L - Cotts (0-1)
HR - Nelson (12, 13)
39-55, 15.0 GB
The free-falling Express dropped their fourth consecutive game on Saturday, losing for the ninth time in their last 10 contests.
The first seven innings of Saturday's game at the Dell Diamond could just as easily have been played at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Justin Grimm made the start before rehabbers Alexi Ogando and Koji Uehara saw action in relief.
Although the 23-year-old Grimm has logged 10 big league innings this season, his Triple-A debut didn't come until Saturday. Grimm surrendered a run on two hits in four innings, walking three and striking out two. He also plunked a batter while throwing 41 of his 70 pitches for a strike.
The University of Georgia product, who recently jumped straight to the major leagues from Double-A Frisco, is expected to remain in the Round Rock rotation for the foreseeable future.
Alexi Ogando followed Grimm, making his second rehab appearance in three days. On Thursday, the hard-throwing reliever hurled a perfect inning with two strikeouts. He allowed one single in two otherwise clean innings on Saturday, striking out three and throwing 26 pitches.
Right-hander Koji Uehara worked around a single and fanned one in his scoreless 24-pitch frame.
Both Ogando and Uehara are expected to be activated to join the Rangers' bullpen for their series at Oakland early next week.
While the Round Rock pitchers were strong through seven innings, the Express offense was shut down by scuffling Cardinals prospect Shelby Miller.
Entering Saturday's game, the 21-year-old Miller had a 6.17 ERA in 17 starts. But the Brownwood native tossed five innings of one-hit shutout ball while walking three and fanning four.
The Express offense finally broke through in the sixth inning when first baseman Brad Nelson (.279/.355/.460) launched a solo home run. He'd later add another long ball, going 3-for-3 with two solo shots and a walk on the evening.
Nelson's first home run of the night broke an incredible 26.2-inning scoreless streak at the Dell Diamond for the Round Rock bats. Overall, they were held to four or fewer runs for the 11th consecutive home game.
The Express currently rank 12th in the 16-team Pacific Coast League with 455 runs scored.
Joey Butler (1/3, 2B, BB) doubled and Yangervis Solarte (1/4) singled for the club's only other hits of the game.
Memphis broke the game open in the top of the ninth inning against relievers Neal Cotts and Johan Yan.
Cotts, who threw only 14 of his 30 pitches for a strike, gave up two runs on three walks in 1.1 innings. He didn't yield a hit. Yan then allowed two runs without recording an out.
Joe Ortiz retired the final two hitters, striking out one. Although the diminutive southpaw has surrendered three solo home runs in his first nine Triple-A appearances, he has held his own since earning the promotion––10.2 ip, 14 h, 3 r, 0 bb, 7 k.
Rangers hurler Neftali Feliz will continue the parade of rehabbing pitchers at the Dell Diamond this weekend, as he's scheduled to make a three-inning start on Sunday.
W - Osborne (1-0)
10-11, 4.0 GB
Although top prospects and performers Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar weren't in the lineup on Saturday, the RoughRiders collected a season-high 19 hits and scored 11 runs.
Leadoff man Ryan Strausbroger, who is beginning to heat up, went 3-for-5 with his seventh double of the season. Shortstop Leury Garcia, batting second, was 2-for-4 with a two-bagger.
Jose Felix (3/5, 2B) singled twice and doubled while Val Majewski (3/5) and Chris McGuiness (3/4, BB) both singled three times. Alex Buchholz (2/4) and Jared Hoying (2/5) had two knocks apiece.
On the mound, starting pitcher Barret Loux (3.79 ERA/.250 BAA) allowed five runs––three earned––on three hits in three innings. He walked three and didn't get a strikeout.
Although the 23-year-old Loux has pitched well overall this season, he has been inconsistent over his last eight starts––40.0 ip, 42 h, 24 er (5.40 ERA), 16 bb, 27 k.
After the Hooks had a slight come-from-behind attempt late in the game, Ryan Rodebaugh closed it out with a 10-pitch perfect ninth inning, punching out one.
L - R. Henry (5-4)
14-9, 1.5 GU
After logging a 7-1 victory over Winston-Salem in Wednesday's series opener, the Pelicans were outscored by the Dash 17-1 in the final three games.
On Saturday, Myrtle Beach was blanked for the second consecutive game. They were held to 10 total hits (eight singles) in those three contests.
Starting pitcher Randy Henry (1.42 ERA/.234 BAA) pitched well despite the lack of run support. The 22-year-old prospect gave up one run in six innings. He scattered seven hits while walking two and striking out three.
Henry, who induced 11 groundouts to two flyouts, also got the benefit of three double play ground balls in his six innings.
After beginning the season in the bullpen, Henry allowed four runs in two innings during his first start on June 8. But he's pitched well since that game––34.1 ip, 29 h, 5 er, 14 bb, 25 k.
Virginia Commonwealth product Joe Van Meter (2.25 ERA/.214 BAA) followed Henry by punching out six batters in three innings of relief. Van Meter yielded an unearned run on three singles and a walk.
Hanser Alberto (1/4), Brett Nicholas (1/2, 2 BB) and Christian Villanueva (1/4) singled for Myrtle Beach's only hits. DH Vin DiFazio (0/2, 2 BB) drew two walks.
The Pelicans' offense is currently in a 20-inning scoreless streak.
L - Perez (2-8)
14-9, 1.0 GB
The Crawdads dropped Saturday's series opener in Delmarva in extra innings, 5-4.
Making just his third start of the season, left-hander Andrew Faulkner (4.78 ERA/.271 BAA) pitched extremely well through four innings before surrendering three runs in the fifth.
Overall, the 19-year-old Faulkner allowed four runs on four hits in 4.2 innings, walking three and striking out five. Even with the poor fifth inning, Faulkner has pitched extremely well in his last five outings––16.0 ip, 10 h, 4 r, 5 bb, 14 k.
The Hickory offense had only five hits in 11 innings and stranded 10 runners on base, going 1-for-11 with men in scoring position. Catcher Kellin Deglan led the way by going 2-for-5 with his 17th double.
Nick Urbanus (1/5), Kevin Torres (1/4, BB) and Rougned Odor (1/4, BB) all singled once.
Third baseman Drew Robinson (.277/.424/.446), who was 0-for-2, drew three walks. He's worked 35 free passes in 37 games over the last two months.
Despite going 0-for-4 with a walk, centerfielder Jordan Akins stole three bases to give him 11 on the year. Chris Grayson (22nd) and Odor (13th) also swiped a bag.
Taylor Dennis (1.1 IP), Daniel Lopez (2 IP) and Phil Klein (1 IP) all worked shutout ball out of the bullpen. Santo Perez was stuck with his eighth loss after yielding an unearned run in 1.1 frames.
L - Harvey (0-1)
HR - Garcia (1)
8-21, 10.0 GB
Spokane lost its ninth consecutive game while dropping an extra-innings decision to the Emeralds. The Indians' offense has scored only 14 total runs during the nine-game stretch.
Spokane dropped the game even though hard-throwing starting pitcher Connor Sadzeck (4.44 ERA/.198 BAA) took a no-hitter through 5.2 innings. The 20-year-old prospect worked a career-high six scoreless frames, giving up one hit, walking two, and striking out four. He induced eight groundouts with one flyout.
Non-drafted free agent Brandon Garcia got his first professional hit with a solo home run in the fifth inning. The USC product, who also walked, is 1-for-12 in his first four games.
Catcher Pat Cantwell raised his batting average to .306 by going 4-for-5 with his fourth double.
First baseman Ryan Rua and shortstop Gabriel Roa combined to turn three double plays in the contest.
W - Slack (2-1)
SV - Shiver (2)
11-8, 0.0 GU
Slugging third baseman Joey Gallo (.339/.524/.932) continued his dominance of the rookie Arizona League on Saturday by going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a base on balls.
Through 19 professional games, Gallo is 20-for-59 (.339) with six doubles, a triple, and nine home runs. He's also drawn a league-leading 25 walks and struck out 18 times. In his last seven contests, Gallo has launched five home runs and walked eight times.
Second baseman Janluis Castro (3/4) singled three times and stole a base while Nomar Mazara (1/4, 2B) and David Lyon (1/4, 2B) both doubled once.
Leadoff man and left fielder Nick Williams went 0-for-3 but walked twice and stole his team-leading eighth base.
Rangers supplemental first-round pick Collin Wiles worked the first three innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He struck out one without issuing a walk.
Non-drafted free agent Ryne Slack, a left-hander, gave up one run in three frames. He earned his second victory. Casey Shiver retired the game's final six hitters to pick up his second save.
Rehabbing reliever Brett Weibley made his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training last year. Pitching the fourth inning, Weibley walked two and permitted an unearned run.
A hard-throwing two-way player at Kent State University, Weibley was the Rangers' 19th-round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. He posted an 8.36 ERA in 19 appearances with short-season Spokane that summer, yielding 40 hits and striking out 30 batters over 28 innings.
23-13, 0.0 GU
The Dominican Summer League is currently on its All-Star break. They'll play the All-Star Game on Sunday afternoon at the New York Mets' facility in Boca Chica.
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