Eric Hurley tossed a complete-game shutout against the Wichita Wranglers on Wednesday while Clinton…
Instant Analysis: Frisco @ San Antonio (5/18)
• Frisco starting pitcher Eric Hurley didn't have his best stuff of the season, but the right-hander battled his way to a quality start. The Rangers' top prospect yielded three runs on five hits in six innings. He walked two and tied his season-high with seven punchouts. The only damage came on a Chase Headley three-run homer in the bottom of the third inning.
"I was kind of shaky in the first, but I loosened up around the fourth, fifth, and sixth," said Hurley of his start. "Sometimes you've got to learn to keep your team in the game even when you don't have your best stuff."
Hurley struggled to command his fastball and changeup in the game's early innings, but his slider was outstanding for the majority of the night. While the former first round pick often had problems commanding his fastball, he was still able to break quite a few bats while riding the fastball in on the San Antonio hitters.
Hurley, who has earned a reputation of getting better as the game progresses, retired nine of the final ten batters that he faced, with the other hitter reaching on a catcher's interference call.
"I don't really know, I've been trying to figure that out myself," said Hurley when asked about why he gains strength in the later innings. "If I could figure it out, I'd be a lot better off. But I've just got to go out there the first couple of innings and battle. I've got to throw a couple of zeros on the board."
• Leadoff hitter Anthony Webster, who hit .269 in 69 games with Triple-A Oklahoma in 2006, contributed offensively in nearly every way imaginable.
The outfielder led off the game by roping a double down the right field line against San Antonio starter Sean Thompson. In the game's eighth inning, the left-handed hitter placed a perfect bunt between the pitcher and the third baseman, beating it out for a base hit. The speedster would later steal third base – his seventh of the season – with two outs in the inning. After failing to get a bunt down in the top of the 10th inning, Webster was able to move Kevin Richardson over to third base with a groundout to the right side of the infield. It was a productive night at the plate for the 24-year-old prospect.
• Making his first appearance at the Double-A level, 5-foot-8 hurler Danny Ray Herrera was sharp. The southpaw allowed two hits – one dribbler through the left side and one ball hit weakly to the shortstop – and no runs in 1 1/3 innings. Herrera fanned the last batter he faced on an outstanding changeup.
"It was exciting. I was a little too excited at first, but I kept my composure pretty well and it was fun," said Herrera of his first Texas League outing. "They didn't square any balls up. My game is to get a lot of ground balls and I did that tonight."
The native Texan is also excited to be pitching back home.
"My mom is only an hour and a half drive to San Antonio, so I'm glad that she got to come. A lot of my friends and family are scattered throughout Texas, so they'll get to watch me as well. It's a good advantage for me."
• Cleanup hitter Brandon Boggs flashed the glove in the third inning with an outstanding sliding catch in centerfield. The Georgia Tech product also features an average arm that plays well in both centerfield and left field. Boggs showed his prowess with the bat when he launched a game-tying solo home run over the left field wall in the top of the sixth inning. The round-tripper was Boggs' first in 33 Double-A at-bats.
• Frisco backstop Kevin Richardson may not have the strongest arm in the organization, but he displayed pinpoint accuracy while throwing out both attempted base stealers on Friday evening. Richardson, who has gunned down 40.6% of base stealers this season, was also 2-for-6 at the plate.
• First baseman Emerson Frostad delivered the game's biggest blow, as he pulled a game-winning three-run homer over the right field fence.
"He [San Antonio reliever Jon Searles] came with a first-pitch fastball and I fouled it off," Frostad said of his at-bat. "Then he came with a slider and I just happened to put a good swing on it and hit it out.
Frostad, who had been without an extra base hit since he homered on April 26, is happy to be breaking out of his first slump of the season.
"The last few games I've been doing a lot better as far as my approach, but I haven't gotten a lot of results. It's nice to get that going tonight. It was a big win, being extra innings and all that. It's nice for the team and hopefully I can start rolling with that."
The 24-year-old native of Canada also singled and stole his first base of the season.
• With third baseman Travis Metcalf being called up to the big league club on Friday, it marks the second RoughRider to get the call to the show in the last couple of weeks. Outfielder Kevin Mahar, who played 25 games with Frisco this season, joined the Rangers earlier in the week.
When asked about having a pair of teammates called up recently, pitcher Doug Mathis said the call can occur at any time.
"It's crazy. It just shows that dreams come true everyday. Mahar was here two weeks ago and Metcalf was here this morning," Mathis said. "Metcalf is my roommate on the road. You never know when it's going to happen. You just have to keep performing because you could easily be there as soon as they are."
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