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Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (8/6)

GAME #112 (2nd HALF GAME #43)

Frisco RoughRiders (55-56 overall, 17-25 2nd half) at San Antonio Missions (42-70 overall, 20-22 2nd half)
Saturday, August 6 – 7:05 p.m.
Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium – San Antonio, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 4 (Tied 1-1)
This season: Game 27 of 32 (Riders lead 18-8)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  2. Luis Marte – SS
  3. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  4. Joe Jackson – DH
  5. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  6. Alexeis Bell – RF
  7. Eduard Pinto – LF
  8. Carson Blair – C
  9. Carlos Arroyo – CF

RHP Ariel Jurado (1-1, 2.25 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday at San Antonio (L, 3-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Reed Garrett

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders were blanked 3-0 on Friday night… The game was scoreless until the sixth when REED GARRETT, who allowed only two hits on the night, served up a solo homer to Trae Santos…The Missions added a pair of runs off of LUKE JACKSON in the seventh, one of which was unearned…the Riders failed to score against Kyle Lloyd across seven innings, and Adam Cimber and Jimmy Brasoban shut the door…The lone Frisco hits came from EDWIN GARCIA (2B), ALEXEIS BELL, and ISIAH KINER-FALEFA (1Bs).

TIGHTENING UP WITH SAN ANTONIO:

After winning the first eight games in the season-series with the San Antonio Missions, things have gotten much closer. Frisco has still won 10 of the last 18, but each of the last three series have been series-splits. In addition, six of the last nine games in the series have been decided by two runs or fewer (including four one-run games).

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:

With 28 games left, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. If Midland goes 14-14 the rest of the way, the Riders would need to go 25-3 the rest of the way to overtake them for the division title. If Corpus Christi rallies back and wins the division, the Riders still would have to make up a current 5.5 game deficit in the overall season standings back of Midland. The good news is that Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season.

SHUT DOWN BY SAN ANTONIO:

Last night continued an unfortunate trend this season for the Riders when they were blanked 3-0. It was the 13th time that Frisco has been shut out this season, the most in the Texas League, and the second time by the Missions. The 13 shutout defeats is tied with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds, Southern League) for the most in Double-A. Brevard County (Brewers, Florida State League) has the most shutout losses in the minors with 18. Frisco also has the fewest shutout wins (4) in the eight-team circuit; the fewest in full-season ball is Wilmington (Royals, Carolina League) with only three; the Blue Rocks, who play in pitcher friendly Frawley Stadium, have been blanked 14 times.

MARVELOUS MARTE:

Riders shortstop LUIS MARTE continues to swing at a torrid rate the last few weeks. Despite losing a seven- game hitting streak last night, Marte still has hits in 15 of his last 18 games, and 10 of those are multi-hit affairs. Marte’s .423 average since July 19 leads is second among full-season minor leaguers and is 13th among all minor leaguers.

POWER OUTAGE:

For the first time in six games, the Riders allowed a home run. During the six-game stretch, the Riders have only hit two homers, both from KELLIN DEGLAN on Wednesday. In four of those six games, there have been no homers hit by either side. The three home runs over six games is the lowest total (for both teams combined) in a six-game stretch this season in Frisco’s games. This comes on the heels of a month of July in which the Riders hit a season-high 27 homers and allowed a league-high 36.

TWIN-KILLING TEAMS:

This series features two of the more prolific double- play turning teams in the league. The Missions lead the circuit with 125 and the Riders are third with 109, nearly one per game. The Riders have turned a double play in seven straight contests, while the Missions have turned six twin-killings over the last four games. The clubs turned three more last night, with the Missions making two of them.

GOODLUCK, GOODNIGHT:

The RoughRiders failed to score last night, as the Missions bullpen closed the door after seven strong innings from Kyle Lloyd. The Riders have done little against the San Antonio bullpen of late. One of the better ‘pens in the league has held Frisco to just 1R/1ER over the past seven games, spanning 26 innings, good for a 0.35 ERA. Over that seven game run, Missions relievers have allowed just 12 hits and five walks with 27 strikeouts. The Riders are 3-4 in those seven games.

 

OPPOSING STARTER:

The RoughRiders face 28-year-old righty Seth Simmons tonight…Simmons is making his 15th appearance and 10th start for the Missions after being signed by the Padres as a free agent on May 24…Simmons, the former Diamondbacks farmhand who began the season with Triple-A Reno, was released by Arizona on May 20 and assigned to San Antonio upon joining the San Diego organization… He pitched a scoreless inning of relief against Frisco in his third outing with the Missions on June 9, allowing two hits in the frame and striking out one batter and allowed a season-high four runs in his last start against the Riders on 10 hits…The sixth-year pro made the first start of his Minor League career on June 17 at Midland…After one more relief appearance four days later, Simmons permanently joined San Antonio’s rotation and is now making his eighth straight start…Until his last outing, Simmons had not allowed more than three runs in any of his appearances so far as a member of the Padres organization, and had only given up one run in his last 22 innings pitched…The Winston- Salem, North Carolina native was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 40th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of East Carolina University… REPERTOIRE: Fastball (low 90s), slider (low-to-mid 80s), slurve (mid-to-upper 70s).

Meet the new Riders

Over the past week, there have been a load of new players transferred to Frisco.

If you have been following along closely, you may recognize some of the new names and faces. However, if you’ve missed out on the past few days of Riders coverage, you will probably be surprised to find out that the team has an entirely new look.

Let’s get to know some of the new players the Riders have received over the past couple weeks who are playing in Frisco for the first time this season.

Alexeis Bell – OF

The Rangers signed Bell, 32, to a minor league contract on July 15. He began his stateside career with the Rangers’ Arizona League squad. In four games, he went 4-for-16 with a walk and two strikeouts.

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Bell played his first 14 professional seasons in the Cuban National Series, where he was a career .319 hitter with 138 home runs and 632 RBI in 659 games. He also maintained a .417 on-base percentage and a .547 slugging percentage during his time in the Cuban National Series, most of which was spent with the Avispas de Santiago de Cuba. He won league MVP honors in the 2007-08 season after setting single-season league records for home runs (31) and RBI (111), while posting a .355 average.

The veteran outfielder spent last season with Les Capitales de Quebec in the Canadian-American Association, where he hit .317 with two homers and 23 RBI in 59 games. Bell also played nine games with Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican League this May.

Bell also has extensive experience representing Cuba on the international stage. Of note, he was part of the country’s Olympic team, which brought home the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He also played on Cuba’s squad during the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Scott Carroll – RHP

The 31-year-old spent the majority of 2016 with Triple-A Charlotte of the International League, going 2-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 16 games, 12 starts. He made three relief outings with the White Sox in May, allowing three runs and two hits in 2 1/3 innings pitched. Carroll was on Chicago’s 40-man roster before being assigned outright to Charlotte on July 14.

In 47 Major League games, 19 starts, Carroll has a 6-11 record with a 4.60 ERA. He was 5-10 with a 4.80 ERA in 26 games, 19 starts with the White Sox in 2014. In 2015, he posted a 3.44 ERA in 18 relief appearances.

He spent his first six pro seasons in the Cincinnati organization before signing as a free agent with Chicago in July 2012.

Carlos Arroyo – OF

Arroyo, 23, has been with Round Rock, Class-A Hickory, Class A Short-season Hickory and the Arizona League Rangers. He has combined to play 18 games this season, hitting .298. The outfielder is in his fourth season as a professional, signing with the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent September 19, 2012 out of Valencia, Venezuela.

Jack Snodgrass – LHP

Snodgrass, 28, signed with the Rangers as a minor league free agent on July 14 after spending the first five seasons of his career in the San Francisco Giants organization. The lefty went 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in four appearances with Round Rock. Snodgrass was drafted by the Giants in the 27th round of the 2011 draft out of Austin Peay State.

Eduard Pinto – OF

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Pinto, 21, departed Hickory as the team leader in batting average (.337), on-base percentage (.392), slugging percentage (.478), and OPS (.870). Pinto was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week on July 10th, after batting .567/.581/.833 with two home runs, 2 doubles, and eight RBI over the seven game stretch. The 5’11” outfielder spent time with Hickory in both 2014 and 2015, which included a .364 average in the postseason while helping the Crawdads to the 2015 SAL Championship.

Carson Blair – C

Blair, 26, is in his ninth year as a professional. He spent the first seven seasons of his career in the Boston Red Sox organization before signing with the Oakland Athletics as a minor league free agent in November 2014. He was with Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville most of last season before making his Major League debut September 6 with the Athletics, where he played 11 big league games, batting .129 with one homer and three RBI.

The native of Argyle, Texas opened the 2016 season with Midland before earning a promotion to Nashville on July 3. Blair was released by the A’s on July 15. For his career, Blair is a .245 hitter with more than 43 percent of his hits going for extra bases (87 doubles, 12 triples, 38 home runs).

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: gaijin – Foreign players in the Japanese professional baseball leagues. Teams are allowed to have up to four gaijin on the roster (two position players and two pitchers). ETYMOLOGY. Japanese for “outsiders.”

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (8/5)

GAME #111 (2nd HALF GAME #42)

Frisco RoughRiders (55-55 overall, 17-24 2nd half) at San Antonio Missions (41-70 overall, 19-22 2nd half)
Friday, August 5 – 7:05 p.m.
Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium – San Antonio, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Riders lead 1-0)
This season: Game 26 of 32 (Riders lead 18-7)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Eduard Pinto – RF
  2. Luis Marte – SS
  3. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  6. Alexeis Bell – DH
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  8. Alberto Triunfel – 3B
  9. Carlos Arroyo – CF

RHP Reed Garrett (2-3, 5.40 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday at San Antonio (W, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: LHP Jack Snodgrass

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders jumped to an early lead and held on for a 3-2 over the San Antonio Missions Thursday night…Neither team scored after the third…The Riders scored once in the first and plated a pair of runs in the third inning…ANDY IBANEZ drove in two runs, and LUIS MARTE knocked in the other…JACK SNODGRASS fired six innings of two-run ball on just three hits, two of which came from Franchy Cordero, and struck out seven, one shy of his career-high…The bullpen tandem of JEFRI HERNANDEZ and JOE FILOMENO held the Missions scoreless over the final three innings…Filomeno earned his first save since mid-May and his first in Double-A with a hitless and scoreless ninth inning.

TIGHTENING UP WITH SAN ANTONIO:

After winning the first eight games in the season- series with the San Antonio Missions, things have gotten much closer. Frisco has still won 10 of the last 17, but each of the last three series have been series-splits. In addition, six of the last eight games in the series have been decided by two runs or fewer (including four one-run games).

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:

With 29 games left, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. If Midland goes 14-15 the rest of the way, the Riders would need to 25-4 the rest of the way to overtake them for the division title. If Corpus Christi rallies back and wins the division, the Riders still would have to make up a current 5.5 game deficit in the overall season standings back of Midland. The good news is that Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season.

MARVELOUS MARTE:

Riders shortstop LUIS MARTE continues to swing at a torrid rate the last few weeks. Last night, he extended his hitting streak to seven games. He now has hits in 15 of his last 17 games, and 10 of those are mutli-hit affairs. Marte’s .448 average since July 19 leads all full-season minor leaguers and is fourth among all minor leaguers.

POWER OUTAGE:

The Riders haven’t allowed a homer in five straight games. During the stretch, the Riders have only hit two homers, both from KELLIN DEGLAN on Wednesday. In four of those five games, there have been no homers hit by either side. The two home runs over five games is the lowest total (for both teams combined) in a five-game stretch this season in Frisco’s games. This comes on the heels of a month of July in which the Riders hit a season- high 27 homers and allowed a league-high 36.

TWIN-KILLING TEAMS:

This series features two of the more prolific double-play turning teams in the league. The Missions lead the circuit with 123 and the Riders are third with 108, nearly one per game. The Riders have turned a double play in six straight contests, while the Missions have turned four twin-killings over the last three games. The clubs turned three last night, with the Missions making two of them.

GETTING STARTED RIGHT:

Through four games this month, Riders starters have excelled. The quartet of FRANK LOPEZ, DAVID PEREZ, CONNOR SADZECK, and JACK SNODGRASS has allowed just seven earned runs in 21 1/3 innings of work, good for a 2.95 ERA, and have not allowed a single home run. Riders starters had a tough time in July, posting a 4.51 ERA and allowed 21 homers in 149 2/3 innings. The best full-month for the starting pitchers this year was, unsurprisingly, the month of April, when Frisco went an outstanding 17-4. Frisco’s starters had a 3.10 ERA and allowed 0.56 HR/9.0 innings pitched.

GOODLUCK, GOODNIGHT:

Frisco got ahead early last night and held on for the win. That’s a good thing for the club, because the Riders have done little against the San Antonio bullpen of late. One of the better ‘pens in the league has held Frisco to just 1R/1ER over the past six games, spanning 24 innings, good for a 0.38 ERA. Over that six game run, Missions relievers have allowed just 12 hits and four walks with 26 strikeouts. The Riders are 3-3 in those six games.

OPPOSING STARTER:

The RoughRiders face 25-year-old Kyle Lloyd for the seventh time this year in the series finale tonight. He’s 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA across 21 2/3 innings against Frisco so far…The Missions have kept him in the rotation since his first start of the year, which came against Frisco, on May 20, and he has been a reliable arm for San Antonio…Lloyd has delivered five quality starts, including four of his last six outings…Drafted in the 29th round of the 2013 Draft out of the University of Evansville, the fourth-year pro’s strongest pitch is a split-fingered fastball (low 90s).

Riding Through the Farm (August 5)

Riding Through the Farm v3

“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (63-46 – 1st, AL West)

After making moves to acquire Jonathan LucroyCarlos Beltran, and Jeremy Jeffress at the trade deadline, all three have had success in the past week for the Rangers. Lucroy and Beltran both hit home runs in the three-game series against Baltimore, and Jeffress pitched a scoreless inning in yesterday’s 5-3 victory in the finale.

A huge three-game road series against the Houston Astros begins tonight at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers have won nine of 10 games against the Astros so far this season and lead Houston by 6 1/2 games in the American League West.

Today: at Houston, 7:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (54-59 – T-2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

On Wednesday, Round Rock received four players from the RoughRidersYohander Mendez and Ronald Guzman, two of the Top 5 prospects in the Rangers farm system (according to MLBPipeline.com), have already made an impact with the E-Train.

Guzman went 2-for-4 in his Triple-A debut Thursday, mashing a solo home run in his first at-bat and driving in another run with a double later in the game.

In his second start with the Express last night, Mendez pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits in a win over Oklahoma City. The southpaw has now fired a total of 10 scoreless innings in two Triple-A starts this season.

Today: at Oklahoma City, 7:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Derek Holland)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (66-44 overall, 23-17 second half – 3rd place, California League South Division)

The Mavericks have won seven of their last 10 games, including a four-game sweep of Rancho Cucamonga on the road last week. High Desert is back at home battling the Quakes again, and they started the series with a win yesterday.

Former Rider Cody Palmquist continues to dominate California League opponents out of the bullpen for High Desert. Palmquist was named Rangers Reliever of the Month last month after not allowing a run in all of June. He has given up just four earned runs in 17 relief appearances (26.1 innings pitched) since joining the Mavs on June 4.

Today: vs. Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Jeff Springs)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (60-49 overall, 22-17 second half – 3rd place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

A five-game win streak has propelled the Crawdads into third place in the SAL Northern Division standings. Hickory is now just 1 1/2 games behind first-place Hagerstown, who won the division in the first half of the season. The ‘Dads are half a game behind Greensboro for second place and the second-best overall record the division.

However, the Crawdads recently lost outfielder Eduard Pinto and infielder Dylan Moore, who were both promoted to higher affiliates. Pinto joined the RoughRiders last night, while Moore was moved up to High Desert.

Infielder Xavier Turner was just assigned to Hickory from Spokane yesterday. He has a chance to make a big impact for the Crawdads in their push for a playoff spot. Turner played nine games with the Crawdads last season after starting his professional career in the Arizona League.

Today: at Lexington, 6:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Joe Palumbo)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (23-22 overall, 4-3 second half  3rd place, Northwest League North Division)

As mentioned above, Xavier Turner was promoted to Hickory yesterday after a spectacular performance Tuesday in the Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star Game. Turner won the MiLB.com Top Star Award for the Northwest League, going 3-for-3 with a home run and a pair of runs scored.

Four former Spokane Indians were involved in the Rangers’ trade deadline deal for Carlos Beltran. In addition to Dillon Tate (2015), Erik Swanson (2014), and Nick Green (2016), Beltran was also an Indian back in 1996. Spokane was affiliated with the Kansas City Royals at the time.

Tonight: at Salem-Keizer, 8:35 p.m. (SP: LHP Sal Mendez)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: pastureworker – An outfielder.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (8/4)

GAME #110 (2nd HALF GAME #41)

Frisco RoughRiders (54-55 overall, 16-24 2nd half) at San Antonio Missions (41-69 overall, 19-21 2nd half)
Thursday, August 4 – 7:05 p.m.
Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium – San Antonio, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 25 of 32 (Riders 17-7)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  2. Luis Marte – SS
  3. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  4. Joe Jackson – RF
  5. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  6. Alexeis Bell – DH
  7. Eduard Pinto – LF
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Carlos Arroyo – CF

LHP Jack Snodgrass (0-0, -.– ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday vs. Midland (W, 10-4)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW:

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders came back from down 2-0 and 3-1 over the first three innings before scoring six runs in the fifth to move ahead for good and beat the Midland RockHounds 10-4 in the series finale on Wednesday night…KELLIN DEGLANmashed two homers, JOE JACKSON knocked in four runs, and ISIAH KINER-FALEFA scored three times in the win…Starter CONNOR SADZECK battled through four innings, allowing three runs, while RICHELSON PENA worked five innings, not allowing a run until the ninth for the win.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:
With 30 games left, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. If Midland goes .500 the rest of the way, the Riders would need to 26-4 the rest of the way to overtake them for the division title. If Corpus Christi rallies back and wins the division, the Riders still would have to make up a current 5.5 game defict in the overall season standings back of Midland. The good news is that Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season.

ALL ABOARD THE “E-TRAIN”:
The RoughRiders had four players promoted to Triple-A Round Rock yesterday. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN hit a homer and an RBI double in his Triple-A debut last night. Pitchers YOHANDER MENDEZJOHN FASOLA, and JOSE VALDESPINA all went up as well. Each of the three pitchers have spent limited time with Round Rock this season, while Guzman joined the Express for the first time in his career. In corresponding moves, the Riders activated pitcher JACK SNODGRASS who starts today, received outfielder CARLOS ARROYO, and pitchers SCOTT CARROLL and JUAN GRULLON (Round Rock). Additionally, pitcher REED GARRETT rejoined the squad from Class A-Advanced High Desert, and RYAN CORDELL was placed on the 7-day disabled list.

SOMETHING’S BREWING:
Monday, the Rangers traded outfielder LEWIS BRINSON and right-handed pitcher LUIS ORTIZ to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for catcher Jonathan Lucroy and right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress. Brinson hit .237 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 77 games with Frisco this season, missing 21 games in June and part of July while on the disabled list. Ortiz joined the squad on May 20 and went 1-4 with a 4.08 ERA in nine outings (eight starts). He struck out 34 while walking just seven in his time with the Riders. Brinson (29th overall pick, 2012) and Ortiz (30th overall, 2014) were both first-round draft picks. Prior to the trade, MLBPipeline.com ranked Brinson as the No. 2 prospect in the Rangers farm system and Ortiz was slotted third. Brinson entered Milwaukee’s rankings at No. 2 and Ortiz at No. 5 when the rankings were updated Tuesday. Brinson was assigned to Triple-A Colorado Springs, going 4-for-4 in his Sky Sox debut on Tuesday and hitting a grand slam last night.

MARVELOUS MARTE:
Riders shortstop LUIS MARTE continues to swing at a torrid rate the last few weeks. Last night, he notched his 13th multi-hit game of the season. He now has hits in 14 of his last 16 games, and 10 of those are mutli-hit affairs. Marte’s .453 average since July 19 leads all full-season minor leaguers and is fourth among all minor leaguers.

DEALING OUT DINGERS:
The Riders haven’t allowed a homer in four straight games. However, they recently had a stretch with homers allowed in 10 of 11 games. Over the last 15 games, Frisco pitching has allowed home runs in 10 games, with two of the homerless games coming with ground-ball specialist ARIEL JURADO starting on the mound. The Riders have given up 15 long balls in the 15-game stretch.  Frisco surrendered 36 home runs, most in the Texas League and fourth-most in Minor League Baseball during the month of July. On the season, the Riders have allowed 98 homers, second only to Springfield (100) for most home runs allowed in the Texas League this season.

SPEAKING OF HOME RUNS…:
The Riders were a home run machine at the plate for the early part of July, hitting 26 homers from July 4 through July 24. However, the RoughRiders hit just one home run in the final week of the month, with the lone long ball coming off the bat ofRYAN CORDELL on Saturday. Frisco finished July with 27 homers, second-most in the Texas League behind Tulsa (28).

RIDERS CROWD MLBPIPELINE  TOP 10:
The most recent MLBPipeline.com rankings include six RoughRiders ranked in the Top 30 from the Rangers farm system, and three are in the Top 10. ANDY IBANEZ (3) and RYAN CORDELL (6) are in  the Top 10 for the first time this season. MLBPipeline also released its mid-season top 100 prospect list, and two current Rangers prospects made the cut. Gallo topped the list at No. 14, and former RoughRider YOHANDER MENDEZ came in at No. 67. LEWIS BRINSON (21) and LUIS ORTIZ (63), traded to Milwakee on Monday, were also ranked in the top 100.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Michael Kelly was a supplemental first round pick of the Padres in June, 2011. He signed with scout Willie Bosque, for a bonus of $718,000 just 20 minutes before the August 15 deadline, turning down a baseball scholarship to the University of Florida… Kelly has an 89-92 mph 2-seam sinking FASTBALL, a 90-96 mph 4-seamer, a 75-77 mph CURVEBALL and a 77-79 mph CHANGEUP…He makes his eighth start of the season for San Antonio today and his first since coming back from Triple-A El Paso on July 31 where he was 6-1 with a 4.54 ERA.

Impressive home run catches

In case you missed last night’s RoughRiders game, a Choctaw Lazy River employee made an incredible catch using a pool net to haul in a Kellin Deglan home run.

The catch was impressive on its own. The unique aspect was the instrument that the employee used to catch the ball, all while maintaining his balance perched on top of the lazy river.

Here are five other amazing catches made by fans during baseball games. Although none of them contain a lazy river, unfortunately, they are still entertaining to watch!

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: lucky seventh – The bottom half of the seventh inning, which was once regarded as lucky for the home team. The term was probably named from the idea of the lucky ‘seven’ as known in the game of dice. Sporting people have long associated good fortune with the number 7.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Grab a bat: Pitchers hitting for the Riders

Last night, pitcher Ryan Ledbetter was called out of the bullpen to come in and pinch hit for the RoughRiders with two outs in the ninth inning.

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Following Alberto Triunfel‘s ejection in the middle of his at-bat, Frisco had no other position players left on the bench to enter the game. As a result, Ledbetter grabbed a bat and saw three pitches from Midland’s Kyle Finnegan. Ledbetter swung and missed at the first, fouled off the second, and then struck out looking on the third.

It was a rare occurrence seeing a pitcher hit for the Riders. Because Frisco is a Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, an American League team, the Riders always use a designated hitter. In the Texas League, pitchers only have to hit when two National League affiliates square off.

However, there have been three other instances where a pitcher was brought in to a Riders game, either as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement, and ended up getting an at-bat.

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Jesse Chavez – June 27, 2005 vs. Tulsa (W, 8-6 – 12 innings)

This game featured a situation where Frisco’s designated hitter Seth Taylor entered the game to play second base. As a result, the pitcher’s spot took over the second slot in the batting order. Scott Feldman pitched 2 1/3 innings, through the 10th inning, but he did not get a chance to bat. Instead, it was Chavez who came up to the plate in the 11th after pitching the top half of the inning.

Chavez struck out against Tulsa’s Judd Songster, pitched another scoreless frame, and then the Riders won on a walk-off two-run homer by Will Smith in the bottom of the 12th. Current Riders hitting coach Jason Hart also scored on Smith’s home run.

Ben Snyder – August 15, 2011 vs. Tulsa (W, 3-2 – 12 innings)

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The second time a pitcher hit for the RoughRiders came in another game against the Drillers at Dr Pepper Ballpark. It was also a 12-inning contest that ended in a Riders victory. However, this game featured Snyder entering the game as a defensive replacement for Engel Beltre in the eighth inning. Beltre was ejected after arguing a called third strike in the bottom of the seventh. Snyder played right field, and Jonathan Greene moved over to Beltre’s spot in center.

The lefty Snyder ended up getting two at-bats, as the game went to extra innings. Snyder singled to right field in the ninth inning against Tulsa’s Joe Torres. This still stands as the only time a RoughRiders pitcher has recorded a hit. Snyder struck out looking against Stephen Dodson in the 12th. Two batters later, Jared Bolden hit a walk-off single to plate Jose Felix.

Ryan Rodebaugh – June 6, 2013 at San Antonio

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Rodebaugh was the most recent pitcher to hit in a game before Ledbetter came up to the plate in the ninth inning yesterday. This was also the only time that a Riders pitcher has batted on the road. It was another occasion where a designated hitter entered the game defensively, but this situation was a lot more complex.

Riders shortstop Hanser Alberto was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a call at first base after grounding into a double play. Odubel Herrera moved from second base to shortstop, Chih-Hsien Chiang took over Alberto’s spot in the batting order playing right field, and Alejandro Selen switched to second base from right field.

However, after Selen’s second strikeout of the game, he was replaced defensively. Herrera took back his original position at second base, and designated hitter Guilder Rodriguez entered at shortstop. Therefore, the new pitcher Arlett Mavare took over Selen’s vacated spot in the lineup.

Mavare pitched a scoreless seventh, and Richard Bleier tossed a 1-2-3 eighth. When Bleier was due up with one out in the ninth, Rodebaugh was called in to pinch hit against San Antonio’s Ryan Kelly. He became the second Riders pitcher to reach base in a game, but it was not on a hit. The second baseman Chris Bisson made a fielding error, allowing Rodebaugh to reach safely. Rodebaugh was promptly doubled off first base after Chiang flied out to the right fielder Kalian Sams.

(Side note: June 6 was the final game Sams played with San Antonio. He hit a home run off Pucetas to lead off the sixth, which was his last hit with the Missions. The Padres promoted Sams to Triple-A Tucson the following day, but he was released by the club on July 19. The Rangers signed Sams to a minor league contract on August 9, and he was assigned to Frisco the next day.)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Pittsburgh chopper – A batted ball that becomes a hit because it bounces over a fielder’s head. Its success depends on a downward chopping swing and a hard infield. Named by and for the 1960 world champion Pittsburgh Pirates, who specialized in such hits.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (8/2)

GAME #108 (2nd HALF GAME #39)

Frisco RoughRiders (53-54 overall, 15-23 2nd half) vs. Midland RockHounds (59-49 overall, 26-12 2nd half)
Tuesday, August 2 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (RockHounds lead 1-0)
This season: Game 21 of 28 (Series tied 10-10)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Luis Marte – SS
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Alexeis Bell – RF
  6. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  7. Luis Mendez – 1B
  8. Alberto Triunfel – 3B
  9. Shaq Matta – DH

RHP David Perez (1-4, 5.71 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs. Midland (L, 3-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: OF Alexeis Bell

Archived interview posted here soon. Listen live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:45 p.m.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders were shut out by the Midland RockHounds 3-0 Monday…Ben Bracewell and Corey Walter each tossed four scoreless innings, and Jake Sanchez earned the save…Frisco managed nine hits in the game, including three fromLUIS MARTE…The Riders, however, stranded eight runners and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position…FRANK LOPEZ turned in his sixth quality start of the season, allowing three runs, two earned, in 6 1/3 innings.

SOMETHING’S BREWING:

Monday, the Rangers traded outfielder LEWIS BRINSON and right-handed pitcher LUIS ORTIZ to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for catcher Jonathan Lucroy and right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress. Brinson hit .237 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 77 games with Frisco this season, missing 21 games in June and part of July while on the disabled list. Ortiz joined the squad on May 20 and went 1-4 with a 4.08 ERA in nine outings (eight starts). He struck out 34 while walking just seven in his time with the Riders. Brinson (29th overall pick, 2012) and Ortiz (30th overall, 2014) were both first-round draft picks. Prior to the trade, MLBPipeline.com ranked Brinson as the No. 2 prospect in the Rangers farm system and Ortiz was slotted third. Brinson entered Milwaukee’s rankings at No. 2 and Ortiz at No. 5 when the rankings were updated yesterday. Brinson has been assigned to Triple-A Colorado Springs, while Ortiz is bound for Double-A Biloxi.

MARVELOUS MARTE:

Riders shortstop LUIS MARTE continues to swing at a torrid rate the last few weeks. Last night, he notched his fourth three-hit game of the season. He now has hits in 12 of his last 14 games, and eight of those are mutli-hit affairs. Marte’s .446 average since July 19 leads the Texas League and all of Double-A, in addition to ranking sixth in all of Minor League Baseball.

A ROUGH RIDE AGAINST THE ROCKHOUNDS:

The RoughRiders have had a hard time figuring out Midland pitching this season, managing just 3.4 runs per game against the RockHounds this year. Frisco is averaging 4.3 runs per game against the other six Texas League teams. In the last 12 games against Midland, the run production has dropped to 2.3 per game, including four one-run games and two shutouts. In that span, the Riders are hitting just .183 (13-for-71) with runners in scoring position. The Riders have lost five straight to Midland.

DEALING OUT DINGERS:

RoughRiders pitching has been highly prone to home runs the last few weeks. Frisco has allowed home runs in 10 of the last 13 games, with two of the homerless games coming with ground-ball specialist ARIEL JURADO starting on the mound. The Riders have given up 15 long balls in the 13-game stretch, including five in the last series against San Antonio.  Frisco surrendered 36 home runs, most in the Texas League and fourth-most in Minor League Baseball during the month of July. On the season, the Riders have allowed 98 homers, second only to Springfield (99) for most home runs allowed in the Texas League this season.

SPEAKING OF HOME RUNS…:

The Riders were a home run machine at the plate for the early part of July, hitting 26 homers from July 4 through July 24. However, the RoughRiders hit just one home run in the final week of the month, with the lone long ball coming off the bat ofRYAN CORDELL on Saturday. Frisco finished July with 27 homers, second-most in the Texas League behind Tulsa (28).

RIDERS CROWD MLBPIPELINE  TOP 10:

The most recent MLBPipeline.com rankings include eight RoughRiders ranked in the Top 30 from the Rangers farm system, and five are in the Top 10. YOHANDER MENDEZ jumped to No. 2 in the farm system only behind current big leaguer Joey Gallo after today’s trades. ANDY IBANEZ (3), RONALD GUZMAN (5), and RYAN CORDELL (6) are in  the Top 10 for the first time this season. MLBPipeline also released its mid-season top 100 prospect list, and two current Rangers prospects made the cut. Gallo topped the list at No. 14, and Mendez came in at No. 67. LEWIS BRINSON (21) and LUIS ORTIZ (63), traded to Milwaukee on Monday, were also ranked in the top 100.

SLIPPING DOWN IN THE STANDINGS:

The RoughRiders entered a three-game series in Midland last week trailing the RockHounds by six games in the second-half standings. However, after going 0-4 against the RockHounds in the las week and splitting a four-game set against San Antonio over the weekend, the Riders find themselves 11 games behind Midland, their largest standings deficit in either half this season. There are 32 games remaining in the second half, and nine of them come against the RockHounds.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Right-hander Daniel Gossett is quickly climbing the ladder in the Athletics’ farm system. The second round draft pick in 2014 out of Clemson jumped from No. 24 to No. 20 in MLBPipeline.com’s mid-season re-rankings thanks to his strong start to the season. He has gone seven or more innings in four of his 11 starts with the RockHounds, including a career-high 7 1/3 innings July 1 at Northwest Arkansas. In his first start against the Riders, Gossett worked four scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out five. Gossett spent a full season with Class-A Beloit last year in the Midwest League before a stint with Class A-Advanced Stockton to begin this season. The Lyman, South Carolina native, went 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA in nine starts with the Ports, earning California League Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of May 16-22. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (91-96), two-seam fastball, curveball (82-83), changeup (82-85), slider.

 

Best starts of the season for Riders pitchers

Ariel Jurado‘s first start at Dr Pepper Ballpark two nights ago was nothing short of spectacular.

He finally allowed a run on two hits in the sixth inning after beginning the evening by hurling five scoreless frames. After giving up a one-out double to Nelson Ward in the first, Jurado retired the next 14 batters he faced.

He struck out the side in the first inning and finished with a total of six. Additionally, he picked up six groundouts, three flyouts, and two popouts.

Jurado’s outing was surely one of the best five starts of the season for the RoughRiders. Let’s take a look back at four other impressive starts we have seen this year (not including Major League rehabilitation starts):

Richelson Pena (April 11 at Arkansas)

In his second appearance and first start with the Riders, Pena pitched a gem at Dickey-Stephens Park. The righty retired the first 17 batters he faced before issuing a two-out walk to Angel Rosa in the bottom of the sixth.

After the walk, Pena exited the game with the no-hitter still in tact. Arkansas finally got a hit in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out double by Andrew Daniel off reliever Reed Garrett.

Garrett preserved Frisco’s 1-0 lead through the bottom of the eighth, and Matt Bush worked around a pair of two-out walks in the ninth to cap off the one-hit gem by the Riders’ pitching staff.

Victor Payano (May 3 at San Antonio)

Payano’s start at Wolff Stadium on May 3 not only set a career-high for him in strikeouts for single game, but it was also the most batters fanned by a Riders pitcher this season. It is a mark that will be very hard to top.

The southpaw fanned 13 batters without issuing a walk in six shutout innings. He gave up just four hits, and the Riders won the game 3-0.

Connor Sadzeck (May 6 at San Antonio)

Three days after Payano’s gem to open the series, Sadzeck closed the series against the Missions with another dominant start for the RoughRiders.

The righty improved his record to 4-0 on the season, allowing just one run on two hits in seven innings. Unfortunately, his nine strikeouts paled in comparison to Payano’s 13 a few days earlier. Still, not too shabby.

Yohander Mendez (July 18 vs. San Antonio)

One of the most amazing things about this list is that four of the five best Riders starts of the season came against San Antonio. The Riders continued to assert their dominance over the Missions in Mendez’s start against the Missions a few weeks ago. Mendez retired the first 14 batters he faced (including striking out the side in the third) before finally giving up a two-out single to Luis Tejada in the top of the fifth.

However, Mendez gave up a two-run triple to Jose Rondon in the sixth. Rondon scored as well on the play, thanks to a throwing error, and the Missions took a 3-2 lead.

It was the first loss for Mendez with the Riders, despite the incredible start. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk, while giving up just three hits.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: neutral win/loss – An estimate of a pitcher’s won-lost record if that pitcher were given league-average run support.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (8/1)

GAME #107 (2nd HALF GAME #38)

Frisco RoughRiders (53-53 overall, 15-22 2nd half) vs. Midland RockHounds (58-49 overall, 25-12 2nd half)
Monday, August 1 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 20 of 28 (Riders lead 10-9)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – DH
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – CF
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alexeis Bell – RF
  7. Luis Marte – SS
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – 3B

LHP Frank Lopez (5-5, 5.06 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday vs. San Antonio (L, 11-7 – 10 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

 

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders salvaged a series split in the finale against San Antonio with a 4-2 win over the Missions…In his Dr Pepper Ballpark debut, ARIEL JURADO turned in his second straight quality start, going six innings and allowing a run on three hits, while striking out six…Jurado retired 15 of the first 16 hitters he faced, including 14 straight at one point…JOE JACKSON drove in two runs in the first…LEWIS BRINSON added an RBI single in the seventh, and the Riders added another insurance run on a balk.

SOMETHING’S BREWING:
Earlier today, the Rangers traded outfielder LEWIS BRINSON and right-handed pitcher LUIS ORTIZ to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for catcher Jonathan Lucroy and right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress. Brinson hit .237 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 77 games with Frisco this season, missing 21 games in June and part of July while on the disabled list. Ortiz joined the squad on May 20 and went 1-4 with a 4.08 ERA in nine outings (eight starts). He struck out 34 while walking just seven in his time with the Riders. Brinson (29th overall pick, 2012) and Ortiz (30th overall, 2014) were both first-round draft picks. Prior to today’s trade, MLBPipeline.com ranked Brinson as the No. 2 prospect in the Rangers farm system and Ortiz was slotted third.

ONE-RUN FUN VS. MIDLAND:
The RoughRiders and RockHounds have been no strangers to one-run games this season. Nine of the 19 games between the two squads have been decided by a single tally this year, including six straight meetings (June 14, June 19-22, July 25). Frisco (39 one-run games) and Midland (38) trail only Corpus Christi (40) for most one-run contests in the Texas League this season.

DEALING OUT DINGERS:
RoughRiders pitching has been highly prone to home runs the last few weeks. Frisco has allowed home runs in 10 of the last 12 games, with the only two homerless games coming with ground-ball specialist ARIEL JURADO starting on the mound. The Riders have given up 15 long balls in the 12-game stretch, including five in the last series against San Antonio.  Frisco surrendered 36 home runs, most in the Texas League and fourth-most in Minor League Baseball during the month of July. On the season, the Riders have allowed 98 homers, second only to Springfield (99) for most home runs allowed in the Texas League this season.

SPEAKING OF HOME RUNS…:
The Riders were a home run machine at the plate for the early part of July, hitting 26 homers from July 4 through July 24. However, the RoughRiders hit just one home run in the final week of the month, with the lone long ball coming off the bat ofRYAN CORDELL on Saturday. Frisco finished July with 27 homers, second-most in the Texas League behind Tulsa (28).

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS:
Cuban star ALEXEIS BELL joined the Riders   Thursday and has gone 4-for-17 with two RBI in his first four games. Texas signed Bell to a minor league contract on July 15, and he began his stateside career with the Arizona League Rangers. In four AZL games, Bell went 4-for-16 with a walk and two strikeouts. Bell played his first 14 professional seasons in the Cuban National Series, where he was a career .319 hitter with 138 home runs and 632 RBI in 659 games. Bell spent last season with Quebec in the Canadian-American Association and played nine games with Quintana Roo of the Mexican League this May. He represented Cuba in the 2008 Olympics and the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

RIDERS CROWD MLBPIPELINE  TOP 10:
The most recent MLBPipeline.com rankings include eight RoughRiders ranked in the Top 30 from the Rangers farm system, and five are in the Top 10. YOHANDER MENDEZ jumped to No. 2 in the farm system only behind current big leaguer Joey Gallo after today’s trades. ANDY IBANEZ (3), RONALD GUZMAN (5), and RYAN CORDELL (6) are in  the Top 10 for the first time this season. MLBPipeline also released its mid-season top 100 prospect list, and two current Rangers prospects made the cut. Gallo topped the list at No. 15, and Mendez came in at No. 69. LEWIS BRINSON (22) and LUIS ORTIZ (65) were also ranked in the top 100.

SLIPPING DOWN IN THE STANDINGS:
The RoughRiders entered a three-game series in Midland last week trailing the RockHounds by six games in the second-half standings. However, after getting swept by the RockHounds and splitting a four-game set against San Antonio, the Riders find themselves 10 games behind Midland entering this three-game series. There are 33 games remaining in the second half, and 10 of them will come against the RockHounds.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher Ben Bracewell makes his sixth appearance and second start of the season against the RoughRiders tonight. The 25-year-old is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his first five outings against Frisco this season, including 2 2/3 strong innings of relief Wednesday at Security Bank Ballpark. Bracewell allowed five hits, but just one run and picked up the victory in the series finale. His other start against the Riders came June 22 in Midland, when he allowed three hits and a run over five innings. The Mississippi State product joined the RockHounds from Class A-Advanced Stockton on April 27, despite going 1-1 with a 12.60 ERA in five outings with the Ports. Bracewell went undrafted out of MSU and began his career with the River City Rascals of the independent Frontier League before signing with the A’s in July 2014. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, slider, changeup, curveball.

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