Results tagged ‘ Midland RockHounds ’

A night to remember in the Texas League

Crazy Night in TL

While the Riders-Drillers game last night wasn’t full of that much drama, it was quite the night elsewhere around the Texas League last night. All I can say is that it was a bonkers night in the circuit.

CORPUS CHRISTI vs. ARKANSAS

Typically, when you are one out away from a perfect game, you expect to win. Unfortunately for the Arkansas Travelers, that wasn’t the case last night. After six perfect innings from starter Alex Blackford and 1-2-3 frames from Edward Paredes and Victor Alcantara, Eduardo Paredes got the first two men he faced and went to a full count with Ramon Laureano.

He walked Laureano, so the perfect game was gone, but the no-hitter was still intact. That is, until Bobby Boyd singled in the next at-bat to end the no-no, but the 1-0 lead was still there. That is, until Nick Tanielu singled in the tying run and Paredes threw a walk-off wild pitch to give Corpus Christi the win, despite getting outhit 8-2 and coming a strike away from having a perfect game thrown against them.

MIDLAND at SPRINGFIELD

This wasn’t a perfect game bid, but Springfield’s Johnny Walter had a no-hitter through eight against the RockHounds. As he went back out for the ninth, he had a chance to finish a ninth inning of no-hit ball, but the game wouldn’t be over then because Springfield also hadn’t scored yet.

Walter’s no-hitter was broken up by leadoff man Danny Oh in the ninth, but that was only the beginning of the damage. Midland went on to score three runs in the top of the ninth and moved past a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to win 3-1. Walter, despite taking a no-hitter into the ninth, took the loss.

SAN ANTONIO vs. NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

San Antonio came one hit away from a no-hitter last night, although the drama was gone much earlier. The Missions allowed their only hit in the third inning. However, they too couldn’t get anything across until the bottom of the ninth when Franchy Cordero led off with a walk-off home run, just the fourth hit of the game for San Antonio. For those counting at home, that’s 10 walk-off wins for San Antonio (out of 47 total wins).

_____________________________________________________________________

To recap:

  • Both teams that took a no-hitter into the ninth inning last night ended up losing.
  • The winning teams in these three games last night had hit totals of four (SA), three (MID), and two (CC).
  • There were 23 total hits between the six teams. By comparison, Tulsa (13) and Frisco (9) combined for 22.
  • Seven of the eight runs scored in those three games came in the ninth inning.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Mask work – The catcher’s duties

(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.

 

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.

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (7/27)

GAME #102 (2nd HALF GAME #33)

Frisco RoughRiders (51-50 overall, 13-19 2nd half) at Midland RockHounds (54-48 overall, 21-11 2nd half)
Wednesday, July 27 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 3 (RockHounds lead 2-0)
This season: Game 19 of 28 (Riders lead 10-8)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Connor Sadzeck (9-3, 3.27 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at Midland (L, 4-0 – 5 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Hitting coach Jason Hart

Archived interview coming soon. Listen live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:10 p.m.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Rain-shortened after just five innings, the RoughRiders were blanked 4-0 by the Midland RockHounds on Tuesday night…Frisco mustered just one hit off of Heath Fillmyer…After throwing three scoreless innings, FRANK LOPEZ allowed a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings…Beau Taylor’s two-run home run capped the scoring…After the final out of the fifth inning was recorded, the game went into a rain delay, and after a 30 minute delay, the game was called…ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was 0-for-2 and lost his 24-game on-base streak.

HATEFUL EIGHT:
With the loss last night, the RoughRiders are now eight games behind the Midland RockHounds for first place in the South Division second half standings. The deficit is tied for the largest the team has faced this half, having been behind Midland by eight games after losing July 13 at Corpus Christi. Frisco has 38 games left in the half, with 10 coming against Midland.

ONE-HIT?!?! ONE DARN HIT!?!
Granted it came in a five-inning game, but the RoughRiders mustered just one hit in last night’s contest. It was the fourth time this year Frisco has been limited to a single base hit, and the club’s been shut out in all four of those games. All four games, however, have been shorter than nine-inning affairs, with the other three games coming in seven-inning doubleheader games (4/18 vs. ARK, 5/13 at CC, and 6/1 at TUL). The Riders have been blanked 11 times this year, tied for the most in the Texas League with Northwest Arkansas.

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: 
Last night’s rain-shortened game was a rarity in RoughRiders history. Although the club has had 11 rain-affected games (four delays, six postponements, and one cancellation), last night was the first time that the club has had a rain-shortened game this season. In fact, it was the first rain-shortened game for Frisco since April 19, 2011 in a 1-0 loss at Arkansas in six innings.

CARDIAC KIDS:
Last night snapped a trend of one-run games, as the Riders lost by four. Prior to that, Frisco played five straight one-run games, often in come-from-behind games. Six of the last seven meetings with Midland has been by one run as well. The Riders have played in more one-run games (37) than six of the seven other teams in the Texas League (Corpus Christi is first with 38). The club has had success in those games as well, going 21-16, the third-best winning percentage in the league (Springfield is first, 15-8, .652 win percentage). Additionally, 48 of the 101 games played have seen the winner come back from a deficit at some point. Frisco is 28-20 in these games, and five of the last six games has the team that wins overcome a lead by the opponent.

MAGICAL MARTE:
Despite going 0-for-2 last night, LUIS MARTE continues to tear it up at the plate for the Riders. He went 10-for-19 last series and is 15-for-his-last-29 over the last week. Last night ended a seven-game hitting and six-game multi-hit streak with three homers, a double, and 10 RBI. During the hitting streak, Marte has raised his average 83 points from .191 to .274. Marte has more hits (15) than all but one player (Scott Schebler, Louisville) in all of Minor League Baseball over the past seven days.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The Riders hit 24 home runs in the past four series and hit 11 against Northwest Arkansas. Frisco has 25 homers in the last 18 games with homers in 12 of those 18, going just 1-4 when they don’t hit a home run during this stretch. After hitting just one in the previous 11, Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 26 July homers, two more than second place Corpus Christi (24). Since July 9, Frisco has 24 home runs, tied for the fourth-most in MiLB.

KINER KEEPS ON KEEPING ON…:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. Prior to going 0-for-2 last night, he had reached base in 24 straight games, a season-long and the longest active streak in the league. He had hits in 19 of those games and reached safely in 40 of his 101 plate appearances, a .396 OBP in that span (25 hits, 11 walks, four HBP). Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .362 this season, which ranks is first on the team.

OPPOSING STARTER:
The RoughRiders face Corey Walter for the third time this year today, last facing him June 20 (5.0 IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 1SO). Walter moved into the rotation when Daniel Mengden was promoted to Triple-A…Drafted in the 28th Round of the 2014 Draft out of West Virginia University, Walter starred in baseball at Wheeling (WV) Park High, where he was all-state first team as a senior in 2010, going 11-4 with nine complete games and an ERA of just 1.76…Following his first season, Walter was named “Most Improved Pitcher” during Instructional League…The righty throws a two-seam sinker, a slider, and a developing changeup, getting an inordinate amount of groundballs (2.69 GO/AO).

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (7/26)

GAME #101 (2nd HALF GAME #32)

Frisco RoughRiders (51-49 overall, 13-18 2nd half) at Midland RockHounds (53-48 overall, 20-11 2nd half)
Tuesday, July 26 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 3 (RockHounds lead 1-0)
This season: Game 18 of 28 (Riders lead 10-7)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

LHP Frank Lopez (5-4, 4.91 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday at Midland (L, 2-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Ariel Jurado

Archived interview coming soon. Listen live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:10 p.m.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Blanked over the final six innings, the RoughRiders fell 2-1 to the Midland RockHounds on Monday night in the series opener…ANDY IBANEZ plated a run on a single in the third, brining in LEWIS BRINSON who doubled with two outs to start the rally…Midland scored two off of ARIEL JURADO in the fourth in Jurado’s Double-A debut…Jurado worked three hitless innings prior to the fourth-inning runs and tossed a quality start, allowing just two runs on four hits and a pair of walks in six innings…Brinson collected three hits, and Ibanez, RYAN CORDELL, and LUIS MARTE each picked up multiple hits…the Riders collected 11 hits in total, outing hitting the RockHounds, and left 13 men on-base, a season-high in a nine-inning game.

MOMENTOUS SERIES IN MIDLAND:
Today continues a pivotal seven-game road trip, a trek against two division rivals. After a four-game split at Corpus Christi the RoughRiders teed off against the Midland RockHounds yesterday. The RoughRiders are seven games back of Midland with 39 games left in the second half.  Since the Riders fell four games on July 2, they haven’t been closer and have been back by as many as eight games behind the RockHounds.

CARDIAC KIDS:
Frisco continues to play in tight ballgames, playing its fifth straight one-run game last night, often in come-from-behind games. Each of the last six meetings has been by one run as well. The Riders have played in more one-run games (37) than six of the seven other teams in the Texas League (Corpus Christi is first with 38). The club has had success in those games as well, going 21-16, the third-best winning percentage in the league (Springfield is first, 15-8, .652 win percentage). Additionally, 48 of the 100 games played have seen the winner come back from a defict at some point. Frisco is 28-20 in these games, and each of the last five games has the team that wins overcome a lead by the opponent.

LEFT-ON WOES:
The Riders had their chances last night, but left on too many men. Frisco stranded a season-high 13 runners, more than the previous high of 12 set in the 15-inning game at Midland May 17 and matched in Saturday’s 8-7 loss in 14 innings. The Riders went just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position after hitting .388 (19-for-49) in those spots in the four-game split with the Corpus Christi Hooks over the weekend.

MAGICAL MARTE:
With two more hits last night, LUIS MARTE continues to tear it up at the plate for the Riders. He went 10-for-19 last series and is 15-for-his-last-27 over a current six-game multi-hit streak. Marte’s also in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak with three homers, a double, and 10 RBI. During the hitting streak, Marte has raised his average 83 points from .191 to .274. Marte has more hits (15) than anyone in all of Minor League Baseball over the past six days.

JACKSON’S BIG JULY:
Though he’s been a steady contributor at the plate all season, July has been especially fruitful for Riders outfielder JOE JACKSON. The 24-year-old is hitting .289 in his first 23 games this month after combining to hit .260 in the first three months. He has hits in 19 of the 23 games and holds a .356 on-base percentage since the calendar turned. Just last night, Jackson lost a nine-game hit streak and an 13-game on-base streak. The former catcher is also getting more experience in the outfield, having played 27 of his last 33 games in the grass after DH’ing early in the year.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The Riders hit 24 home runs in the past four series and hit 11 against Northwest Arkansas. Frisco has 25 homers in the last 17 games with homers in 12 of those 17, going just 1-4 when they don’t hit a home run during this stretch. After hitting just one in the previous 11, Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 26 July homers, three more than second place Corpus Christi (23). Since July 9, Frisco has 24 home runs, third-most in MiLB.

KINER KEEPS ON KEEPING ON…:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. He has reached base in 24 straight games, a season-long and the longest active streak in the league. He has hits in 19 of those games and has reached safely in 40 of his 101 plate appearances, a .396 OBP in that span (25 hits, 11 walks, four HBP). Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .359 this season, which ranks first on the team and 7th in the league.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-hander Heath Fillmyer makes his second Double-A start today…He arrived from High-A Stockton, where he’d spent all year, on July 21 to throw five innings of two-run ball on four hits at San Antonio, taking no-decision…Drafted in the 5th round out of Mercer County Community College (West Windsor, NJ) in 2014, he signed for a reported $305,000…Fillmyer is in his third pro season after spending his rookie year in the Arizona League, named most-improved pitcher at the A’s instructional league that ball, and all of last season with Low-A Beloit…Fillmyer entered the 2016 season ranked by MLB.com as the A’s No. 19 prospect (now No. 18) and was ranked the 25 player on the farm by Baseball America prior to the season (up from No. 28 prior to 2015)…Fillmyer was previous selected by the Colorado Rockies after his freshman season the 28th round of the 2013 draft but did not sign… As a freshman, the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Fillmyer, a shortstop, filled in at closer and pitched 7 2/3 innings out of the bullpen…He returned for his sophomore year and moved full-time to the mound where he went 9-0, 0.68 in 2014 ….REPERTOIRE: a 92 to 96 mph FASTBALL with sinking action and downhill angle. He also spins a CURVEBALL with tight break, and a CHANGEUP with splitter-like action, which is known as his best pitch.

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (7/25)

GAME #100 (2nd HALF GAME #31)

Frisco RoughRiders (51-48 overall, 13-17 2nd half) at Midland RockHounds (52-48 overall, 19-11 2nd half)
Monday, July 25 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 17 of 28 (Riders lead, 10-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Ariel Jurado (0-0, -.– ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday at Corpus Christi (W, 7-6)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Erasing a 5-1 deficit with four runs in the sixth and two in the seventh, the RoughRiders rallied back to beat the Corpus Christi Hooks 7-6 in the series finale, splitting the four-game set and moving just six out of first place Midland…RONALD GUZMAN and LUIS MARTE both blasted two run homers in the sixth, and Guzman put the club ahead with a two-run single in the seventh…A benches-clearing brawl in the second inning after YOHANDER MENDEZ hit the Hooks’ Danry Vasquez led to the ejections Mendez, Vasquez, and outfielder Ramon Laureano…Frisco’s bullpen fired eight innings in relief of Mendez, andJOHN FASOLA pitched 2 1/3 perfect innings for the save.

MOMENTOUS SERIES IN MIDLAND:
Today continues a pivotal seven-game road trip, a trek against the top two teams in the division. After a four-game split at Corpus Christi the RoughRiders tee off against the Midland RockHounds today. The RoughRiders are six games back of Midland with 40 games left in the second half.  Since the Riders fell four games on July 2, they haven’t been closer and have been back by as many as eight games behind the RockHounds.

HIP-HIP-JURADO:
Rangers No. 12 prospect (according to MLBPipeline.com) ARIEL JURADO makes his Double-A debut today. The righty won Texas Rangers Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2015, leading the organization in wins and is having another good campaign this season. In the hitter-friendly California League, Jurado, just 20 years old, made 16 starts with the Mavericks, going 7-2 with a 3.86 ERA. In 79 1/3 innings, he allowed 83 hits and 24 walks, while recording 71 strikeouts. At the time of promotion, Jurado was eighth on the California League leaderboard in ERA. His ERA also ranks fourth among Rangers full-season starting pitchers.

BOLSTERED BULLPEN:
The Texas Rangers sent JEFRI HERNANDEZ to the RoughRiders today, activated off of the disabled list from Round Rock and transferred to Double-A. Hernandez, 25, missed nearly two months after undergoing an apendectomy. The Riders bullpen needs the help. After playing 14 innings on Saturday, Frisco’s starter YOHANDER MENDEZ was ejected after hitting Corpus Chrsiti’s Danry Vasquez with his first pitch in the second inning. Over the past two games, the Riders have thrown 17 innings, and every reliever except LUKE JACKSON has pitched.

MAGICAL MARTE:
With two more hits last night, LUIS MARTE continues to tear it up at the plate for the Riders. He went 10-for-19 last series and is 13-for-his-last-23 over a current five-game multi-hit streak. Marte collected three hits in the series finale with San Antonio on Wednesday, two in three of the games against Corpus Chrsiti, and four on Saturday. He’s also in the midst of a six-game hitting streak with three homers, a double, and 10 RBI. Only one player (Will Maddox of West Michigan) has more hits (14) than Marte (13) over the past five days in all of Minor League Baseball.

JACKSON’S BIG JULY:
Though he’s been a steady contributor at the plate all season, July has been especially fruitful for Riders outfielder JOE JACKSON. The 24-year-old is hitting .306 in his first 22 games this month after combining to hit .260 in the first three months. He has hits in 19 of the 22 games and holds a .375 on-base percentage since the calendar turned. Jackson is currently riding an nine-game hit streak and an 13-game on-base streak. The former catcher is also getting more experience in the outfield, having played 26 of his last 32 games in the grass after DH’ing early in the year.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The Riders hit 24 home runs in the past four series and hit 11 against Northwest Arkansas. Frisco has 25 homers in the last 16 games with homers in 12 of those 16, going just 1-3 when they don’t hit a home run during this stretch. After hitting just one in the previous 11, Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 26 July homers, five more than second place Corpus Christi (21) and Tulsa (21). Since July 8, Frisco has 25 home runs, tied for the third-most in MiLB (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes: 29; Ogden Raptors: 26).

KINER KEEPS ON KEEPING ON…:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. He has reached base in 23 straight games, a season-long and the longest active streak in the league. He has hits in 18 of those games and has reached safely in 37 of his 97 plate appearances, a .381 OBP in that span (24 hits, 10 walks, three HBP). Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .359 this season, which ranks second on the team (RONALD GUZMAN .360) and 11th in the league.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland in today’s series opener. He is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. Seddon has a 0-1 record with a 4.35 ERA in four starts against Frisco. The University of South Carolina product was selected by the Athletics in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He was previously selected in the 20th round by Toronto out of St. Clair High School in 2011. He was mostly a reliever in college and in his first season in the Oakland farm system, but he made 14 starts in 34 appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton last season. REPERTOIRE: Four-seam fastball, two-seam FB, changeup, slider, curveball.

Ballpark Bio: Security Bank Ballpark (Midland)

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Today marks part four of a seven-part series in which I’ll show you the different parks of the Texas League and give you an idea of the various places the Riders are playing, aside from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

 Facts and Figures
Opened: March 23, 2002
Capacity: 6,669 (including berm seating)
Dimensions: LF – 330, CF – 410, RF – 322

Today, we round out the four-game series to Midland, and my first trip to Security Bank Ballpark has been a good one.

IMG_4042

The bullpen carves some space out of RF.

There are a lot of unique features here in Midland. One of the first that caught my eye was the way the outfield wall is configured. Most notably, the right field corner is very unique. They’ve carved out a space in the right field corner (on the fair side of the foul pole) for the Midland bullpen, which results in a slightly smaller area of in-play territory in right field. Furthermore, it’s a rather short wall in front of the bullpen, so anything down the line has a good shot to go. Joe Jackson took advantage of that Sunday with his three-run homer.

IMG_4041

The bow of the LF wall.

On the left field side, it’s not quite the same setup, but it’s still a unique configuration. There’s a diagonal cut from the left field foul pole out to the main wall. From there, the wall bends inward in a wavy shape before returning to the normal curvature the rest of the way.

The wall isn’t the only thing that makes this park fun to visit. Out on the concourse in left-center field, there’s a set of water fountains that light up at night. Another thing that stands out is the horn that sounds every time the RockHounds score. It probably isn’t the only parks in Minor League Baseball to do it (the Riders have their own version of a horn, but it’s a bit different), but it adds a nice charm to the experience of Security Bank Ballpark.

You can hear an example of the horn below:

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Midland’s fountain on the concourse looks great in the sunshine and when it’s lit up at night.

The seating bowl is well-maintained and the park has a very intimate feel. Our booth is rather close to the field, which always makes for an enjoyable broadcast.

On top of all that, the staff here in Midland has been great to us. Overall, it’s hard to complain about my first trip to Security Bank Ballpark.

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming in a few weeks from Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Cashew – An undisciplined, zany nonconformist. A “nutty” player.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/14/16)

GAME #62
Frisco RoughRiders (35-26) vs. Midland RockHounds (30-32)
Tuesday, June 14 – 11:05 a.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: Fox Sports Southwest and MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Michael Tepid)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Steve Goldberg and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 12 of 28 (Riders lead, 7-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP A.J. Griffin (0-1, 3.86 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs. Midland (DH: W, 4-2; L, 8-2)

Box Scores: Game one / Game two
Recaps: Game one / Game two
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Rangers Minor League Scouting Assistant Justin Aguiar

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders split a doubleheader against the RockHounds at home yesterday…GAME ONE: After falling behind 2-0, the Riders scored four unanswered runs to come back and win 4-2…CONNOR SADZECK went the distance, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game…LUIS MENDEZ drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the sixth…KELLIN DEGLAN went 2-3 with two runs scored…GAME TWO: The two teams entered the sixth in a scoreless tie, but Midland erupted for eight runs on eight hits in the last two innings…VICTOR PAYANO hurled five scoreless innings and struck out six batters…ANDY IBANEZ hit his first home run with the Riders, a two run blast with two outs in the seventh.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts an 18-12 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.257) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 11 of the last 18 games (5-13) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 43 of Frisco’s 61 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

ERRORS LEAD TO RUNS:
Despite committing the fourth-fewest number of errors in the Texas League, the RoughRiders have made an alarming number of blunders against Midland this season. In 11 games, Frisco and Midland have both made 11 errors. In addition, 29 of the 95 runs scored between the two teams this year have been unearned. Frisco committed a season-high four errors leading to four unearned runs in a 5-1 loss Saturday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 21 of his last 23 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 23 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .338 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .398 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .488 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is slated to start for Frisco again today. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he is near the top of the Texas League rankings in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (4th, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .520), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 147-103 (.588). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 41-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-26, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-28. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland in today’s series finale. He is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. Seddon has a 0-1 record with a 3.12 ERA in two starts against Frisco. The University of South Carolina product was selected by the Athletics in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He was previously selected in the 20th round by Toronto out of St. Clair High School in 2011. He was mostly a reliever in college and in his first season in the Oakland farm system, but he made 14 starts in 34 appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton last season. REPERTOIRE: Four-seam fastball, two-seam FB, changeup, slider, curveball.

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/13/16)

GAMES #60 and 61
Frisco RoughRiders (34-25) vs. Midland RockHounds (29-31)
Sunday, June 13 – Doubleheader starts at 5:05 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: Games 2 and 3 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 1-0)
This season: Games 10 and 11 of 28 (Riders lead, 6-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Connor Sadzeck (5-4, 3.24 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Midland (L, 5-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders gave up four unearned runs Saturday night in a 5-1 loss to Midland in the series opener…The Hounds tallied a pair of unearned runs against LUIS ORTIZ, who gave up five hits and struck out four in four innings of work…JOE JACKSON had his 10th multi-hit game of the season and drove in the lone run for Frisco on an RBI single in the fifth…Major League rehabber SHIN-SOO CHOO went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, a hit-by-pitch, and a strikeout in his sixth start with the Riders.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts a 17-11 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.259) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 10 of the last 16 games (4-12) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 42 of Frisco’s 59 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 20 of his last 21 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 21 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .360 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .415 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .520 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is expected to start for Frisco again Tuesday. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-3rd, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .532), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 145-100 (.592). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 40-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-27. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
GAME ONE: Raul Alcantara is scheduled to make his third start against the RoughRiders this season. He has allowed just one earned run over 11.2 innings pitched in those two outings. Acquired in a trade with the Red Sox in December 2011, this is Alcantara’s second season in Midland, with the other being a short stint at the beginning of 2014. Alcantara is ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the Oakland organization by MLBPipeline.com and No. 19 by Baseball America. He is a member of the Athletics’ 40-man roster, joining it for the first time in November 2013. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup…GAME TWO: Right-hander Daniel Gossett is quickly climbing the ladder in the Athletics’ farm system. The second round draft pick in 2014 out of Clemson is listed in both MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America’s list of the Top 30 prospects in the organization (No. 24 in MLBPipeline, No 26. in BA). 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. Tonight’s start against the RoughRiders will be his first career appearance against a Rangers affiliate. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (91-96), two-seam fastball, curveball (82-83), changeup (82-85), slider.

Riders vs. RockHounds: a season series defined by double plays and unearned runs

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Through the first nine games of the season series between the RoughRiders and Midland, we’ve seen both the good and the bad of defense at an unusually high level.

Let’s keep the glass half full and start with the good…

DOUBLE PLAYS: We have seen an incredibly high amount of double plays between these two teams in their first nine games. Midland has turned a whopping 18 double plays in 84 defensive innings (one every 4.7 innings), while the Riders have turned two 11 times in 86 defensive innings (one every 7.8 innings).

In total, the two teams have turned 29 twin killings in 170 defensive innings. That’s a double play every 5.9 innings. To put that number in context, the league average is one double play every 11.9 innings, more than twice the rate the Riders and RockHounds are running at.

That’s the fun part of defense. Now for the not-so-good part:

ERRORS: Defensive miscues have become an unfortunate part of this season series early on. Midland (11) and Frisco (9) have combined to commit 20 errors in nine games against each other this season and 24 of the 79 runs scored between the two this year have been unearned.

The RoughRiders committed a season-high four errors Saturday, giving up four costly unearned runs in a four-run loss. Midland, meanwhile, made eight blunders in a four-game series against the Riders May 16-19, and 16 of the 26 runs the RockHounds allowed were unearned.

To put that in perspective, the RoughRiders have allowed just 18 unearned runs in their other 50 games and the RockHounds have let just 36 unearned runs cross in their other 51 contests.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Daylight play – A defensive maneuver performed by an infielder and the pitcher in an effort to pick off a baserunner.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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