Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 9 July

A ten-inning no-hitter for Hickory.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 10, Albuquerque (COL) 9 (10)
Round Rock: 14 hits, 9 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 6 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 45-38, 3.5 GB

SP Cole Ragans: 4.2 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 3 R, 3 BB, 6 SO, 94 P / 54 S, 4.26 ERA
RP Chase Lee: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 19.80 ERA
RP Ryder Ryan: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 3.18 ERA
RF Bubba Thompson: 1-3, 2B, 3 BB, .300/.350/.462
CF Ezequiel Duran: 2-5, BB, .234/.288/.426
LF Nick Solak: 4-6, .275/.362/.443
1B Elier Hernandez: 4-5, 2 SB (9), .300/.370/.557
PH Josh Sale: 1-1, HR (7), .282/.390/.565

Round Rock won after trailing 7-0 at the stretch. The Express used three singles and three walks to score five in the 7th. A two-out, two-run single off Jesus Tinoco in the 9th seemingly put the game out of reach, but two-run homers from Andy Ibanez and Josh Sale (pinch-hitting with two out) forced extras. Ryder Ryan stranded Albuquerque’s gift-runner in the 10th. ABQ intentionally walked Bubba Thompson to open the bottom half, presumably to create a force and eliminate a likely runner-advancing bunt. Ezequiel Duran punched a low pitch to short left to load the bases, and Nick Solak hammered an 0-2 pitch to the fence (nominally a single).

Cole Ragans cruised through four innings but hit a wall in the 5th. The Isotopes offered eight right-handed batters, so the lefty had been relying heavily and effectively on his changeup. After consecutive swinging strikes on changes to Jonathan Morales, Ragans hung a change that Morales singled, after which DJ Peterson homered. Ragans then missed on seven of eight changes and walked two of the next three batters. He expended 32 pitches to record two outs, enough to end his night. Ragans grabbed a large handful of called strikes with his curve and essentially ignored his cutter/slider.

Chase Lee was much more effective the second time I saw him in person. Albuquerque hitters weren’t nearly as comfortable in the box as those from Las Vegas. I still worry about how most of his pitches cross the plate at the same height.

Ezequiel Duran was effective if largely untested in center. On a routine catch to his left, Duran had his body properly aligned for a throw to third, preventing the runner on second from getting frisky.

AA: Frisco 6, at San Antonio (SDG) 0
Frisco: 11 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 7-4, 2 GB, 43-37 overall

SP Tim Brennan: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 80 P / 50 S, 3.09 ERA
RP Seth Nordlin: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.12 ERA
DH Dustin Harris: 2-5, HR (14), .263/.352/.474
1B Blaine Crim: 1-2, 3 BB, .269/.342/.458
C David Garcia: 3-3, HR (5), BB, .248/.289/.430

It’s a good day for the system when a two-hit shutout is arguably the least interesting game. Tim Brennan limited the Missions to two walks through five. Consecutive singles to start the 6th ended his night, but Seth Nordlin, Tyler Thomas, and Nick Starr were perfect except for a Nordlin HBP.

Dustin Harris hit his organization-leading 14th homer in the 1st.

High-A: Hickory 4, at Bowling Green (TAM) 0 (10)
Hickory: 6 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 0 hits, 2 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 6-8, 4 GB, 44-36 overall

SP Larson Kindreich: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO, 84 P / 51 S, 0.60 ERA
RP Leury Tejada: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 5.21 ERA
RP Michael Brewer: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 6.14 ERA
RP Theo McDowell: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
SS Luisangel Acuna: 2-5, .304/.394/.482

Four Crawdads combined on the first no-hitter for the Texas system since 2014*. In his third high-A start, Larson Kindreich retired the first 14 Hot Rods before a Johan Lopez walk.

Righty Leury Tejeda replaced Kindreich in the 7th. Opponents were hitting .313/.364/.588 against him in high-A, and eight of his nine outings had resulted in hits and runs, but Tejada retired his side with relative ease. Then followed Michael Brewer, very successful at Down East but, like Tejada, extremely hittable so far at Hickory. Brewer induced a one-pitch groundout by ex-Ranger Heriberto Hernandez and fanned the next two. Theo McDowell, yet another reliever promoted from Down East this season, entered the 9th and retired his side in order.

Unfortunately, Hickory didn’t have a no-hitter yet. The Crawdads offense managed only two hits and three other runners through the first nine. Hickory finally broke through in the 10th when Cristian Inoa doubled home gift-runner Trevor Hauver, and singles by Angel Aponte, catcher Randy Florentino, and Luisangel Acuna followed.

With the pressure of a scoreless game alleviated, McDowell retired the first two batters (one a running catch on the track by CF Evan Carter), walked the next, and got Hernandez to ground out to short.

This was Kindreich’s fourth lengthy scoreless outing in 12 starts.

* I think. My record search consisted primarily of searching for “no-hitter” in my old reports (and being mortified at how badly I’ve overused the verb “carried” when describing no-hitters lost late, as in “Derek Holland carried a no-hitter into the 6th”). Derek Thompson and three teammates combined on an 11-inning no-hitter for Spokane in 2014. Strangely, I found nine no-hitters during 2008-2014 but none since.

Low-A: Down East 13, at Fayetteville (HOU) 1
Down East: 14 hits, 12 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
Record: 7-6, 4.5 GB, 40-39 overall

SP Mitch Bratt: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 73 P / 52 S, 1.84 ERA
RP Josh Stephan: 4 IP, 1 H (1 HR), 1 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 3.75 ERA
C Ian Moller: 1-4, 2 BB, .141/.308/.228
LF Daniel Mateo: 4-6, 3 HR (9), .280/.331/.427
RF Alejandro Osuna: 2-3, 3 BB, 2 SB (29), .312/.407/.462
SS Cam Cauley: 1-6, HR (1), .183/.293/.242
DH Xavier Valentin: 3-6, HR (1), .184/.268/.245

An offense not known for its power cranked five homers against a staff not known for giving them up. OF Daniel Mateo went deep three times. Still on the lanky side, if not outright skinny, the 21-year-old Mateo had all of three homers in 92 pro games entering the season. Cam Cauley hit the first homer of his pro career, and Valentin his first since last August.

Mitch Bratt dealt his third straight scoreless outing, though which he’s walked three and fanned 20 in 15 innings. Rained-out Friday starter Josh Stephan handled the rest.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Winn
AA: TBD (rotation has been in flux, could be anyone, could be someone)
Hi-A: TBD (Englert)
Lo-A: TBD (Santos)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Jeffrey Springs whiffed six and allowed a run in seven innings for high-A Down East. I suggested Springs would lead the organization in strikeouts since Connor Sadzeck had switched to relief, and he would, with 146, although Kyle Cody presented a challenge with his 136.