L - Cotts (0-1)
5-2, 0.0 GU
After scheduled starting pitcher Justin Grimm was announced as the Rangers' starting pitcher in Seattle on Thursday, the Express were left with a ‘bullpen game.'
Veteran righty Ross Wolf, who was promoted from Double-A Frisco to take Grimm's place, filled in admirably, though the Express lost the game. Wolf threw 62 pitches over four scoreless innings, giving up two hits, walking two, and striking out three. The sinkerballer induced eight groundouts without a flyout.
Iowa earned their first victory of the campaign in seven tries after tagging lefty Neal Cotts for three runs (two earned) in two-thirds of an inning.
Round Rock had only six hits in the game, and all were singles. They were multi-hit efforts from Engel Beltre (2/4), Joey Butler (2/4), and Eli Whiteside (2/3).
The 23-year-old Beltre is off to a fast start through seven Triple-A games, going 9-for-30 (.300) with two doubles. He has walked twice, struck out three times, and stolen three bases in five attempts.
Following a rough spring training, third baseman Mike Olt has been slow out of the gates this regular season. The top prospect went 0-for-4 with a punchout on Wednesday, committing two errors in the field as well. He's 3-for-27 (.111) with two doubles and 11 strikeouts overall through seven games.
Righty relievers Yoshinori Tateyama (2.1 IP) and Cory Burns (2 IP) kept the I-Cubs off the scoreboard through the final 4.1 innings. Both pitchers struck out three batters.
3-3, 2.0 GB
The RoughRiders had Wednesday off, as they traveled back to Frisco in preparation for Thursday evening's home opener against Arkansas.
L - Martinez (0-1)
2-3, 1.5 GB
It was a rather uneventful afternoon for the Pelicans on Wednesday, as they were held to just three singles in the 4-0 defeat.
Myrtle Beach starting pitcher Nick Martinez was knocked for four runs in 4.1 innings. He gave up four hits (including a home run) while walking two and striking out three.
Reliever Joe Van Meter worked around a hit and two walks in 1.2 scoreless innings, striking out a pair. Tall southpaw Will Lamb finished the game with two shutout frames.
At the plate, Rougned Odor (1/4), Trever Adams (1/4), and Pat Cantwell (1/3) had the club's only knocks. Odor has hit safely in each of the Pelicans' five games, going 6-for-21 (.286) with two doubles and two round-trippers.
L - Edwards (0-1)
2-5, 3.0 GB
Talented Crawdads starter C.J. Edwards pitched well through four innings on Wednesday before running into trouble in the fifth. The South Carolina native was knocked out in that frame, working 4.1 innings and yielding three runs. He gave up five hits, walked two, and struck out two.
Hickory's position players combined to whiff 16 times in the contest. Catcher Jorge Alfaro, who went 2-for-4 with his second double, was the only hitter who didn't strike out.
Lewis Brinson (0/5), Nomar Mazara (1/5, 2B), Joey Gallo (0/4, BB), and Joe Maloney (0/3, BB) all fanned three times.
Mazara's double was only his second hit of the young season. Through six games, he's 2-for-23 with two walks and 11 strikeouts.
DH Preston Beck singled once and walked twice in four trips.
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