). He induced two double plays and got eight groundouts without a flyout.
Slugging third baseman Tom Mendonca (.301/.360/.540) went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run––his 22nd of the season. Mendonca had only 10 homers in 120 games at High-A Bakersfield last year.
Second baseman Davis Stoneburner (3/5, 2B) doubled for Frisco's only other base hit. The two-bagger was his 23rd of the season, and he also swiped his 14th base.
Jose Ruiz (2/4, BB) and Engel Beltre (2/3, SAC) each singled twice.
Catcher Jose Felix (.217/.249/.286) singled and walked––the free pass was the fourth in his last eight games but only his seventh on the season.
Justin Miller (2.05 ERA/.200 BAA) punched out two while going six up, six down between the sixth and seventh innings. Tyler Tufts (2.72 ERA/.291 BAA) closed out the victory by yielding a run on four hits in two innings.
L - Kelly (3-6)
19-19, 2.5 GB
Hard-throwing righty Justin Grimm (3.44 ERA/.259 BAA) worked at least six innings for the eighth time in 11 High-A starts. On Wednesday, the 22-year-old held Kinston to two runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Grimm has a 3.44 ERA in those 11 starts, logging 65.1 innings. He has allowed 63 hits while walking 22 and striking out 48.
The Pelicans had eight hits in the game, with eight of the nine starters getting exactly one knock. Left fielder David Paisano was 1-for-3 with a triple. He also had a sacrifice fly.
Ryan Strausborger (1/3, 2B, BB) and Santiago Chirino (1/4, 2B) both doubled.
Speedy leadoff hitter Leury Garcia had a single, two walks, and his 25th stolen base in five plate appearances.
Second baseman Jonathan Roof, batting in the nine hole, continued to struggle since his promotion to the Carolina League. Roof went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .091 and without an extra-base hit in nine games.
Reliever Ryan Kelly suffered the loss and his third blown save after he allowed two runs on four hits in the seventh inning. Ryan Rodebaugh gave up another run in the eighth, issuing two walks and yielding a hit.
Left-hander Chad Bell will get the start for the Pelicans on Thursday, as he takes the rotation spot left by recently promoted starter Robbie Ross.
L - Van Meter (5-4)
23-16, 1.0 GU
Wednesday's game was an all-around forgettable night in Hickory. The Crawdads were blown out of the water 12-0 and they were out-hit 11-5.
Starter Joe Van Meter actually recovered relatively well after giving up five runs in the second inning. Overall, he yielded six runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings. He also struck out four.
Righty Matt Thompson lost his control once again, issuing six walks and uncorking three wild pitches in 2.2 innings. He gave up five runs on two hits, striking out four.
Since the Sally League All-Star break, the native Texan has walked 43 batters in only 22.2 innings.
Hickory scattered five singles through the game and had only one at-bat with a man in scoring position. The knocks came from Christian Villanueva (1/4), Andrew Clark (1/3), Josh Richmond (1/3), Jake Skole (1/3) and Kellin Deglan (1/3).
L - Martinez (0-1)
HR - Alfaro (4)
3-5, 3.0 GB
Scuffling starting pitcher David Perez was apparently lifted from the Indians' rotation––at least for the time being––as Nick Martinez earned the start on Wednesday.
Making his first start with the Indians, Martinez actually faced the minimum through 2.1 innings before running into trouble. The Miami native surrendered four runs (one earned) in four innings, yielding three hits, walking three, and striking out two.
The Indians, meanwhile were facing native Texan Noah Syndergaard in his Northwest League debut. The tall right-hander was the 38th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Syndergaard allowed just one unearned run over five innings.
Left fielder Trever Adams (.311/.362/.463) went 2-for-4 with his 16th double, three RBI, and his third stolen base in as many attempts.
Jorge Alfaro flashed his raw power by launching an opposite-field solo home run in the ninth inning. Overall, he was 1-for-4 with the bomb and two punchouts.
After another hitless game with two strikeouts, centerfielder Zach Cone's average dipped to just .238. Cone was making plenty of contact early in the summer, but he is now just 4-for-33 with 14 strikeouts over his last 10 games.
Martinez, Jose Monegro, Arlett Mavare, and Juan Grullon combined to walk eight batters over eight innings of work.
In his second Northwest League game, Mavare yielded an unearned run in two innings while walking one and striking out three.
L - Williams (2-1)
24-11, 6.5 GU
The Rookie Rangers plated seven second-inning runs. But the Padres held them scoreless for the remainder of the game and battled back for a 10-7 victory.
One day after belting 22 hits and 11 extra-base knocks, the Rangers had only one extra-base hit out of 11 on Wednesday.
Third baseman Ryan Rua (.388/.470/.561) went 2-for-5 with his 10th double and three runs batted in. He now has 27 RBI in 27 Arizona League contests.
Catcher Kevin Torres (2/5), second baseman Jimmy Swift (2/5) and DH Jeremy Williams (2/4) all singled twice. Williams raised his average to .344 while also stealing his seventh base.
Starting pitcher Abel de los Santos yielded five runs––just two earned––in four innings pitched. The right-hander gave up five hits, walked three, and struck out five.
Australian right-hander Tim Stanford gave up two runs in 1.2 innings, and lefty Greg Williams followed by coughing up three runs in 2.1 frames. Williams suffered his first professional lost.
Paul Strong (4.61 ERA/.288 BAA) worked a 1-2-3 ninth, getting one strikeout.
Rangers' fourth round pick Desmond Henry continued his struggles since signing, as he was hitless in four at-bats. The 18-year-old Los Angeles native is now 1-for-19 with four walks and 11 strikeouts in 10 professional games.
32-22, 1.0 GB
The Rangers and Nationals were suspended in the bottom of the third inning with the DSL Rangers holding a 5-2 lead. Left-hander Pedro Tirado had allowed two runs in three innings pitched. Leadoff hitter Diego Cedeno (2/2) singled twice while third baseman Smerling Lantigua (1/2, 2B) had a double and two RBI.
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