Friday, June 22, 2018

An Embarrassment of Riches

From Saturday through Tuesday, the Fresno Grizzlies made themselves at home in Round Rock, Texas, sweeping the Express and putting on a show of dominant starting pitching. And when I made the following statement during my trip to see the Grizzlies (in what we all hope will be their new digs next season), I was only being slightly hyperbolic.

Let's leave to the side for a moment that 3B J.D. Davis (.362/.425/.568 in 46 games), OF Derek Fisher (.286/.408/.540 in 17 games) and a newly rejuvenated 1B A.J. Reed (.267/.378/.551 in 68 games) who is walking more and striking out less all have at least some MLB experience and should only improve at the higher level with their next opportunities. Also leave to the side that OF Kyle Tucker, the Astros #2 prospect (.306/.375/.506 in 66 games) is in the groove with a 10-game hitting streak and OF Myles Straw, another top prospect, is hitting .435/.480/.565 with 6 stolen bases in his first five games after being promoted to the level (and leads all affiliated teams with 40 steals). Let's just put all of that to the side for a moment and just talk starting pitching.

Brock Dykxhoorn - June 2018
Photo by Jayne Hansen

So far in June, the Grizzlies starting pitchers are a combined 11-2 in 18 starts with a 1.61 ERA and a 0.949 WHIP. RHP Trent Thornton (1.71 ERA/0.762 WHIP in June) tossed 7.2 no-hit innings on Saturday (ending with one hit over eight innings) and was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for last week. RHP Cy Sneed (1.33 ERA/0.836 WHIP in June) threw the first 9-inning complete game and shut-out of his career on Thursday (with six no-hit innings to start it). RHP Josh James (0.95 ERA/0.789 WHIP in June) and RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (1.74 ERA/0.532 WHIP in June) have both dominated since their May promotions to Fresno. RHP Rogelio Armenteros (1.93 ERA/1.571 WHIP in June, including three innings of a suspended game on the 3rd) and RHP Mike Hauschild (2.16 ERA/1.500 WHIP in June) round out the group with five wins in the five completed games they've pitched in thus far this month. My "bold statement" was based in large part on this great work from the rotation.

But this brings me to the next topic of discussion. The Grizzlies rotation is stacked with MLB-ready and near-ready starters. In AA, you have five top-30 prospect starters chomping at the bit to get to AAA (RHP Forrest Whitley, LHP Cionel Perez, RHP Jorge AlcalaRHP Corbin Martin and LHP Framber Valdez). RHP Brady Rodgers is on a rehab assignment and will soon be ready to rejoin the Grizzlies. And that doesn't even touch on RHP Francis Martes and RHP David Paulino who are currently on the DL. Phew!! That's a lot of moving parts. Obviously, there are way too few roster spots moving forward to stash all of these starting pitchers. Don't be surprised to see several of them leave the Astros fold by the end of July via trade. Others will be given the opportunity to work out of the bullpen (as has been the case with LHP Kent Emanuel who started the Grizzlies season in the rotation but was moved to the bullpen in early May). And one or more may very well be lost to the Rule 5 draft in December.

This is what they call "an embarrassment of riches." Honestly, I'm glad that I'm not the one who has to sort this all out. I wish each and every one of these players the best of luck as they battle to break through the logjam and achieve their dreams.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, June 21, 2018

History in Corpus Christi!

Zamunda (Fresno) 8, Albuquerque 0

W- Cy Sneed (7-3)
L- Brett Oberholtzer (3-5)

Zamunda home runs: Kyle Tucker (10, solo in 1st), Tim Federowicz (6, 2-run in 5th)

On Thursday, the Fresno Grizzlies re-branded themselves as the "Zamunda Lions" to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of the Eddie Murphy film "Coming to America."

Cy Sneed turned in his first nine-inning complete game and his first career shutout. He threw a seven-inning complete game on July 21, 2015 as part of a doubleheader. Sneed allowed two singles to Raimel Tapia, walked two, and struck out a career-high 11.

Kyle Tucker got things started with a solo shot in the opening frame. Zamunda got three in the 3rd when A.J. Reed cleared the bases with a double and three more in the 5th on a two-run homer from Tim Federowicz and a Jack Mayfield groundout that scored Derek Fisher. Myles Straw walked to lead off the 6th. He then stole second and scored the final run of the night on a single from Little Tuck, who went 3-5. Reed and Federowicz both finished 2-4. Straw singled, scored twice, and stole two bases, which now gives him 41 on the season. He's the first man in affiliated professional baseball to steal 40 bases this year.

Mike Hauschild will get the start in game two of this series. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.


Corpus Christi 4, Frisco 2

W- Jorge Alcala (1-0, 2-4 season)
L- Tyler Wagner (1-1)

CC home runs: Yordan Alvarez (9, 2-run in 4th)

The Blue Ghosts pounded out 14 hits but only had four runs to show for that hit parade. No matter, they still wound up with the win.

Yordan Alvarez went 3-4 with a two-run blast in the 4th inning and Chas McCormick finished 2-4 with a two-run single in the 6th. Randy C├ęsar finished 3-4 and set a new Texas League record for the longest hitting streak at 38 games, surpassing Bobby Trevino's mark in 1969. Taylor Jones and Ryne Birk also finished 2-4. Alvarez has a 15-game hitting streak of his own.

Corbin Martin allowed a run on two hits, walked one, and struck out three in four innings. Dean Deetz worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out two. He bridged the gap between Martin and Jorge Alcala, who finished it off by allowing an RBI single, walking two, and striking out four in the final four innings.

Framber Valdez will face TBA in game two of this series. First pitch is at 7:05.

Buies Creek 7, Carolina 1

W- Cristian Javier (2-0, 4-2 season)
L- Devin Williams (0-2)
S- Hector Perez (2)

BC home runs: Abraham Toro (10, solo in 3rd)

The Carolina Stros stormed out of the gate with a 5-1 lead after three innings and cruised to the victory.

Cristian Javier went five innings and allowed a run on three hits, walked one, and struck out one. Hector Perez threw four scoreless to close it out and did not allow a hit. He walked two and fanned three.

Osvaldo Duarte opened up the scoring with a two-run single in the opening frame. Carlos Canel├│n reached on a fielder's choice in the 2nd that allowed Corey Julks to score; he ended up scoring himself thanks to a Jake Meyers sac fly. Abraham Toro smacked a homer to lead off the 3rd. In the 8th, Duarte scored on an error as Jake Adams stole second and Canel├│n capped off the night with a sac fly. Toro and Duarte both finished 2-3.

Buies Creek and Carolina will continue their series at 6:00 Eastern.

Beloit 3, Quad Cities 2

W- Josh Reagan (2-3)
L- Willy Collado (0-1)
S- Seth Martinez (9)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos dropped their second-half opener as they had the tying run on base in the 9th but couldn't push him across.

Logan Mattix hit a two-run single in the 4th to bring in the only two Quad Cities runs. Mike Papierski drew a one-out walk but was left at first to end the night.

Leovanny Rodriguez and C├ęsar Rosado threw four innings apiece. Leovanny allowed four hits and struck out eight in a scoreless outing, while Rosado allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, walked one, and struck out four. Willy Collado allowed the go-ahead run on two hits and fanned two in the 9th.

Game two of this series will start at 6:35.

Tri-City 9, Lowell 3


W- Tim Hardy (1-1)
L- Brian Brown (0-1)
S- Juan Pablo Lopez (1)

TC home runs: Enmanuel Valdez (3, solo in 4th)

For the second straight night, a huge inning spurred Tri-City on to victory.

For the second straight night, a Tommy John survivor returned to action. Jose Luis Hernandez made his first appearance in a real baseball game since September 1, 2016 and allowed a run on four hits while striking out three in two innings. Tim Hardy retired all four Spinners he faced, striking out one. Hansel Paulino threw 2.2 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking one, and striking out five. Juan Pablo Lopez pitched the final three innings and allowed two unearned runs on three hits and struck out two.

The ValleyCats scored eight of their nine runs in the 3rd inning, all of which came with two outs. Enmanuel Valdez grounded into a force out that erased Alex Holderbach at second, but an error allowed Juan Pi├▒eda to score. Valdez ended up scoring on an error that allowed Michael Wielansky to reach. Luis Encarnaci├│n singled and Gilberto Celestino walked to load the bases, which prompted a pitching change. Wielansky scored on a wild pitch and then Ramiro Rodriguez and Carlos Machado followed with RBI singles. Another wild pitch allowed them to advance and Marty Costes continued the onslaught with a two-run triple. Pi├▒eda brought Costes in with a single in his second plate appearance of the inning. Valdez, who went 3-4, led off the 4th with a homer. Pi├▒eda went 2-4.

The ValleyCats and Spinners will square off again at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 6, GCL Marlins 5

W- Bryan Solano (1-0)
L- Scott Sebald (0-1)
S- Freylin Garcia (1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Palm Beach Stros entered the win column for the first time this season by holding off the Marlins.

Both teams scored a run in the 1st; the GCLstros' run came when Freudis Nova stole third and scored on an errant throw. Wilyer Abreu singled to lead off the 5th and scored on a triple from Nathan Perry. Abreu added an RBI single to his ledger in the 6th and drove in two more with another base hit in the 8th. Nova flew into a force out in the 9th. Abreu went 3-4, while Nova and Joe Perez finished with two hits apiece.

Elian Rodriguez went 2.2 innings and allowed a run on a bases-loaded walk, a single, walked six, and struck out three. Bryan Solano allowed three hits and struck out two in 1.1 innings. Fredy Medina allowed a solo homer, one other hit, walked one, and struck out six in 3.2 innings, and Freylin Garcia allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits, walked one, and struck out two.

DSL Rays1 6, DSL Astros 3

W- Jose Roca (1-0)
L- Jairo Lopez (0-1)
S- Dauris Lopez (1)

DSL home runs: None.

The Academy got doubled up on Thursday.

Marco van der Wijst got the DSLstros on the board with a sac fly in the 7th. They got two more in the 8th on a Victor Mascai groundout and a sac fly from Yimmi Cortabarria. Jose Mendoza went 2-3.

Jairo Lopez allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits (solo homer), walked two, and struck out three in four innings. Alex Blanco allowed two runs on three hits and walked two in the 5th. Diosmerky Taveras tagged in for three innings and allowed two runs on two hits, walked three, and struck out two. Ronny Garcia threw a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Thursday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.
When I run out of characters to tag players, it was a good night.

Wilyer Abreu, OF, GCL Astros: 3-4, 3 RBI, R

Cy Sneed, RHP, Fresno
W (7-3), CG, 2 H, BB, career-high 11 K


Kyle Tucker, OF, A.J. Reed, 1B, and Tim Federowicz, C, Fresno
Tucker: 3-5, solo HR (10), 2 RBI, SB (12)
Reed: 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R
Federowicz: 2-4, 2-R HR (6)

Randy C├ęsar, 3B/1B, Yordan Alvarez, LF, and Chas McCormick, OF, Corpus Christi
C├ęsar: 3-4, 2B, R; 38-game hitting streak (new Texas League record)
Alvarez: 3-4, 2-R HR (9); 15-game hitting streak
McCormick: 2-4, 2 RBI

Corbin Martin's photo is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Corpus Christi Hooks pitchers: W 4-2 vs. Frisco
9 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K
Corbin Martin: 4 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 3 K
Dean Deetz: IP, H, 2 K
Jorge Alcala: W (1-0, 2-4 season), 4 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Abraham Toro, 3B, and Osvaldo Duarte (above, with Jorge Alcala), UTIL, Buies Creek
Toro: 2-3, 2B, solo HR (10), 2 R
Duarte: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R

Buies Creek Astros pitchers: W 7-1 vs. Carolina
9 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Cristian Javier: W (2-0, 4-2 season), 5 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, K
Hector Perez: Save (2), 4 IP, 2 BB, 3 K

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Enmanuel Valdez, IF, Tri-City
3-4, 2B, solo HR (3), 2 R, SB (2)

Photo by Bryan Green
Leovanny Rodriguez, RHP, Quad Cities
4 IP, 4 H, 8 K

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Aside from Tri-City running rampant in Maryland, it was a rather quiet night on the farm.

Corpus Christi with the...


Fresno was off

The Grizzlies will welcome Albuquerque to the Central Valley for a three-game set starting at 7:05 Pacific. Cy Sneed will take on former Astro Brett Oberholtzer.

Corpus Christi 1, San Antonio 0

W- Ryan Hartman (6-2)
L- Jacob Nix (1-1)
S- Riley Ferrell (7)

CC home runs: None.

There was only one run in this game, and it belonged to the Corpus Christi Hooks. The Hooks had a solid week in San Antonio: they won the first-half division title and clinched a playoff berth on Monday and wound up leaving with a sweep.

Yordan Alvarez doubled with two outs in the 7th, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored that one run on a Randy C├ęsar single. With that base hit, C├ęsar extended his hitting streak to 37 games and tied the Texas League record that was set by Bobby Trevino in 1969. Josh Rojas doubled and stole a base (12, 24 season).

Ryan Hartman, Dean Deetz, and Riley Ferrell combined on a one-hit shutout. Hartman allowed the one hit, walked three, and struck out eight in seven innings. Deetz and Ferrell both pitched 1-2-3 innings; Deetz struck out one in the 8th and Ferrell fanned two in the 9th to complete the shutout and the sweep.

The Hooks are back home and they will begin a four-game series with Frisco at 7:05. This weekend, they will play as the Corpus Christi Blue Ghosts to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Lexington, the World War II-era aircraft carrier which is now preserved as a museum on the shores of Corpus Christi Bay. Corbin Martin will take on Tyler Wagner in game one.

Buies Creek was off

The Carolina Stros will start a three-game series with Carolina at 6:00 Eastern.

Quad Cities was off

The Banditos will start the second half with a four-game series against the Beloit Snappers. First pitch is at 6:35.

Tri-City 11, Aberdeen 5

W- Brady Rodgers (1-0)
L- Victor Romero (0-2)

TC home runs: Enmanuel Valdez (2, 2-run in 3rd), Michael Wielansky (1, solo in 3rd), Carlos Machado (1, solo in 7th)

Brady Rodgers pitched in a real baseball game for the first time in 14 months and one day and the offense went nuts early as Tri-City notched their first series win of the season.

Rodgers, who was making his first appearance since April 19, 2017, got knocked around a bit in his two innings, but that's beside the point. He's finally getting the chance to play baseball again. Rodgers allowed four runs on three hits (two-run homer), walked one, and struck out three. Chad Donato dominated in his five innings as he allowed an unearned run on a single, walked one, and struck out ten. This was the first time that Donato recorded double-digit strikeouts. Devin Conn and Shawn Dubin threw scoreless innings in their pro debuts; Conn struck out one in a 1-2-3 8th, while Dubin allowed a hit and struck out the side in the 9th.

Jeremy Pe├▒a walked to lead off the game. He moved to third on a Seth Beer single and scored the first run of the evening on a passed ball. Enmanuel Valdez eventually worked a walk and then a wild pitch allowed him and Beer to advance. Beer scored on a Michael Wielansky groundout. Another wild pitch allowed Valdez to move to third and Gilberto Celestino brought him in with a double. The real fun started in the 3rd inning.

Beer ripped a double to start the 3rd and Valdez followed by launching a homer. Wielansky went back-to-back by smacking a solo homer. Tri-City then loaded the bases as Celestino reached on an error, Jose Carrillo doubled, and Andy Pi├▒eda drew a walk following a pitching change. Carlos Machado and Oscar Campos walked in a couple of runs, and Pe├▒a drove in two more with a base hit. Machado drove in the last Tri-City run when he whacked a solo homer in the 7th. Everyone but Campos scored a run. Beer went 2-5 and was the only player on either side to finish with a multi-hit game. He, Valdez, and Machado all scored twice.

Tri-City will head home to start a three-game series with the Lowell Spinners. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros were off

On occasion, I can't read a schedule correctly. The Palm Beach Stros will travel to Jupiter to take on the Marlins at noon Eastern.

DSL Royals1 2, DSL Astros 1

W- Emilio Marquez (2-0)
L- Jeremy Molero (0-2)

DSL home runs: None.

The Royals 1 scored in the 9th to tie and scored again in the 10th to walk off with the win.

Jeury Castillo went 2-4 and drove in the Academy's only run of the day with a single in the 2nd inning. Carlos Hurtado also had two hits after he came on to catch in the 6th inning.

Wender Oberto allowed three hits, walked two, and struck out three over four scoreless innings to start the ballgame. Jose Betances worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out two. Heitor Tokar allowed two hits and struck out two over three scoreless. Jeremy Molero allowed two runs (one earned), walked three (one intentionally), and struck out one in 1+ inning.

Wednesday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Corpus Christi Hooks pitchers: W 1-0 @ San Antonio
9 IP, H, 3 BB, 11 K
Ryan Hartman: W (6-2), 7 IP,  H, 3 BB, 8 K
Dean Deetz: IP, K
Riley Ferrell: Save (7), IP, 2 K

Randy C├ęsar, 3B/1B, Corpus Christi
RBI single in 7th; 37-game hitting streak ties Texas League record

Tri-City ValleyCats: W 11-5 @ Aberdeen
11 R, 8 H
Chad Donato: 5 IP, H, unearned run, BB, 10 K
Devin Conn: IP, K
Shawn Dubin: IP, H, 3 K
Seth Beer: 2-5, 2B, 2 R
Enmanuel Valdez: 2-R HR (2), 2 R
Michael Wielansky: Solo HR (1), 2 RBI
Carlos Machado: Solo HR (1), 2 RBI, 2 R

Photographer unknown, picture provided to Baseball Brazil
Wender Oberto (not pictured), RHP, Jose Betances (not pictured), RHP, Heitor Tokar, RHP, and Jeury Castillo (not pictured), IF, DSL Astros
Oberto: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K
Betances: IP, BB, 2 K
Tokar: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 K
Castillo: 2-4, RBI

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fresno 5, Round Rock 3

W- Brock Dykxhoorn (2-0, 4-0 season)
L- Jeff Springs (0-1)
S- Brendan McCurry (8)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies came to Central Texas and left with a sweep.

Brock Dykxhoorn allowed two runs on four hits and struck out eight over seven solid innings of work. Buddy Boshers and Brendan McCurry both pitched an inning to finish it off. Boshers worked around a couple of hits in a scoreless 8th and McCurry allowed a run on two hits and struck out one in the 9th.

Fresno got things started by scoring three runs in the 4th, all with two outs. A.J. Reed and Jack Mayfield both walked to sandwich a D.J. Fisher strikeout. Garrett Stubbs also struck out, but Jon Kemmer kept the inning going by ripping an RBI double to open the scoring. Tony Nu├▒ez followed with a two-run double. Stubbs drew a bases-loaded walk in the 5th and Reed grounded into a force out in the 9th that allowed Kyle Tucker to score. Tucker finished 3-4 with a double and scored twice. Myles Straw had a couple of base hits.

Fresno has Wednesday off as they make their way back home. They'll start a three-game series with Albuquerque on Thursday.

Corpus Christi 9, San Antonio 6

W- Justin Ferrell (3-1, 4-1 season)
L- Erik Johnson (3-3)
S- Kit Scheetz (1, 4 season)

CC home runs: Taylor Jones (12, solo in 7th)

The Hooks trailed 4-0 after the first three innings of this game, but they got the win by scoring in each of the last six innings. Not even a little rain could hold Corpus back...

Yoanys Quiala allowed six runs on ten hits, walked three, and struck out one in 4.1 innings. The bullpen picked him up with 4.2 scoreless innings of relief. Justin Ferrell turned in 2.2 perfect innings, striking out four. Kit Scheetz pitched the final two innings of this game, striking out one. He got a double play in the 9th, but he allowed a single and a double to the next two guys he faced. Fortunately, he induced a groundball out to end the threat and the game.

Corpus loaded the bases with one out in the 4th, but all they got out of that situation was an Alex De Goti sac fly. At least they got on the board... and they'd end up faring a little better on offense for rest of the night. Chas McCormick and Stephen Wrenn smacked RBI doubles in the 5th; Wrenn came home on a single from Yordan Alvarez. An├şbal Sierra ripped a two-run double in the 6th to tie the game at 6. And then... the rain hit.

Erik Johnson came on for the Missions in the 7th and Taylor Jones greeted him with a homer to give the Hooks the lead. Lorenzo Quintana scored in the 8th inning on an error after McCormick flew out and De Goti scored in the 9th thanks to another error which allowed Quintana to reach.

The Twin Towers turned in a solid evening; Alvarez finished 3-5 with his RBI base hit in the 5th and Jones finished 2-4 with the solo shot and scored twice. Quintana also went 2-4 on the evening with a double and scored three times. De Goti was the only man in the lineup without a hit, but he still found ways to contribute in the form of his sac fly and then scoring on the miscue in the 9th. Once again, Randy C├ęsar kept his hitting streak alive in his final plate appearance. An infield single in the 9th extended his streak to 36 games and he is now one game away from tying the Texas League record, which was set in 1969 by Bobby Trevino of the El Paso Sun Kings.

Ryan Hartman will take on Jacob Nix as the Hooks look to sweep their I-37 rivals. First pitch is at 7:05.

Carolina League All-Star Game

The South topped the North by a final score of 7-6.

Abraham Toro started the game as the DH for the South team and then moved into the field to play third. He finished 2-4 and scored a run. Ronnie Dawson came on in the 6th to play left field and smacked an RBI ground-rule double in the bottom of the inning.

Brett Adcock worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 3rd inning, striking out one. Brandon Bielak allowed a hit, walked one in a scoreless 6th inning... and got the win.

The Buies Creek Astros will welcome the Carolina Mudcats to Campbell University to start the second half on Thursday.

Midwest League All-Star Game

The East beat the West 3-2 in ten innings.

Bryan de la Cruz replaced Demi Orimoloye in left field in the 5th inning and played the rest of the game, striking out in both of his trips to the plate.

Patrick Sandoval got the start for the West team and allowed a run on two hits. Parker Mushinski allowed a solo homer to Jared Walker in the 5th, which was one of the two hits that he allowed in the inning. Peter Solomon got two outs in the 7th; he allowed a hit and struck out one. Carlos Sanabria got a pop out and a strikeout in the 10th before getting replaced... and then the leadoff runner scored on a single to win the game for the East.

Quad Cities will start the second half of their season on Thursday.

Aberdeen 7, Tri-City 1

W- Jose Diaz (1-0)
L- Felipe Tejada (0-1)

TC home runs: None.

The Ironbirds jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the third inning and the ValleyCats never really mounted a serious threat in this game.

Luis Encarnaci├│n drove in the only Tri-City run in the 6th with a sac fly. Seth Beer finished 2-3.

Felipe Tejada allowed four runs on five hits, walked one, and struck out two in three innings. Luis Garcia was the first man out of the bullpen and threw two scoreless, allowing two hits, walking one, and striking out three. Riley Cabral came on for the 6th to make his debut... and he'd probably like a mulligan. He got one out via the strikeout but also allowed three runs (one inherited runner charged to him) on four hits and walked one. Humberto Castellanos allowed a hit and struck out one in 1.2 innings, and Austin Hansen struck out the side in order in the 8th.

Chad Donato will start the series finale. First pitch is at 7:05 Eastern.

GCL Cardinals 10, GCL Astros 0

W- Diego Cordero (1-0)
L- Manny Ramriez (0-1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Palm Beach Stros got smacked in their second game of the year.

Wilyer Abreu went 2-4.

Manny Ramirez threw four innings and allowed seven runs (five earned, two inherited runners charged to him) on seven hits, walked one, and struck out five. Jose Alberto Rivera allowed three runs on five hits, walked two, and struck out one over three innings, and Daniel Bello struck out two over two perfect innings.

The Astros will play the Marlins at noon Eastern.

DSL Royals1 3, DSL Astros 1

W- Luis Villar (1-0)
L- Franny Cobos (0-2)

DSL Astros home runs: None.

The Royals 1 broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of runs in the 9th.

Javier Berm├║dez went 2-4 with an RBI single in the 6th. Yefri Carrillo also went 2-4 and scored on that single.

Jojanse Torres worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 1st, striking out one. Jherson Pereira allowed a hit, walked two, and struck out two scoreless innings. Alfredi Jimenez and Franny Cobos both threw three innings. Jimenez allowed an RBI single, walked one, and struck out seven, while Cobos allowed two runs on three hits and fanned four.

Tuesday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Alfredi Jimenez, RHP, DSL Astros: 3 IP, H, ER, BB, 7 K

Brock Dykxhoorn, RHP, Fresno
W (2-0, 4-0 season), 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 8 K

Corpus Christi Hooks bullpen: W 9-6 @ San Antonio
4.2 IP, 2 H, 5 K
Justin Ferrell: W (3-1, 4-1 season), 2.2 IP, 4 K; perfect outing
Kit Scheetz (doing his thing): Save (1, 4 season), 2 IP, 2 H, K

Taylor Jones, 1B, Yordan Alvarez, LF/1B, and Lorenzo Quintana, C, Corpus Christi
Jones: 2-4, solo HR (12), 2 R
Alvarez: 3-5, RBI
Quintana: 2-4, 2B, 3 R

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, June 18, 2018

Happy Gulf Coast League Opening Day!

Fresno 9, Round Rock 3

W- Josh James (2-2)
L- Richelson Pe├▒a (0-1)

Fresno home runs: A.J. Reed (18, 2-run in 8th)

The Grizzlies broke this game open with a 5-1 run in the middle innings and tacked on three more in the 8th for good measure.

Josh James threw six innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits, walking two, and striking out five. Andrew Thome allowed a single and an unearned run on a sac fly in his two innings, and Chris Nunn allowed a solo homer to Drew Robinson in the 9th and struck out two.

J.D. Davis ripped an RBI double in the 1st to open the scoring. Fresno scored twice in the 4th on a wild pitch that allowed Tim Federowicz to come home and a sac fly from Derek Fisher. Myles Straw stole home in the 5th. Fisher scored on another wild pitch in the 6th and Jon Kemmer, who was at the plate at the time, followed with an RBI double. Straw added an RBI single to his ledger in the 8th and A.J. Reed launched a homer to bring in the last two Fresno runs of the night.

Straw went 3-5, stole two bases, and scored three runs. He now has 39 stolen bases this season. Everyone in the lineup had a hit; Kyle Tucker also finished 3-5. Davis, Federowicz, and Kemmer all had two hits.

Fresno will send out Brock Dykxhoorn as they look for a sweep. He'll face Austin Bibens-Dirkx at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 12, San Antonio 0

W- Alex Winkelman (3-2)
L- Colin Rea (0-3)
S- Akeem Bostick (2)

CC home runs: Yordan Alvarez (8, 3-run in 8th)

The Hooks clinched the first-half title in the Texas League South, and the playoff spot that comes with it, by dominating the Missions in all facets of the game.


Forrest Whitley allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out seven over four shutout innings to start. Alex Winkelman worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out one. He bridged the gap between Whitley and Akeem Bostick, who completed the shutout by allowing five hits, walking two, and striking out two over the final four innings.

Yoanys Quiala will face Cal Quantrill in game three of this series, which is also the first game of the second half. First pitch is at 7:05.

Buies Creek is off until Thursday

The Carolina League All-Star Game will take place tonight in Zebulon, North Carolina. Buies Creek will send Abraham Toro, Brandon Bielak, Brett Adcock, and Ronnie Dawson.

Quad Cities is off until Thursday

The Midwest League All-Star Game will also be played tonight in Lansing, Michigan. Quad Cities will be represented by Bryan de la Cruz, Peter Solomon, Parker Mushinski, Yohan Ramirez, and Patrick Sandoval.

Tri-City 6, Aberdeen 1

W- Bryan Abreu (1-0)
L- Gray Fenter (0-1)

TC home runs: Jose Carrillo (1, solo in 6th)

The ValleyCats opened up their first road series of the season on a winning note.

Michael Wielansky opened the scoring with a two-run single in the 1st inning and he then added a sac fly to his ledger in the 3rd. Oscar Campos doubled with one out in the 4th and ended up scoring on a wild pitch. Jose Carrillo smacked a solo homer in the 6th, the first home run of his professional career. Enmanuel Valdez walked to keep the 7th inning alive and scored the final run of the evening on a Luis Encarnaci├│n double.

The only run that the Ironbirds scored in this game came on a home run hit by J.C. Escarra off of Bryan Abreu in the 2nd inning. Abreu went five innings and allowed three other hits, walked one, and struck out four. Nivaldo Rodriguez allowed two hits and fanned three over three scoreless, and Ian Hardman worked around a hit to finish the game, striking out one.

The series continues at 7:05 Eastern.

GCL Mets 6, GCL Astros 3

W- Jorge Cespedes (1-0)
L- Angel Macuare (0-1)

GCL home runs: Patrick Mathis (1, 2-run in 5th)

The Palm Beach Stros stumbled out of the gate as they fell behind 3-0 after the 1st and with four errors, they probably had some first-game jitters.

Patrick Mathis started his rehab assignment by launching a two-run homer in the 5th inning. Freudis Nova had an RBI base hit in the 9th.

Angel Macuare allowed four runs on six hits, walked two, and struck out three in two innings. Julio Robaina and Jervic Chavez both threw three innings. Robaina allowed a hit, walked one, and struck out four over three scoreless innings in his pro debut. Chavez allowed two runs on four hits and struck out four.

The GCLstros will host the Cardinals at noon Eastern.

DSL Astros 3, DSL Dodgers Robinson 1

W- Ernesto Jaquez (1-0)
L- Andrew Budier (1-2)
S- Cristofer Mezquita (1)

DSL home runs: None.

The Academy swept the Dodgers' Robinson team to record their first winning streak of 2018.

Yimmi Cortabarria finished 2-3 with a double and scored two of the Dominican Stros' three runs in this game; Enmanuel Morillo drove him in twice with base hits in the 2nd and the 8th. Yefri Carrillo doubled twice and scored the other run on a single from Carlos Hurtado in the 7th, which put them up 2-1. Jeury Castillo also finished 2-4 on the day.

Jose Antonio Hernandez went 3.2 innings and allowed a run on three hits, walked two, and struck out two. He left the bases loaded for Ernesto Jaquez, who got him out of the 4th without incident. Jaquez went on to walk three and strike out three over 4.1 scoreless innings. Cristofer Mezquita worked around a couple of walks to close out the game.

Monday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Ernesto Jaquez, RHP, DSL Astros: W (1-0), 4.1 IP, 3 BB, 3 K
Yefri Carrillo, OF, DSL Astros: 2-4, 2 2B, R
Yimmi Cortabarria, OF, DSL Astros: 2-3, 2B, 2 R
Enmanuel Morillo, IF, DSL Astros: 2-4, 2 RBI
Julio Robaina, LHP, GCL Astros: 3 IP, H, BB, 4 K


Corpus Christi Hooks: W 12-0 @ San Antonio
Clinched playoff berth by winning the first half in the Texas League South
All players in the lineup had a hit and scored a run.
12 R, 16 H, E
9 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 10 K
Forrest Whitley: 4 IP, 2 H, BB, 7 K
Alex Winkelman: W (3-2), IP, H, BB, K
Akeem Bostick: Save (2), 4 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 K
Yordan Alvarez: 2-5, 3-R HR (8), 4 RBI
Chas McCormick: 2-5, 3B, 3 RBI, R
Jamie Ritchie: 3-5, 2 RBI, R
Ryne Birk: 3-4, 3B, 2 R

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Bryan Abreu, RHP, and Nivaldo Rodriguez (not pictured), RHP, Tri-City
Abreu: W (1-0), 5 IP, 4 H (solo HR allowed), ER, BB, 4 K
Rodriguez: 3 IP, 2 H, 3 K

Josh James, RHP, Fresno
W (2-2), 6 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K


Myles Straw, OF, and Jon Kemmer, OF, Fresno
Straw: 3-5, RBI, 3 R, 2 SB (4, 39 season)
Kemmer: 2-4, 2B, RBI

Monday, June 18, 2018

Astros Farm Report: 6/18

Catching you up on the latest Astros MiLB news ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

C├ęsar Rosado - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

6/18: OF Jacob Meyers (22)
6/19: RHP Collin McHugh (31)
6/19: IF Jos├ę Mendoza (17)
6/21: RHP Colin McKee (24)
6/22: RHP C├ęsar Rosado (22)
6/24: OF Wilyer Abreu (19)

ROSTER MOVES/TRANSACTIONS

Troy Sieber and Kristian Trompiz - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

As of this morning, 19 of the 40 draft picks for 2018 have signed according to the Astros website.

6/18: 3B Joe Perez assigned to the GCL Astros from extended spring training (2nd round pick from 2017 who had TJ surgery in 6/17 and has not yet made his professional debut)
6/18: LHP Daniel Bello assigned to the GCL Astros from extended spring training
6/18: LHP Julio Robaina assigned to the GCL Astros from extended spring training
6/18: OF Juan Ramirez assigned to the GCL Astros from extended spring training
6/17: RHP Dariel Aquino (Quad Cities) activated from the DL (on the DL since 6/1)
6/16: OF Myles Straw assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
6/16: OF/1B Yordan Alvarez activated from the Corpus Christi DL (on the DL since 5/16)
6/16: RHP Humberto Castellanos assigned to Tri-City from Quad Cities
6/16: RHP Devin Conn (19th round pick) signed
6/16: RHP Riley Cabral (31st round pick) signed
6/16: IF Jonathan Matute released (signed out of Venezuela in July 2013 for $215,000)
6/15: RHP Robert Corniel (Buies Creek) released (signed out of the Dominican Republic in July 2012)
6/15: IF Kristian Trompiz (Buies Creek) released (signed out of Venezuela in July 2012 for $320,000)
6/15: 2B Kyle Davis (Tri-City) released (15th round pick 2017 out of West Virginia University)
6/15: IF Ozziel Sanchez-Galan released (signed out of Panama in July 2014)
6/15: C Brandon Benavente released (signed out of Venezuela in July 2014 for $262,500)
6/15: IF Tyler White (Fresno) recalled to Houston
6/15: 2B Cody Bohanek assigned to Buies Creek from Quad Cities
6/15: OF Corey Julks assigned to Buies Creek from Quad Cities
6/14: OF Jake Meyers assigned to Buies Creek from Quad Cities
6/14: RHP Bryan Solano assigned to the GCL from the DSL
6/14: 1B Troy Sieber (Buies Creek) released (24th round 2016)
6/14: RHP Shawn Dubin (13th round pick) signed
6/14: SS Trey Dawson (15th round pick) signed
6/14: C Alex Holderbach (16th round pick) signed
6/14: SS Michael Wielansky (18th round pick) signed
6/14: OF Austin Dennis (20th round pick) signed
6/14: OF Logan Mattix (25th round pick) signed
6/13: OF Seth Beer (1st round pick) signed
6/13: SS Jeremy Pena (3rd round pick) signed
6/13: RHP Cody Deason (5th round pick) signed
6/13: C Cesar Salazar (7th round pick) signed
6/13: RHP Austin Hansen (8th round pick) signed
6/13: OF Chandler Taylor (10th round pick) signed
6/13: RHP Mark Moclair (12th round pick) signed
6/13: OF Marty Costes (22nd round pick) signed
6/13: SS David Hensley (26th round pick) signed
6/13: C Juan Paulino (27th round pick) signed
6/13: RHP Layne Henderson (30th round pick) signed
6/13: LHP Chris Nunn assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
6/13: C Eduardo de Oleo assigned to Corpus Christi from Fresno
6/13: RHP Jojanse Torres assigned to the DSL Astros (FA originally signed with the Brewers in 2015 and signed by the Astros 4/24; 22-year old Dominican who has never pitched professionally)
6/12: RHP Cristian Javier assigned to Buies Creek from Quad Cities

ASTROS MILB DISABLED LIST

6/7: RHP Carlos Sierra (Corpus Christi) placed on the 7-day DL
6/1: LHP Yeremi Ceballos (DSL) placed on the 60-day DL
6/1: RHP Carlos Quintero (DSL) placed on the 60-day DL
5/29: RHP Matt Ramsey (Fresno) placed on the 7-day DL
5/27: OF Carmen Benedetti (Corpus Christi) placed on the 7-day DL
5/26: RHP David Paulino (Fresno) placed on the 7-day DL (retroactive to the 25th)
5/8: RHP Kevin Hill (Corpus Christi) placed on the 7-day DL
5/4: RHP Francis Martes (Fresno) placed on the 7-day DL
5/3+/-: RHP Gerardo Bojorquez had TJ surgery per Instagram post
5/2+/-: OF Patrick Mathis out for approx. 6 weeks per Instagram post
4/26: RHP J.B. Bukauskas (Quad Cities) placed on the 7-day DL
4/5: RHP Ryan Thompson assigned to Fresno (starting the season on the 7-day DL); according to Instagram Ryan has had surgery, but I don't know whether or not it was TJ
4/5: RHP Edgardo Sandoval (Quad Cities) placed on the 7-day DL
4/5: RHP Matt Ruppenthal assigned to Quad Cities (starting the season on the 7-day DL; according to Instagram, Ruppenthal had elbow surgery to transpose the ulnar nerve in early April and started to throw mid-June)
4/5: RHP ├üngel Heredia (Corpus Christi) placed on the 7-day DL
4/5: RHP Nick Hernandez (Corpus Christi) placed on the 7-day DL (Tommy John)
4/5: RHP Jose Luis Hern├índez (Buies Creek) placed on the 7-day DL

I will be keeping track of all the releases, retirements, trades and signings for the 2018 season here.

TWEET OF THE WEEK
ASTROS MILB STANDINGS
Up and down arrows represent increase/decrease in win percentage over the prior week.

FRESNO (Pacific Coast League)
­čáë1st 42-27 .609 -.-GB W3

CORPUS CHRISTI (Texas League)
­čáë1st 42-26 .618 -.-GB W4
The Hooks are a half game in front of the Missions with one game to go in the first half. If the Hooks beat the Missions tonight, they will win the first half and automatically advance to the playoffs at the end of the season. If they lose, the Missions will be the first half victors.

BUIES CREEK (Carolina League)
­čáő2nd 37-32 .536 3.5GB L1

QUAD CITIES (Midwest League)
­čáë1st 40-30 .571 -.-GB W6
A late surge from the River Bandits propelled them from 3rd place in their division a week ago to 1st place in the first half as they go into the All-Star break. Great job from the guys and first year QC Manager Mickey Storey!

TRI-CITY (New York-Penn League)
T3rd 1-2 .333 1.0GB L2

DSL ASTROS (Dominican Summer League Northwest)
­čáë8th 3-10 .231 6.0GB W1

GCL ASTROS (Gulf Coast League)
Season starts TODAY!!

ASTROS MILB ALL-STARS

FRESNO

You have until June 22nd to vote for your favorite Grizzlies to make the AAA All-Star game which will take place on July 11th in Columbus, Ohio.

CORPUS CHRISTI

The Texas League All-Star game will be held June 26th in Midland. Seven Hooks players were selected to participate:

1B Taylor Jones
3B Randy Cesar
OF Myles Straw (since promoted to Fresno)
OF Josh Rojas
LHP Cionel Perez
LHP Ryan Hartman
RHP Corbin Martin
LHP Framber Valdez was subsequently added to the roster.

BUIES CREEK

The Carolina League All-Star game will be held tomorrow in Zebulon, North Carolina and Buies Creek will be sending the following players:

LHP Brett Adcock
RHP Brandon Bielak
OF Ronnie Dawson
DH Abraham Toro

QUAD CITIES

The Midwest League All-Star game will be held tomorrow in Lansing, Michigan with the following players representing Quad Cities:

LHP Patrick Sandoval
LHP Parker Mushinski
RHP Peter Solomon
RHP Yohan Ramirez
OF Bryan de la Cruz

NEWS AND LINKS

The social media post for the new draft picks has been updated to denote those players who have officially signed.

Jake Meyers was promoted to Buies Creek a day after this piece from Quad-City Times writer Steve Batterson came out.

And Mark Singelais checks in with 18th round pick Michael Wielansky, one of the newest members of the Tri-City team.

Sam Levitt does a quick Q&A with Corbin Martin.


And in case you missed any of these, here are my recent interviews:

OF Chas McCormick (Buies Creek, since promoted to Corpus Christi)
OF J.J. Matijevic (Buies Creek)
RHP Brandon Bielak (Buies Creek)
LHP Brett Adcock (Buies Creek)
SS Alex De Goti (Corpus Christi)
1B Taylor Jones (Corpus Christi)
RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (Corpus Christi, since promoted to Fresno)

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fresno 6, Round Rock 1

W- Rogelio Armenteros (5-0)
L- Connor Sadzeck (3-3)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizz took the lead with a couple of runs in the 6th and salted this one away with four runs in the 9th.

Rogelio Armenteros went five innings and the one run he allowed came on a Tommy Joseph solo homer. He allowed three other hits, walked three, and struck out four. Ralph Garza Jr. walked one and struck out three over two scoreless. Kent Emanuel and Brendan McCurry both pitched scoreless innings; Emanuel walked one and struck out one in the 8th and McCurry allowed a hit, walked one, and struck out one in the 9th.

Jack Mayfield put Fresno on the board in the 6th with an RBI double and he scored the go-ahead run on a Nick Tanielu single. Tanielu scored on a wild pitch in the 9th and one batter later, J.D. Davis smacked a two-run, ground-rule double. He ended up scoring the final run of the day on an error that allowed A.J. Reed to reach. Davis, Mayfield, and Tanielu all went 2-4 on the afternoon.

Josh James will get the start in game three of this series. First pitch is at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 8, San Antonio 6

W- Riley Ferrell (2-2)
L- Rowan Wick (2-4)

CC home runs: Yordan Alvarez (7, 2-run in 6th)

The Hooks broke a 6-6 tie with two runs in the 8th and this win has set up a matchup for all the first-half marbles on Monday.

Cionel Perez went four innings and allowed two runs on five hits (solo homer) and struck out six. Kit Scheetz worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out one. Framber Valdez tagged in for 1.2 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits (solo homer) and walked one. Riley Ferrell did not allow a hit in his 2.1 innings, walking one and striking out four during his time on the mound.

Corpus scored twice in the 6th to tie the game and that set the stage for a thrilling finish. Yordan Alvarez provided the two runs in the 6th by launching a home run. Fortunately for him, this one will count towards his season statistics. The Hooks took the lead in the 7th thanks to four RBI singles from An├şbal Sierra, Stephen Wrenn, Josh Rojas, and Alvarez. Chas McCormick kept the 8th inning alive by drawing a walk. He then advanced to third on a Sierra single and scored the go-ahead run on an error that allowed Wrenn to reach. Rojas came through with an RBI single to bring in the final run of the night. Rojas, Alvarez, and Sierra all finished with two hits on the night.

Tonight is the final game of the first half and the Hooks will send out the San Antonian, Forrest Whitley, to the mound to help get them that playoff berth. He'll face Colin Rea at 7:05.

Potomac 4, Buies Creek 2

W- Sterling Sharp (5-3)
L- Brandon Bailey (2-7)
S- James Bourque (3)

BC home runs: None.

After taking a 4-2 decision on Saturday, the Carolina Stros were on the losing end of that same score on Sunday.

Brandon Bailey went 3.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits, walked four, and struck out six. Jes├║s Balaguer walked two and struck out two over 1.1 scoreless, and Abdiel Salda├▒a allowed a run on three hits and struck out three in three innings of work.

J.J. Matijevic opened the scoring by ripping a double in the first inning and Jake Adams hit an RBI single in the 8th inning.

The 2018 Carolina League All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday in Zebulon, North Carolina, the home of the Carolina Mudcats. Ronnie Dawson, Abraham Toro, Brandon Bielak, and Brett Adcock will represent the Buies Creek Astros.

Quad Cities 5, Burlington 2

W- Yohan Ramirez (5-5)
L- Mitchel Traver (5-4)
S- Brendan Feldmann (1, 2 season)

QC home runs: Miguelangel Sierra (4, 2-run in 1st)

The Banditos punched their ticket to the playoffs on Saturday and closed out the first half of their season by sweeping the Bees out of the Quad Cities.

Miguelangel Sierra smacked a two-run homer in the opening frame to put the Banditos on the board first. Alfredo Angarita singled in the 3rd and Logan Mattix scored on the ensuing error. In the 4th, Jonathan Lacroix drew a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single from David Hensley. Hensley, who advanced to second thanks to an error on the play, scored on a single from Mattix. Angarita, Roman Garcia (2 2B), and Mattix all had two hits on the day.

Yohan Ramirez went five innings and allowed an unearned run on a passed ball, two hits, walked three, and struck out six. Four relievers pitched an inning apiece. Enoli Paredes was first and he struck out two in a 1-2-3 6th. Dean Deetz allowed a hit, walked one, and struck out the side in the 7th. Dariel Aquino allowed a run on three hits and struck out one in the 8th, and Brendan Feldmann struck out the side in order to close it out.

The 2018 Midwest League All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday in Lansing, Michigan. Quad Cities will send five players to Michigan's capital city: Yohan Ramirez, Bryan de la Cruz, Patrick Sandoval, Peter Solomon, and Parker Mushinski.

Vermont 4, Tri-City 3

W- Brandon Withers (1-0)
L- Luis de Paula (0-1)

TC home runs: Enmanuel Valdez (1, solo in 1st)

The Lake Monsters scored three in the 9th to condemn the ValleyCats to a series loss to open the season.

Enmanuel Valdez smacked a solo homer in the 1st to open the scoring and Alex Holderbach hit a two-run single in the 5th. Valdez's homer was Tri-City's only extra-base hit of the game.

Hansel Paulino allowed a hit, walked two, and struck out two over three scoreless innings. Carlos Hiraldo tagged in for five innings, allowing a run on four hits, walking three, and striking out two. Luis de Paula bore the brunt of Vermont's assault in the 9th as he allowed three runs on three hits and walked one.

The ValleyCats will now embark on their first roadtrip of the season to play three games in Aberdeen. First pitch is at 7:05 Eastern.

Sunday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Yordan Alvarez, LF/1B, and Josh Rojas, UTIL, Corpus Christi
Alvarez: 2-5, 2-R HR (7), 3 RBI
Rojas: 2-4, 2 RBI, SB (11, 23 season)

Riley Ferrell, RHP, Corpus Christi
W (2-2), 2.1 IP, BB, 4 K

This is his mugshot on Georgia College's athletics page.
Logan Mattix, OF, Quad Cities
2-3, 2B, RBI, R

J.D. Davis, 3B/1B, Fresno
2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R

Ralph Garza Jr., RHP, Fresno
2 IP, BB, 3 K

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fresno 6, Round Rock 1

W- Trent Thornton (5-4)
L- Adrian Sampson (3-3)

Fresno home runs: Jack Mayfield (8, solo in 6th)

Trent Thornton was magnificent as the Grizzlies shackled the Astros' old AAA team.

Thornton had a no-hitter going for 7.2 innings. He ultimately went eight innings and allowed a hit, walked two, and struck out three. The Express spoiled the shutout by scoring a run against Buddy Boshers in the 9th. Boshers allowed three hits in the inning, but he pulled himself together to secure the win.

Garrett Stubbs singled to lead off the 3rd, advanced to third base on a double from Myles Straw, and scored the first run of the evening on a sac fly from Kyle Tucker. In the 5th, J.D. Davis drew a bases-loaded walk and A.J. Reed added a sac fly. Jack Mayfield launched a solo homer with one out in the 6th. Two batters later, Tony Nu├▒ez drew a walk and dashed home on Straw's triple. Little Tuck followed by ripping an RBI double.

Straw finished 3-5 and a homer shy of the cycle in his AAA debut. Stubbs went 2-4 and scored twice.

Rogelio Armenteros will take on Dustin Hurlbut (snicker) in game two of this series. First pitch is at 1:05.

Corpus Christi and Midland was canceled

Due to rain. The Hooks had been leading 9-8 in the top of the 5th. This game will not be made up as it was the final game between both teams in the first half.

I'm sure Jorge Alcala and Erasmo Pinales are happy that their lines for this game won't count towards their season stats... I'm not so sure that Josh Rojas and Yordan Alvarez are feeling the same way. Rojas was 3-3 and led off the game with a homer, while Alvarez launched two home runs in what was supposed to be his first game since coming off the disabled list.

Corpus will duke it out with San Antonio for the Texas League South Division first-half crown. Cionel Perez will take on Jerry Keel in game one. First pitch is at 4:05.

Buies Creek 4, Potomac 2

W- Gabriel Valdez (3-3)
L- Matt Crownover (3-5)
S- Ronel Blanco (4)

BC home runs: Jonathan Arauz (1, 5 season; solo in 5th)

Scoring four runs in a game doesn't seem like a lot these days, but for a team that's been shut out in two straight, it's a welcome sign for the Carolina Stros.

Gabriel Valdez turned in a career night as he allowed just one hit, walked two, and struck out six over seven shutout frames. The Nationals got their two runs off of Adam Bleday in the 8th as they tried to stage a late uprising. Bleday, who got two outs in the inning, allowed a hit and walked three. Ronel Blanco put the fire out and got the save. He walked one and struck out two over the final 1.1 innings.

Osvaldo Duarte led off the 4th with a triple and scored when Ronnie Dawson reached on a fielder's choice. Abraham Toro, who walked and reached second safely, moved to third when Jake Adams grounded into a double play and scored on a single from Corey Julks. Jonathan Arauz smacked a solo homer in the 5th inning. Toro hit an RBI single in the 8th. Duarte finished 2-4, as did Julks, who was making his Carolina League debut.

Brandon Bailey faces Sterling Sharp in the series finale. First pitch is at 1:05 Eastern.

Quad Cities 2, Burlington 1

W- Tanner Duncan (1-1)
L- Oliver Ortega (2-3)
S- Carlos Sanabria (7)

QC home runs: None.

With this victory, the Quad Cities River Bandits have won the first half of the Midwest League's Western division and the playoff berth that comes with it.

Ruben Castro went 3-4 and scored both Quad Cities runs in this game. Miguelangel Sierra brought him in with a single in the 1st and Colton Shaver ripped a double to score him in the 3rd. Shaver finished 2-4.

Jairo Sol├şs went two innings and allowed an unearned run on a single, walked five, and struck out two. The bullpen picked him up with seven scoreless to close it out. Tanner Duncan and Willy Collado pitched three innings apiece; Duncan struck out three in a perfect outing, while Collado allowed two hits and fanned five. Carlos Sanabria worked around a hit in the 9th to earn the save, striking out two.

Yohan Ramirez will face Houston Christian and TCU alum Mitchell Traver in the Banditos' first-half finale. First pitch is at 1:15.

Vermont 6, Tri-City 2

W- Slater Lee (1-0)
L- Tim Hardy (0-1)

TC home runs: None.

The Lake Monsters scored all six of their runs in the final three innings to seize control of this game. Tri-City had their chances though... they couldn't convert. The ValleyCats went 1-12 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base. 

Juan Robles allowed two hits, walked three, and struck out five over 4.2 shutout innings. Vermont got to the ValleyCats bullpen. Tim Hardy went 3.1 innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits, walked one, and struck out four. Juan Pablo Lopez allowed three runs on three hits, two of which left the park, in the 9th.

Gilberto Celestino scored the first run of the game on an error in the 4th and hit an RBI single in the 7th. He finished 2-3 on the night.

Tri-City will wrap up its first series of the season at 5:00 Eastern.

DSL Astros 3, DSL Dodgers Robinson 0

W- Fabricio Reina (1-1)
L- Juan Gonzalez (0-1)
S- Ronny Garcia (1)

DSL home runs: None.

Both teams had nine hits in this game, but the Astros scored all the runs.

Yefri Carrillo tripled to lead off the game and scored on a single from Jose Alvarez. Carrillo scored again on a wild pitch in the 5th. Junior Marte singled in the 8th and scored when Rolando Espinosa grounded into a force out. Carrillo went 3-4 on the day, while Alvarez finished 2-4.

Valente Bellozo has bounced back from a rough debut to throw four scoreless in each of his last two appearances. He allowed three hits, walked one, and struck out five. Fabricio Reina allowed two hits, walked three, and struck out two in 2.2 innings. Flaer Gonzalez allowed three hits, walked one, and struck out one in 1.1 innings, and Ronny Garcia tightroped out of a bases-loaded jam to close it out. He allowed a hit, walked two, and struck out two.

Saturday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Valente Bellozo, RHP, DSL Astros: 4 IP, 3 H, BB, 5 K
Yefri Carrillo, OF, DSL Astros: 3-4, 3B, 2 R

Trent Thornton, RHP, Fresno
W (5-4), 8 IP, H, 2 BB, 3 K; no-hitter through 7.2 IP

Myles Straw, OF, Fresno
3-5, 2B, 3B, RBI, 2 R, SB (1, 36 season) in AAA debut

Tanner Duncan's and Willy Collado's photos are their mugshots on MiLB.com.
Quad Cities River Bandits bullpen: W 2-1 vs. Burlington
7 IP, 3 H, 10 K
Tanner Duncan: W (1-1), 3 IP, 3 K
Willy Collado: 3 IP, 2 H, 5 K
Carlos Sanabria: Save (7), IP, H, 2 K

Ruben Castro, C, Quad Cities
3-4, 2 R; scored both Quad Cities runs

Gabriel Valdez, RHP, Buies Creek
W (1-1), 7 IP, H, 2 BB, 6 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Gilberto Celestino, OF, Tri-City
2-3, RBI, R

Yordan Alvarez, LF/1B, and Josh Rojas, UTIL, Corpus Christi
Rojas, 3-3, solo HR (6, 7 season), 2 R
Alvarez: 2-4, 2 2-R HR (8) in first game since being activated from DL
Unfortunately, these stats will not count.