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Active and Passive

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

It took the RoughRiders two pitches to turn a 1-1 tie into a two-run lead in the seventh inning at Hammons Field on Tuesday. Nomar Mazara and Hanser Alberto each went deep on the first pitch of their respective at-bats as the ‘Riders took a pro-active approach to take the lead in the later stages of the game. In the ninth, the ‘Riders patiently kept the bats on their shoulders and drew five walks and a hit-by-pitch in a nine-batter inning to put the game out of reach for Springfield. Three runs on zero hits with three men left on base in the ninth inning for the RoughRiders. It doesn’t get more passive than that. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: RHP Alec Asher – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

The staff takes home “Star of the Game” honors once again. The Big Cat snapped a two-start losing streak on the hill as he went six innings and allowed one unearned run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Alec is now 9-11 on the season and the nine dubs ties a career mark for the Floridian. As a unit, ‘Riders pitching has not allowed an earned run in 20 innings and has coughed up just one earned run in the last three games.

In case you missed it:

-The homers for Mazara and Alberto were Double-A firsts for both hitters. Mazara’s blast to right field was the first of his career with Frisco and 20th of the season. Alberto went deep to left for his first jack as a RoughRider in 2014 and sixth on the year. The shortstop also hit four long balls with the ‘Riders in 2013.

-Teodoro Martinez extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the second. Teo is one game shy of tying his season-high of eight straight with a base knock.

-Patrick Cantwell was hit by a pitch for the 18th time this season, the most in the Texas League. He also drew a walk in the third and now has 17 base on balls in 2014.

-The ‘Riders snapped a streak of six straight games with an error and did not have a miscue defensively, although Jorge Alfaro did have a passed ball that scored Springfield’s only run of the ballgame.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-5, 2 SO

After a day off on Sunday, Joey reached base on a fielder’s choice in the second, but the offense did not need his power on Tuesday. Hammons Field in Springfield is known as a hitter-friendly park, so it will be interesting to see if the slugger can knock any out of the yard in the Show Me State.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (17)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (11)

4. J.T. Wise (6)

5. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

6. Jorge Alfaro (3)

8. Chris Grayson (2)

8. Odubel Herrera (2)

10. Patrick Cantwell (1)

10. Nomar Mazara (1)

10. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

In case you missed it (again), be sure to catch out interview with the Rangers Derek Holland, who enjoyed a brief, yet very successful run with the RoughRiders at the end of the 2008 season:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

The Ongoing Story of Joey Gallo

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Joey Gallo.

The name alone sends chills down pitchers’ backs and gives Rangers’ fans hope for the future. Still shy of his 21st birthday this November, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound phenomenon has burst onto the Frisco stage with an assortment of dynamic home runs in every direction. He seems to have all the tools necessary to eventually make his way to the big stage and big lights in Arlington.

Some MLB teams, though, did not initially buy into the hard-hitting high schooler when he entered the 2012 MLB draft. Gallo showcased plenty of raw power at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, but there was concern his game was one-dimensional and that his height would prohibit him from playing an infield position. The Rangers weighed the risks and decided to take a chance on him with the 39th pick in the supplemental first round.

Now in his third season, Gallo has quickly gone from a well-known prospect in the Rangers organization to a name recognizable across professional baseball.

As a teenager in 2013, Gallo blasted 40 homers that season and earned the Joe Bauman Award as the top home run hitter in the minor leagues. In the process, he became the first teenager in more than 50 years to hit 40 home runs in a minor league season. The buzz around Gallo only grew at the start of this season with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach.

In just over two months with the Pelicans, Gallo was a three-time Player of the Week in the Carolina League and belted three home runs in a game twice. The Carolina League named Gallo to its Mid-Season All-Star team, giving him yet another accolade to add to his collection. With the hype around Gallo continuing to increase, the Rangers offered Gallo a bigger challenge.

A Double-A call-up provides challenges for young players as the pitching and level of play makes a substantial leap. Gallo, though, proved up to the task in his RoughRiders debut on June 9.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the newcomer left an unparalleled first impression when he smashed a 2-0 pitch to left field for a walk-off, three-run home run to give his new team the dramatic victory.

Gallo has dealt with some growing pains during his first few months with the team, but the lefty has shown an ability to learn on the fly while continuing to rapidly pound the ball. Since the time of his promotion, Gallo has led the Texas League in homers, runs batted in, slugging percentage, OPS and total bases. He once again has the chance to reach the 40 home run plateau and would become the first minor leaguer to have back-to-back 40-homer seasons since 1981-1982.

Gallo’s power was also on display during MLB All-Star week in the Futures Game. In an exhibition contest between the top minor league baseball prospects, Gallo led Team USA to a 3-2 victory over Team World by hammering another 2-0 pitch well out of the park. This go-ahead, two-run shot in the sixth inning was enough for Gallo to earn the game’s MVP award.

In the midst of an injury-ridden season in Arlington, there has been a bright spot on the north side of the metroplex. Gallo has been a subject worth writing about and a player worth watching every time he steps up to the plate.

But the story doesn’t end there. With plenty of room for improvement and an attitude set on getting better every day, Gallo has the opportunity to control his own narrative and leave an imprint on the Rangers organization. One home run at a time.

-Jay Wallis

Mirror Image

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

Sunday brought an end to a mirror image of a homestand. The ‘Riders opened a six-game stay at Dr Pepper Ballpark with a win against Springfield, but dropped the final two games of the set. Tulsa arrived in town and stole game one, but the RoughRiders rallied and won the final two to finish the homestand at 3-3. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: RHP Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 0 ER, BB, 2 K

There could realistically be three stars of the game, given the monster offensive nights for J.T. Wise and Teodoro Martinez, respectively. But Chi Chi did not allowed a hit in five frames against the Drillers and has allowed only one earned run in his last two outings. His outing likely would have lasted longer than five innings had the defense not committed two errors in the field, which led to the only two runs of the game for Tulsa. The righty is now 6-3 with a 2.11 ERA at the Double-A level and has won his last five decisions with the RoughRiders.

In case you missed it:

-The bottom five hitters in the order carried the load offensively for the ‘Riders:

J.T. Wise batted fifth and finished 3-for-3 with three runs, a double, a home run, an RBI and a walk. The righty has hits in 18 of his 24 games with the RoughRiders.

Teodoro Martinez batted seventh and turned in a career night with a 4-for-4 showing to tie career mark in hits. The Venezuelan scored twice, belted two doubles and drove in three runs. The second half has been a struggle for Teo, but he now carries a six-game hitting streak.

Drew Robinson batted eighth and socked his 11th homer of the season with an eighth inning blast to put the game away. It was a monster shot down the right-field line for Drew, who finished 2-for-4 with a run, a double, a home run and two RBI.

-The ‘Riders committed an error on every game of the homestand for a total of 11 over the six-game stretch.

-Gallo watch: DNP

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (17)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (11)

4. J.T. Wise (6)

5. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

6. Jorge Alfaro (3)

8. Chris Grayson (2)

8. Odubel Herrera (2)

10. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

The ‘Riders weekly chat with field manager Jason Wood on “Sunday with the Skipper:”

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Back On Track

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The ‘Riders entered Saturday’s game with Tulsa on a three-game slide at home for just the second time in 2014. They made sure it didn’t reach four thanks to 8-3 win against the Drillers. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: C Jorge Alfaro – 4/5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI

In the first inning, Jorge scorched a line drive to first where fill-in defender Jose Gonzalez made a great play off the bag to record an out. The Drillers never put the Colombian catcher away the rest of the night. Jorge flashed power cool on a solo home run to the opposite field in the fourth inning. He also displayed an ability to hit for average and went to the opposite field for two of his three singles on the night.

In case you missed it:

-In his second rehab start of the season for Frisco, Derek Holland lasted three innings and threw 49 pitches (30 for strikes). The southpaw allowed one single in each inning, but the Drillers never placed a runner in scoring position against Holland, who surrendered no runs and no walks alongside four strikeouts. The Rangers starter has eight whiffs in five innings of rehab work for Frisco.

-In addition to Alfaro, two new RoughRiders shone bright on Saturday:

Jake Thompson was bounced from his scheduled starting role by Holland, but like Chi Chi Gonzalez, showed no negative effects of pitching from the pen in the fifth. Thompson allowed one run and one walk on three hits over four innings and struck out eight with a jaw-dropping slider. He threw 67 pitches and 40 for strikes.

Nomar Mazara snapped out of an 0-for-12 slump (he had been hitless after his Double-A debut on August 5) for the eighth three-hit night of his season. The lanky Dominican knocked three singles into right field (one was hit to the wall), scored a run and drove in three more.

-Local product Trevor Story drew a walk and scored the only run of the game for the Drillers. Trevor’s free base came from Jake Thompson and the two played summer ball together in high school for the Dallas Patriots.

-Frisco drew eight walks from Tulsa pitching.

-The ‘Riders have committed an error on every game of the homestand.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB, SO, SB

Joey showed good patience at the dish and drew his most walks in a game as a RoughRider. He also stole his first Double-A base after swiping five in Myrtle Beach. Joey now has 25 walks and 89 strikeouts with Frisco.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (17)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. J.T. Wise (5)

4. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Jorge Alfaro (2)

10. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

Tulsa shortstop Trevor Story joined the Pregame Show to chat about his loud cheering section at Dr Pepper Ballpark. A native of Irving, Texas, Trevor grew up a Rangers fan and attended several games at Dr Pepper Ballpark as a youth. The opener against Frisco served as an unofficial homecoming of sorts for Trevor, and he did not disappoint as he launched a solo home run on Friday night:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Rainy Skies Affect Another Game on the Homestand

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

For the second time on the homestand, weather left its fingerprint on a game at the Doc. On Friday, a late afternoon rain shower pushed first pitch to 7:35 (a half hour after the scheduled start time). When play commenced, the Drillers cruised on three homers to an 8-3 win and send the ‘Riders to a three-game skid. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: LF Trever Adams – 1/3, R, RBI, BB

It wasn’t a particularly strong night offensively as the RoughRiders mustered only a handful of hits, but Trever had a hand in two of the ‘Riders three runs in the game. After he went hitless on Thursday for the first time in 13 games, Trever bounced back on Friday and has not gone consecutive outings without a base knock in the second half of the season, which started June 17.

In case you missed it:

-The ‘Riders committed multiple errors for the third night in a row and have not had a night without a miscue on the homestand.

-Frisco falls to 8-8 against the North Division in the second half of the season.

-Gallo watch: 1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI

In a highly anticipated matchup, Joey battled Tulsa starter Jon Gray for two at-bats on Friday. Both were recently rated the number one prospect in their respective organizations by MLB.com. In round one, hitter saw four strikes from pitcher and ultimately grounded out to first base. The rematch, however, told a different story as Joey blasted a first pitch delivery from Gray to center field for a two-run home run.

Joey now has 38 jacks this season and breaks a tie with Kris Bryant for the most in professional baseball. It was also career home run number 100 for the lefty and his 17th with Frisco, second-most in the Texas League.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (17)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. J.T. Wise (5)

4. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Jorge Alfaro (1)

 

Former RoughRider Derek Holland checks in at Dr Pepper Ballpark for the first time since 2008, when he spent the final month of the season with the ‘Riders and helped lead the team to the Texas League championship series. He delves into the struggles of injury rehab, mental and physical, that dog even the best and also discusses his impressive track record of community involvement:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Grounded

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

A 2-1 game, in which all three runs scored in the fifth inning, lasted three hours and 16 minutes and the ball just did not bounce Frisco’s way as Springfield flies out of town with a series victory under wing. Click here to read the game recap.

The tough breaks came on a ground ball from Cody Stanley that took a trampoline bounce over Trever Adams’ head at first and brought home a run for Springfield. They popped up on a great catch by Rafael Ortega in center field to rob Nomar Mazara of a base hit. And on the play when Ortega gambled and let a ball from Hanser Alberto roll under his glove, left fielder Charlie Tilson cleaned up the mess and instigated a 7-4-2 relay that gunned out Teodoro Martinez at home in the eighth. It wasn’t the first time the ‘Riders lost the potential tying run at home. In the seventh, with runners on second and third, Adams bounced a ball to his counterpart Jonathan Rodriguez at first, who rifled home to put away Patrick Cantwell.

Star of the Game: C Patrick Cantwell – 2/3, R, 2B, 2 HBP

It’s no longer out of the ordinary to see Patrick wear a pitch on down to first base. But twice in one game? Pat now has been hit 17 times this season, the most in the Texas League (he’s drawn 14 walks).

In case you missed it:

-The ‘Riders committed six errors in the three-game series. On Thursday, the RoughRiders committed three gaffes, one shy of their season high of four. Coincidentally, that four-error game also dropped against the Cardinals on May 24.

-Jorge Alfaro picked up a pair of singles for his first multi-hit game as a RoughRider.

-Trever Adams batted 0-for-2 and drew a pair of walks, but saw his season-long 13-game hit streak come to an end.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-4, 2 SO

Tough series for Joey, who finished 1-for-12 and accounted for the final out in three innings in which the ‘Riders had men in scoring position.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. J.T. Wise (5)

4. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Jorge Alfaro (1)

 

Get the inside scoop from the batter’s eye as Jake Skole talks through his big night at the plate against Springfield on Wednesday:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Birds Return the Favor

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

After Frisco shuttered Springfield in game one, the Cardinals broke out of the nest in a big way and pelted the RoughRiders for 12 runs on 17 hits in game two to even the series. Click here to read the game recap.

Make no mistake about it, Springfield needed this game. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Double-A Redbirds, who need every “w” they can muster in order to stay relevant in the playoff conversation.

The Cardinals scored three runs in the second, five in the third and three more in the fourth. The ‘Riders were able to respond with a five-spot of their own in the bottom of the third to make the score 8-6 Springfield, but the Cards sent 32 men to the plate over a four inning span from the second through the fifth. They chased Alec Asher from the game after the righty allowed six runs on five hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings. Ryan Rodebaugh fared no better and allowed five runs on eight hits over one inning of relief.

Star of the Game: 1B J.T. Wise – 3/4, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, GIDP

It was another good night for the Frisco offense. Rarely does a team lose a game in which they score seven runs on 11 hits with four home runs. Such was the case in a wacky affair. As for J.T., the first baseman finished a triple shy of the cycle and clocked his fifth moon shot of the season (this one cleared the Diamond Deck in left). Remember, the former member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization joined the RoughRiders on July 13.

In case you missed it:

-Springfield batted around in the second and third innings, respectively. They sent eight men to the plate in the fourth.

-Frisco also batted around in the third as part of a 41-minute inning.

-The ‘Riders four home runs tied a season high for a single game (April 10 at Northwest Arkansas). Jake Skole smacked two, one to either field, to raise his 2014 total by 66.6 percent. It was Skole’s third multi-home run game of his career.

-In his second career game at the Double-A level, 21-year-old Jorge Alfaro rocked his first homer as a ‘Rider. The Colombian catcher took the first pitch of the third inning right down the left field line to the Diamond Deck in what was also his first hit, run and (pair of) RBI for Frisco.

-Cardinals starter Jonathan Cornelius struck out the side in the third inning, but also allowed five runs on five hits. The southpaw picked up nine of his first ten outs via the K-ball.

-In his debut atop the Texas League batting list, Odubel Herrera donned the golden sombrero, but picked up a single in his final at-bat.

-Trever Adams extended his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games with a single in the third. The left fielder finished the game 2-for-4 with a run, a strikeout and a walk.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-4, 3 SO, ROE

Joey (and the rest of the RoughRiders) faced lefties all night. A titanic fly ball to the warning track in right popped out of the glove of

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. J.T. Wise (5)

4. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Jorge Alfaro (1)

 

Southpaw Will Lamb breaks down how he stayed tuned in mentally during a 56-minute rain delay on Tuesday night. The reliever also remarks on the progress he has seen out of battery mate Jorge Alfaro since the two played for Short Season Spokane in 2011:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Check out this Wise guy

By: Cameron Varnau

The road we take to our respective careers will most likely take a few un-anticipated turns. Whether you’re an accountant, a lawyer, a salesman or for J.T. Wise, a baseball player, life throws us curve balls. The latter comes quite literally for Wise as he continues a rejuvenated pro-ball career with the Texas Rangers.

The catcher and first baseman played collegiately at Louisiana State University and was drafted in the 45th round of the June 2009 draft by the Oakland Athletics. Wise turned down the early opportunity to go professional and instead transferred to play for the Oklahoma Sooners for his junior and senior seasons. The Florida native took off in the Big 12 conference and was the 2009 Big 12 Player of the Year, and was also named the 2009 Johnny Bench award winner, which is earned by the nation’s best college catcher.

As a senior he played in all but two games for the Sooners in 55 starts with 50 as a catcher, and he registered a hit in 46 of those games. From a defensive stand point he committed only two errors, which was good for a .996 fielding percentage, and he threw out a conference-best 30 potential base stealers. He credits the competition he faced day-to-day as to why he was able to play at such a high level.

“Playing at Oklahoma was fun. We had a really great program with a lot of really great players on our team, especially during my last year. I played with a couple of guys that I think are in the big leagues now and playing in that competition was great,” Wise said.

“I played in the Big 12 and in the SEC before that so playing in that competition and getting drafted into minor league ball wasn’t much different. We faced a lot of big name pitchers so it helped prepare you for major league ball,” Wise added.

“That’s not saying the other conferences don’t have good players because we played a lot of really good teams out there like Washington State, Arizona State and UCLA. They all just generate baseball players there so the majority of the games in and outside of our conference got you ready for the competition.”

J.T. batted .297 during his four-year collegiate career and was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth round of the 2009 MLB draft after his award-winning senior season.

He spent four years in the Dodgers’ farm system and worked his way up to Double-A Chattanooga. The prospect, however, struggled in 2013 and his production dipped below what the Dodgers were comfortable with.

He was released by Los Angeles and began 2014 with the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association of Independent Baseball. The catcher and first baseman played in 47 games for the Wingnuts and scored 33 runs on 55 hits with 42 RBI. He popped 14 doubles to go along with 12 home runs, caught the attention of Texas’ front office, and was signed by the Rangers in July 2014.

J.T. Wise behind the plate with Frisco.

J.T. Wise behind the plate with Frisco.

On his experience away from affiliated baseball Wise said, “I guess you don’t want to go to independent ball but you still get to play baseball and hope that you get another chance somewhere. From my perspective, it definitely humbled me and opened my eyes a little and helped me respect things more, like this opportunity that I’ve been given right now. You don’t want to take it for granted and you want to bust your butt so you can take full advantage of it.”

“The independent league wasn’t a pushover either because you’re playing against quality opponents and guys that are just out of affiliated ball and close to the big leagues,” he said of his competition. “Wichita had a good set up and the coaching staff was awesome and they definitely made it fun to play there every day.”

When he got the call and was informed that Texas was interested in acquiring him Wise said, “I really didn’t know what to do because it was my first time getting released and then resigned back on so I didn’t know what to do. I called my wife and parents and told them not to get too excited, because I still hadn’t signed my contract, and I didn’t want to celebrate before it was done. It was definitely a really cool day and it’s great seeing all the hard work you did pay off.”

Wise made his organizational debut by playing first base in one game for Triple-A Round Rock on July 8, 2014, and was then sent to the RoughRiders where he’s played since. It seems that he is closer to where he was during his first few minor league seasons as through his first 21 games with Frisco he’s hit .295 with 23 hits, 18 RBI and four home runs.

He’s made an almost instant impact in the middle of the Frisco batting order and has found a way to make it on Jason Wood’s lineup card all he possibly can, and has done everything the club has asked of him. What has the past month been for the player? “Fun,” he says.

Wise batting against the San Antonio Missions.

Wise batting against the San Antonio Missions.

“The coaching staff is awesome. Woody (skipper Jason Wood) and Harty (hitting instructor Jason Hart), Jeff Andrews (pitching coach), they’re all really cool guys and when I say that I mean they’re players’ coaches. They have great relationships with everybody and the entire team is awesome.”

“They’re level headed kids and being a little bit older than them I get to mentor the younger guys with some stuff and try not to let them get in their heads. For the most part it’s been fun, I’ve met some good people here, they seem to treat you right here and they made it easy for me.”

The life of a professional ball player is never set in stone or solidified by any means. In a career where there’s no guarantee of what the future holds, J.T. Wise is guaranteeing one thing. That hard work, repetition, passion and energy pays off. As for the metaphorical, and quite real, curve balls that life has thrown Wise, he plans on continuing to hit them out of the park.

‘Riders Roll On After Rain Rolls Out

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The ‘Riders clung to a 2-1 lead in the bottom of sixth inning when home plate umpire Nathan White signaled for the RoughRiders’ grounds crew to unfurl the tarp, which initiated a 56-minute rain delay. After the moratorium, Frisco came out guns blazing and torched Springfield with seven runs as part of an 11-batter eighth inning to put the game beyond reach. Click here to read the game recap.

The call to suspend play was a preemptive one as rain had not yet begun to fall, but it happened under unique circumstances. Springfield starting pitcher Mike Mayers had just hit Patrick Cantwell with a pitch to load the bases with one out in the sixth. Manager Mike Shildt stepped out of the dugout, but instead of a signal to the bullpen, he instead hailed White, the crew chief, who in turn called for the tarpaulin.

While it seemed odd, and opportunistic, for Springfield’s skipper to invoke a rain delay, the decision had plenty of merit. The tarp was situated before the rain began and preserved the integrity of the infield, which in turn lead to a shorter delay in the long run.

The delay lasted just under an hour, but still harkened back to contest in Springfield’s last trip to Dr Pepper Ballpark that also succumbed to inclement weather. On May 25, however, the delay lasted two hours and 26 minutes before play eventually resumed (thank goodness it was a day game). A measly 56-minute delay felt like nothing at all. In both cases, the ‘Riders lead before the delay and went on to win afterwards. Springfield has brought thunderheads to the Doc in both of its trips now; the only two home rain delays have occurred with the Cardinals in town (note the difference between a rain delay and a rain out, the latter of which also transpired against a foe from the North Division).

Star of the Game: LF Nomar Mazara – 2/4, 2B, 3B, SF, 2 RBI

There were plenty of noteworthy offensive performances in a game that produced 15 hits and nine runs. But Nomar looked in no way like the youngest player in the Texas League making his Double-A debut after an outright bypass of Advanced-A. Yes, he did commit a shaky error in right field in the second inning. Chalk it up to nerves. At the plate, the 19-year-old looked anything but shy.

An impressive figure in the left-handed batter’s box at 6-foot-4 200 pounds, Nomar cracked his first Double-A pitch to deep center field in the second inning to drive in the first RoughRiders run on a sacrifice fly. In his second at-bat, the lefty sent a screamer stopped only by an impressive leaping grab from second baseman Breyvic Valera.

The ball elevated in two of his final three plate appearances as well, but this time, they landed for extra base knocks. Nomar went oppo on a double that rolled all the way into the left field corner and crushed a ball to the deepest part of center field for a triple in the eighth (it was his second time to the dish that inning). The Dominican slowed his jog on the way into third as well. He gets the nod for an impressive Double-A debut.

Honorable mention deservedly befalls Patrick Cantwell (2-for-3, R, RBI, BB, HBP), Trever Adams (2-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI), Teodoro Martinez (2-for-5, R, 2B, 3 RBI) and Hanser Alberto (3-for-4, 2 R, BB).

In case you missed it:

-The ‘Riders knocked off Springfield by a 9-1 final score for the second time this season. The first instance took place on May 31 in Springfield.

-Patrick Cantwell drew his 15th hit-by-pitch of the season, the most in the Texas League.

-With two singles on the night, Odubel Herrera now has multiple hits in 25 of his last 49 games. His second knock of the night came with the bases loaded in the sixth inning and two outs (just after the rain delay). In a bad break for the ‘Riders, the ball struck Patrick Cantwell in the base path between first and second, which resulted in the third out of the frame. Odubel still received credit for the base hit.

-Trever Adams extended his hitting streak to 12 games and also smoked his 32nd double of the season, second-most in the league. Trever has now doubled in 12 of his last 16 games.

-Another highly-touted prospect made his RoughRiders debut on Tuesday. Jorge Alfaro batted second as the DH in his first Double-A game, and although he was the only ‘Rider to not register a base hit, he drew two walks and scored a run.

-Gallo watch: 1/4, 2 R, SO, HBP

Everyone held their collective breath when Lee Stoppelman plunked Joey on the hand in the eighth inning. He writhed in pain, but stayed in the game and would later score from first on Martinez’ RBI double. The hit from Stoppelman contained no malice but it tautened the mood of the game considerably.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. J.T. Wise (4)

5. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Jake Skole (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

Listen to Keone Kela talk about his desire to pitch back-to-back nights in the San Antonio series and find out what the flamethrower did on his off day. Hint: it did not involve baseball.

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Thompson Follows Suit

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

One night after Andrew Faulkner picked up his first Double-A win, Jake Thompson hopped on the train and earned his first organizational win with nearly seven innings of shutdown baseball against the San Antonio Missions. Click here to read the game recap.

The RoughRiders starting rotation currently runs Chi Chi Gonzalez, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Faulkner and Thompson. A minor league staff rarely holds legitimate prospects in all five starting roles, but that’s precisely the case in Frisco with 26 games remaining in the regular season. This roster will not remain static over the final month of the season, so ‘Riders fans (and Rangers fans) should take a moment to appreciate the strength of this group.

Star of the Game: RHP Jake Thompson – 6.2 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 9 K

Jake admitted nerves played a role in his RoughRiders debut on July 29, but in round two, the righty looked cool, calm and collected. He set a season high with nine punch-outs and the fastball complemented the slider very well.

In case you missed it:

-The ‘Riders won a series at Wolff Stadium for the first time in 2014. They have won four straight sets overall.

-Frisco also completed its 11th shutout of the season (the most in the Texas League) and fifth against San Antonio.

-July is called the dog days for a reason, but the bark was softer than the bite on the RoughRiders this time around. The ‘Riders completed a stretch of 27 games in 26 days with a 17-10 record.

-It was a day for doubles on Sunday as the teams combined for seven two-baggers (five for Frisco and two for San Antonio). Trever Adams and Odubel Herrera each ripped a pair of doubles for the ‘Riders and Adams now has 31 on the season, a career high and second-most in the Texas League.

-Adams also extended his hitting streak to 11 straight games, which is also a season high. The righty batted 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a strikeout.

-Gallo watch: 1/4, SO

Joey’s line remained the same in the final two games of the series.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. J.T. Wise (4)

5. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Jake Skole (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

Field manager Jason Wood praises the work ethic of starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff on “Sunday with the Skipper:”

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

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