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Riding Through the Farm: July 1

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 (51-29, 1st – AL West)

After splitting a four-game series in the Bronx against the New York Yankees, the Rangers continue their road trip with a three-game set in Minnesota. Texas will head back to the Northeast to wrap up the trip next week in Boston.

The Rangers continue to hold the best record in the American League and are tied with the Chicago Cubs for the most wins in all of baseball. The Astros have surpassed the Mariners for second place in the division, but the Rangers still hold an 8 1/2 game advantage over Houston.

Tonight: at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (42-38, 2nd – PCL American Southern Division)

Round Rock picked up two wins yesterday, including a walk-off victory in the second game of the doubleheader against Iowa. The Express continue their season with the I-Cubs tonight, and the two teams will play another doubleheader Saturday before the finale of the series Sunday.

Saturday, the two teams will finish the remainder of a game suspended in April due to wet grounds. Then, they will play the originally scheduled game after the conclusion of the suspended game.

Tonight: vs. Iowa, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (46-32 overall, 3-5 2nd half, 5th – California League South Division)

The Riders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate playing an Angels farm team this weekend. High Desert hosts Inland Empire in a four-game series that began with a Mavericks win yesterday.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Mavs, who were swept by Lancaster in a mid-week series. However, High Desert won the first-half championship and has already clinched a spot in the California League playoffs.

Tonight: vs. Inland Empire, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (41-37 overall, 3-5 2nd half, T-6th – South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory went sliding into the all-star break and the struggles have continued. The ‘Dads have lost five of their first eight games to begin the second half.

However, the Crawdads have won two of their last three games, including a 7-3 victory over Kannapolis last night. Hickory jumped out to a 7-0 with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings and three more in the fifth.

Dylan Moore, who was relegated to first base early in the season, also played second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and right field during June.

Tonight: vs. Kannapolis, 6:00 p.m. (SP: RHP Dillon Tate)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (5-9, 4th – Northwest League North Division)

After starting the season 4-3, the Indians have lost six of their last seven games. The squad has slipped to the cellar in the Northwest League’s North Division.

The lone win came Wednesday against Everett. Former Rider Jake Shortslef made the start for Spokane and allowed just three hits in five shutout innings. He earned his first win of the 2016 season.

Tonight: at Vancouver, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Nick Green)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: coaster – A player in the Pacific Coast League.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Arkansas (6/30/16)

GAME #76 (2nd HALF GAME #7)

Frisco RoughRiders (40-35 overall, 2-4 2nd half) at Arkansas Travelers (33-42, 1-4)
Thursday, June 30 – 7:10 p.m.
Dickey-Stephens Park – North Little Rock, AR
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Arkansas feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 7 of 12 (Tied, 3-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

LHP Frank Lopez (4-1, 4.37 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday vs. Corpus Christi (L, 9-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: OF Preston Beck

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Scoring the first two runs of the contest, the RoughRiders allowing the next nine to suffer a 9-2 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks on Sunday, the final day of the Texas League slate before the All-Star Game…After a two-run Riders first, the Hooks tied the game with two of their own in the second…The rest of the scoring came in a seven-run sixth inning, capped by a three-run homer by Conrad Gregor…REED GARRETT, lasting five-plus innings, suffered the loss.

THE RETURN TO NORTH LITTLE ROCK:

The RoughRiders made their second and final trip to North Little Rock in this series, beginning today. It’s the first time the Riders have been to Dickey-Stephens Park since April 10-12 when the Riders captured a two-games-to-one series victory over the Travs. The season series is tied at 3-3, but both teams are drastically different than they were at last meeting with many players on both sides no longer on the roster. The Riders have five players on the roster not with the club the last time these two clubs met, while the Travelers have 11, nearly half their active rosters.

LEADING THE SOUTH:

The RoughRiders sent six players to the Texas League All-Star Game on Tuesday, and the Riders made a major impact on the game…RYAN CORDELL won the game’s MVP award, going 3-for-5 with a three-run home run, two runs scored, and four RBI…RONALD GUZMAN went 1-for-4, starting at first base…ISAIAH KINER-FALEFA subbed in at catcher, knocking in a run and going 1-for-3…PRESTON BECK was hitless in two at-bats. VICTOR PAYANO tossed a 1-2-3 second inning while CONNOR SADZECK allowed a run on a sacrifice fly in one frame. ADAM PARKS did not travel, as he underwent “Tommy John” surgery last week.

MARTE MENDED:

Today marks the return of RoughRiders shortstop LUIS MARTE, who missed the last 60 games with a fractured hand and finger. The defensive wizard swung a decent bat before he was hit by a pitch in Corpus Christi, batting .238 in 14 games, with six extra-base hits and six RBI. The 22-year-old went 5-for-12, 2 2B, RBI, 2-2 SB in three rehab games in the Arizona League, going 5-for-12, with two doubles, an RBI and stole two bases in two tries in three AZL games. The Riders went 29-31 without Marte, starting the season 11-4 when he was healthy. In his stead, Frisco saw three different men man the shortstop spot: ISIAH KINER-FALEFA (19 games), LUIS MENDEZ (19), and ALBERTO TRIUNFEL (26).

CALMED BY CORPUS:

The RoughRiders were shut out on Saturday for the ninth time this year, which leads the Texas League although seven have come since May 24. It was the third time that the Riders have been blanked by the Hooks this season. Frisco’s also been shut out by Arkansas (once), San Antonio (once), Springfield (twice), and Tulsa (twice). The Hooks meanwhile lead the Texas League in shut out wins, having silenced their opponents ten times this year, two ahead of second-place Arkansas, Midland, and Tulsa.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:

In his first 19 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 14 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A (3-for-his-first-27 at-bats), Ibanez has been red hot of late. Ibanez just lost an 11-game hit streak, which included a home run, three RBI, and three multi-hit games, but has hits in 12 of his last 13 games played, including a 2-for-4 effort on Sunday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 32 of his last 37 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3- 6/13) games. He has hit six doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

Since a rough stretch in which All-Star outfielder RYAN CORDELL went homerless in 26 games, the slugger has got back to his hot- hitting ways. He hit a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland on June 14. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in total durign his last 54 at-bats. Cordell continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-5 game in the Texas League All-Star Game and an All-Star game MVP.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Traded by the Astros just prior to the start of the season for cash considerations, Troy Scribner makes his first start against the Riders today…Undrafted out of Sacred Heart University, Scribner signed with the Astros and pitched at three levels in 2013…By 2014, he made Double-A Corpus Christi, before spending all of 2015 with High-A Lancaster…Scribner finished his career second at Sacred Heart with 261 strikeouts, 344 innings and 26 wins. In his four years, the Pioneers went to four Northeast Conference Tournament championship games, winning titles in 2011 and 2012 — he threw three straight complete- game victories to open the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NEC Tournaments…He credits much of his pro success to time spent with former Astros special assistant, now Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail who helped him improve the consistency and fluidity of his delivery…In his first outing of 2016, Scribner pitched five hitless innings in a 6-1 win over Springfield in the second game of a doubleheader at Hammons Field on May 1…The righty works with a fastball, curveball, and changeup.

Cordell named MVP of Tuesday’s All-Star Game

The RoughRiders are back in action tonight at Arkansas after a few days off for the All-Star break.

In Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Springfield, Cordell exploded for an incredible performance in front of the crowd of 7,832 at Hammons Field. The outfielder earned the game’s MVP award after going 3-for-5 with a home run and four runs batted in.

Cordell currently leads the Texas League with 52 runs batted in, and he once again showed why he is one of the elite players in the circuit with his performance Tuesday night.

Let’s look back at two of the highlights:

The three-run homer came in the sixth inning, and it ultimately made the difference for the South Division in an 8-5 victory over the North Division.

“Games like this, you’re really relaxed and trying to get a good pitch to drive,” Cordell said. “Luckily, I was able to get a few of those and put some good swings on them.”

Cordell and the Riders return to action tonight, beginning a three-game road series against the Arkansas Travelers to wrap up the month of June. Listen to the game live at 7:10 p.m.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: drive from the hill – To force a pitcher from the game by getting base hits.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/26)

GAME #75 (2nd HALF GAME #6)

Frisco RoughRiders (40-34 overall, 2-3 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (50-25, 3-2)
Sunday, June 26 – 6:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 4 (Hooks lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 20 of 32 (Hooks lead, 13-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – CF
  5. Preston Beck – RF
  6. Joe Jackson – LF
  7. Alex Burg – DH
  8. Luis Mendez – 3B
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

RHP Reed Garrett (2-1, 4.62 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Corpus Christi (L, 3-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders were shut out 3-0 on Saturday night by the Corpus Christi Hooks…Francis Martes tossed a career-high-tying seven innings of shutout ball and Aaron West went the final two frames…Frisco held the Hooks silent until the sixth but allowed a run in the sixth, eighth, and ninth to drop the contest…In his final start before the All-Star break, VICTOR PAYANOtossed three hitless innings…RONALD GUZMAN and LUIS MENDEZ both posted multi-hit nights…Frisco went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

CALMED BY CORPUS:
The RoughRiders were shut out last night for the ninth time this year, which leads the Texas League. It was the third time that the Riders have been blanked by the Hooks this season. Frisco’s also been shut out by Arkansas (once), San Antonio (once), Springfield (twice), and Tulsa (twice). The Hooks meanwhile lead the Texas League in shut out wins, having silenced their opponents ten times this year, two ahead of second-place Midland and Tulsa.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run, and the first two games of this series against Corpus Christi have also been one-run contests. During the month of June, 14 of the Riders’ 25 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 17-11 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests. The 28 one-run games the Riders have played is tied for most in the Texas League (with Corpus and Midland).

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL  were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth-straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). Additionally, Guzman was selected to participate in Tuesday’s Home Run Derby. The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game also takes place Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:
In his first 18 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 13 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A (3-for-his-first-27 at-bats), Ibanez’s first three hits all drove in runs. Ibanez just lost an 11-game hit streak, which included a home run, three RBI, and three multi-hit games, going 0-for-4 last night.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 31 of his last 36 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. He has hit six doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day last Tuesday. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in his last 50 at-bats.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and was activated by Texas last night. He was the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Former UNC Tar Heel Kent Emanuel makes is fifth start and sixth outing of the year today, and first against Frisco…The Astros’ third-rounder from the 2013 draft, Emanuel had a tremendous three-run run with UNC, including ACC Pitcher of the Year honors in 2013, his Junior season, and posted a 2.52 ERA as a collegiate pitcher, working three years as a starter…Emanuel underwent Tommy John surgery in June of last year, and came back in less than a year…Working with good command (1.8 BB/9IP), Emanuel throws a low 90s fastball, a curve, and changeup.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Deposit the pill – To hit the ball a long distance.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Q&A: Ronald Guzman ready to swing in home run derby

050116 Guzman, Ronald (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders) copy

Friday, Ronald Guzman was named Frisco’s representative in the home run derby at the Texas League All-Star Game coming up Tuesday in Springfield. I had a chance to chat with Guzman this afternoon about getting to hit in the home run derby and his thoughts on earning an all-star spot this season.

RYAN ROUILLARD: How excited are you to participate in the home run derby?

RONALD GUZMAN: Very excited. Very excited. I’m a little anxious so I’m trying to just keep it down and try to hit like I’m hitting BP.

RR: Have you ever hit in a home run derby before?

RG: Yeah. I participated in one before I signed [with Texas] for the Dominican Prospect League. I won, actually. I hit six homers. But it was 15 pitches. It was not similar to how we’re doing it right now. So I don’t have a strategy yet.

062316 Guzman, Ronald (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)RR: How much are you going to work on a strategy beforehand?

RG: It’s three minutes so I’m just going to try to swing at everything. I’m just going to try to hit like I’m hitting BP and try to hit some home runs.

RR: You hit a couple home runs in Springfield earlier this year. Did you like that park as a place to hit?

RG: Oh yeah. I like Springfield. I feel like the ball carries everywhere. I think I’m going to be comfortable with hitting the ball everywhere, wherever the pitches come. I think it’s a really nice place to hit.

RR: What does being an all-star mean to you and getting to participate in all of this?

RG: It’s a great feeling. It’s my first time playing in an all-star game so I’m just going to go up there and try to have fun and try to enjoy it. I don’t know if I’m going to have another chance, you know? So I’m just going to go there and have fun and enjoy every second. I think it will be cool to play with the guys from the other teams, so I’m excited.

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/25)

GAME #74 (2nd HALF GAME #5)

Frisco RoughRiders (40–33 overall, 2-2 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (49-25, 2-2 2nd half)
Saturday, June 25 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 4 (Series tie, 1-1)
This season: Game 19 of 32 (Hooks lead, 12-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

LHP Victor Payano (5-4, 3.57 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday vs. Corpus Christi (W, 8-7)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Isiah Kiner-Falefa

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Once down 5-1, the RoughRiders stormed back to knock off Corpus Christi 8-7…The Riders took the lead with a four-run seventh inning. ALEX BURG knocked in three runs with a bases-clearing double to right-center field to put Frisco ahead 8-6. Burg finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and tied a career-high with four RBI…FRANK LOPEZ helped keep the Riders in the game, working 4/13 strong innings in relief of CONNOR SADZECKJOSE VALDESPINA worked the final two innings to earn his second straight save and third of the season…Six players had a multi-hit game, including three hits from Burg.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run, and the first two games of this series against Corpus Christi have also been one-run contests. During the month of June, 14 of the Riders’ 24 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 17-11 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests. The 28 one-run games the Riders have played is tied for most in the Texas League (with Corpus and Midland).

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL  were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth-straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). Additionally, Guzman was selected to participate in Tuesday’s Home Run Derby. The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game also takes place Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

DOWN, BUT NEVER OUT:
The RoughRiders’ comeback from a four-run deficit last night matched the largest one of the season. The Riders have rallied to win three times when trailing by four runs this season, including twice against Corpus Christi. Overall, Frisco has tallied 22 come-from-behind victories this season (55% of team’s total wins), and the last six RoughRiders wins have been in comeback fashion.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:
In his first 18 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 13 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A (3-for-his-first-27 at-bats), Ibanez’s first three hits all drove in runs. Ibanez now has a hit in each of his last 11 games, including a home run, three RBI, and three multi-hit games.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 30 of his last 35 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. He has hit six doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day last Tuesday. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in his last 46 at-bats.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and was the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Francis Martes, the top pitching prospect in the Houston farm system, makes his fourth appearance against the RoughRiders this year. The RoughRiders have given Martes his two roughest outings of the year, touching him up for 10 earned runs in 3.0 innings, good for an ERA of 30.00, in those two appearances. However, Martes earned his first win over the Riders this season last Wednesday, going 6 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on five hits. Martes came to the Astros from the Marlins organization in a multi-player trade at the 2014 deadline. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (mid-90s), curveball, changeup.

Five takeaways from Friday’s win

062416 Burg, Alex (Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)2

Alex Burg went 3-for-4 Friday with two doubles and four RBI in Frisco’s win over Corpus Christi.

The RoughRiders stormed back for an 8-7 win over Corpus Christi last night, ending a four-game losing streak to the Hooks. There were plenty of things to like about Friday’s win, but here are some of my biggest takeaways:

  • Alex Burg had a huge night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a career-high-tying four RBIs. It marked his first RBIs since June 4 and his first three-hit game since April 22 (also against the Hooks). Burg has struggled a bit since a hot first month of the season, but it was great to see him swat the ball all over the park last night.
  • Friday marked the return of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who had missed 25 games while on the disabled list with a knee infection. “IKF” didn’t miss a beat in his return, going 2-for-5 with a pair of singles and a run scored. Not only does he provide the Riders a reliable bat, but he provides defensive flexibility that can help give guys rest when needed.
  • Frisco went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position Friday. It was their best performance with RISP since going 7-for-14 on May 23 against San Antonio (right before the eight-game losing streak). Frisco’s ability to hit with runners in scoring position was so key to the early success, and rediscovering that ability will be a key to winning the second half.
  • There were contributions throughout the lineup last night, including six guys with multi-hit games. Perhaps most encouraging is that two of Frisco’s best hitters – Ronald Guzman and Ryan Cordell – both went hitless and the Riders still had one of their best offensive showings. Seven of the eight RBI came from the sixth, seventh and eighth spots in the order (Joe Jackson-2, Alex Burg-4, Kellin Deglan-1).
  • Despite the shortest start of the year for Connor Sadzeck, the bullpen was great on Friday, with Frank Lopez and Jose Valdespina combining to work the final 6 1/3 innings, allowing just three runs along the way to a very good Corpus Christi lineup. With as much as the Riders bullpen has been taxed in this long string of games without off days, their outings were huge and should help the Riders keep a rested bullpen for the final two games before the all-star break.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Frisk – To win.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/24)

GAME #73 (2nd HALF GAME #4)

Frisco RoughRiders (39-33 overall, 1-2 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (49-24, 2-1 2nd half)
Friday, June 24 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Hooks lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 18 of 32 (Hooks lead, 12-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Connor Sadzeck (6-2, 3.18 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday vs. Corpus Christi (L, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Ryan Ledbetter

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The Riders hit a pair of solo home runs but came up short in a 3-2 loss to Corpus Christi Thursday night…Frisco got on the board in the first inning on the 15th long ball of the year from RYAN CORDELL…Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, JOE JACKSONlaunched a solo home run to tie the game 2-2…After giving up two runs in the first inning, LUIS ORTIZ retired 10 consecutive hitters and 13 of the final 17. Ortiz went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts, and took no decision for the second straight starts…Chase McDonald his his 12th home run to put Corpus Christi ahead 3-2 for good.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run, and last night’s series opener against Corpus Christi was a one-run game as well. During the month of June, 13 of the Riders’ 23 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 16-11 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL  were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth-straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place next Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:
In his first 17 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 12 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A, Ibanez’s first three hits all drove in runs. Ibanez now has a hit in each of his last 10 games, including a home run, three RBI, and two multi-hit games.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 29 of his last 34 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. He has hit five doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:
For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 18 games, the RoughRiders have committed 20 errors (1.1 per game), leading to 18 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he was adjusting to playing the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his stateside debut on Sunday.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day last Tuesday. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in his last 43 at-bats.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-hander Keegan Yuhl makes his third appearance against the RoughRiders this season. Frisco has tallied five runs and 11 hits off Yuhl in 10 1/3 innings pitched. Yuhl is currently on a seven-game win streak, pacing the staff for most wins this season, and he has not lost a game since April 19 at Springfield. The Del Mar, California native was selected by the Astros in the 35th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Last Tuesday, Yuhl was named to the Texas League South Division All-Star team. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, changeup, slider.

Riding Through the Farm: Into the second half

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 (47-26, 1st – AL West)

Texas had its seven-game winning streak snapped Tuesday against the Reds, but got a new streak started with a win on Wednesday. After the off day, Boston comes to town tonight to begin a three-game set.

The Rangers continue to hold the best record in the American League and are tied for the most wins in all of baseball (47, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco). With Seattle’s recent skid, the lead in the AL West is suddenly at 10 games.

Tonight: vs. Boston, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Nick Martinez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (39-34, 2nd – PCL American Southern Division)

Round Rock picked up its second win against Oklahoma City in 11 tries last night after struggling most of the year with the Dodgers affiliate. With the aid of the infield fly rule, the Express turned a 6-7-5-2 double play last night.

Doug Bernier is hitting .389 in his last five games for the “E-Train,” while former RoughRiders catcher Pat Cantwell continues to hit well, hitting .303 in his first 35 games.

On the mound, former RoughRiders pitcher Richelson Pena teamed up with Jose Monegro (who has since rejoined the Riders) to allow one run on seven hits in a seven-inning game against first-place Nashville earlier this week.

Tonight: at Oklahoma City, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)

<img class="wp-image-2206122" src="https://mlblogsridersinsider.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/travis-demeritte.jpg?w=555&quot; alt="Travis Demeritte” width=”304″ height=”171″ /> Travis Demeritte was one of two High Desert Mavericks to play in the All-Star Game Tuesday.

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (43-28, 1st half champions – California League South Division)

High Desert edged out Rancho Cucamonga to win the first-half championship, making the Mavs the only Rangers affiliate to win the opening half. They began the second half with a tough walk-off loss last night against the Quakes.

Tuesday, the Mavericks had a pair participate in the California-Carolina All-Star Game. Travis Demeritte was 1-for-2 with a double, while Jose Trevino was 0-for-2.

Tonight: at Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (38-33, Finished tied for 3rd – South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory went sliding into the all-star break and the struggles continued Thursday with a walk-off loss in 11 innings at Greensboro. The ‘Dads have lost eight of their last nine.

Thursday’s extra-inning loss was Hickory’s eighth of the year. The Crawdads have now played 29 extra innings this year, including games of 14, 17, and 19 innings.

Hickory sent five guys to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday. Yeyson Yrizarri played the whole way, going 1-for-4. Tyler Sanchez came in as a backup catcher and was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance. On the hill, Pedro Payano and Erik Swanson each worked a scoreless inning, while Jeffrey Springs came on for 1/3 of an inning.

Tonight: at Greensboro, 6:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (4-3, T-1st – Northwest League North Division)

The Indians are off to a good start in 2016, winning four of their first seven games, including an 11-run outburst in Eugene last night. Former Rider Jake Shortslef made the start for Spokane and allowed two runs in four innings, starting the game with three hitless innings.

Chad Smith is off to a great start for Spokane, hitting .346 with four doubles and six RBI in his first six games. On the mound, Rangers sixth-round pick Kyle Cody has a 1.80 ERA in his first two outings.

The unfortunate news out of the Evergreen State this week is that highly-regarded prospect Michael Matuella will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury. Matuella worked three scoreless innings in his first start with Spokane on Friday, his first career pro appearance after missing all of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Tonight: at Eugene, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Tyler Phillips)

AZL RANGERS

We won’t have updates every week, but we’re keeping our eye on the AZL squad at the moment because both Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Luis Marte are rehabbing with the squad.

Marte debuted last night, going 2-for-3 with a RBI double and a stolen base. Kiner-Falefa is 1-for-10 with an RBI and a stolen base in his first three games.

– Ryan

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. Corpus Christi (6/23/16)

GAME #72 (2nd HALF GAME #3)

Frisco RoughRiders (39-32 overall, 1-1 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (48-24, 1-1 2nd half)
Thursday, June 23 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 17 of 32 (Hooks lead, 10-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – C
  6. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Chris Garia – LF
  9. Luis Silva – 3B

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-3, 3.04 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday at Midland: (L, 2-1 – 10 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Infielder Alberto Triunfel

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Although the Riders led 1-0 early, Midland came back to win the series finale 2-1 in 10 innings…RONALD GUZMAN hit his 10th home run of the season in the top of the fourth as the Riders got on the board first for the second consecutive game…With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 10th, Midland loaded the bases with a trio of walks against RYNE SLACKwith no outs. JASON RICHMAN entered the game and recorded the first out, but he issued a four-pitch walk to Josh Rodriguez that allowed Brett Vertigan to score the winning run…For the first time in six starts as a RoughRider, YOHANDER MENDEZ did not make it through five frames. The southpaw departed the game after 4 2/3 innings, once he gave up the tying run on Viosergy Rosa’s two-out RBI single.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run. During the month of June, 12 of the Riders’ 22 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 16-10 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL  were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth-straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place next Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 29 of his last 33 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 32 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .295 with five doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 13 RBI. He also sports a .348 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .443 in that span.

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:
For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 17 games, the RoughRiders have committed 19 errors (1.1 per game), leading to 18 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he was adjusting to playing the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his stateside debut on Sunday.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day last Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of last Thursday’s doubleheader, including his 13th home run of the year. Friday, he hit his 14th homer and his first opposite-field shot of the year. He posted a multi-hit game Tuesday as well.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Kyle Smith makes his sixth start of the season and second against Frisco, with the first coming back on April 21 at Whataburger Field…He has also pitched in seven games out of the bullpen, including two appearances against the Riders on May 14 and June 17…Smith was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft…Houston acquired the right-handed pitcher in exchange for outfielder Justin Maxwell at the trade deadline on July 31, 2013…Named a mid-season All-Star for Wilmington (Carolina League) in 2013 and Corpus Christi in 2014…Smith bypassed an opportunity to play at the University of Florida by signing with the Royals out of Santaluces High School in Lantana, Florida…Went 9-1 with a 0.40 ERA and 116 strikeouts over 69 innings as a senior…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (88-91, T93), curveball, and changeup.

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