Location: Dickey-Stephens Park (Little Rock, AR)
Team Records: Frisco RoughRiders (3-1 First Place in the Texas League South)... Arkansas Travelers (1-3 2 games back in the Texas League North)
Last 10: 3-1
Road Trip: 3-1
2012 Series Record: 0-0-0
2012 Record against Arkansas: 1-0
All-Time Record against Springfield: 88-45
Record on April 9 since 2003: 2-6
Starting Pitchers: Tim Murphy (0-0 0.00 ERA) vs. Greg Smith (0-0 0.00 ERA)
Riders Win in Extra Innings: Frisco won their second consecutive series opener on Sunday evening as they overcame a blown lead late in the game to win 3-2 in 11 innings. Frisco took a 2-0 lead into the 7th inning, but the Arkansas Travelers tied the game with 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning. Frisco scored a run in the 11th inning and Johan Yan closed the door in the bottom of the 11th for the 3-2 win.
Brigham Goes Six Strong: For the third time in four starts, Frisco got at least 5 scoreless innings out of their starting pitcher. Jake Brigham had his first start with at least 6 shutout innings since May 17th of last season. Brigham got ahead of 12 batters out of the 21 that he faced and gave up just 5 base runners in the game. However, Brigham induced one double play and struck out four batters to help get out of the trouble that he did face. He was also able to get eight groundball outs in the start.
Profar Gets First AA Hit: Top prospect Jurickson Profar hasn't had an easy time in the Texas League so far, but he was able to have a break through on Easter Sunday. Profar went 1 for 4 with a walk and a solo home run. The home run was his first AA hit and broke an 0 for 13 slump to open the season.
A Hot Start for Hawpe: Former Colorado Rockie's star Brad Hawpe is currently on Frisco's roster and over the last two games, the former MLB All-Star has hit like a former MLB All-Star should be hitting in AA. After going 3 for 4 with a double, homerun, and 2 RBI game against the Springfield Cardinals on Saturday, Hawpe added another double in four at bats against the Travelers. His last time in the Texas League was 2003, which happened to be the first year that Tulsa was a Colorado Rockie's affiliate. The year before that, Tulsa was a Texas Ranger's affiliate before Texas moved their AA team to Frisco.
Working the Count: Engel Beltre averaged just 3.25 pitches per plate appearance last season. In the first two games this season, Beltre saw just 23 pitches in his 7 plate appearances. In the two games since, Beltre has seen 55 pitches in 10 plate appearances. The "asterisk" in this is that Beltre also has gone back to the dugout in 5 of the 10 plate appearances with a strikeout. He did take his first walk of the season on Sunday, however, and added a triple to lead off the second inning.
Felix Steals Second!: For some players stealing four bases in a game is a special feat and for other players just stealing a single base in a game is a special feat. For Jose Felix, he would fit in the latter. On Sunday, though, Felix stole his first base of the 2012 season and only his second since joining Frisco in 2010. In other words, he just doubled his AA career stolen base total in one game. Felix also finished the game 2 for 5 with 2 RBI. It was the 23 year old catcher's ninth career multi-RBI game as a Frisco RoughRider.
Pimentel Gets the "W": Carlos Pimentel pitched two innings of solid relief and earned his first win of 2012 as a reliever. In the two innings, Pimentel struck out four batters, gave up a hit, and walked two batters. So far in two appearances, he has struck out seven batters, walked four, and given up two hits over 3 1/3 innings pitched. Pimentel has faced eight right handed batters so far, and six of those eight have struck out. The other two that did not strike out, reached base via a walk. The former starter, however, still struggles against left handed batters, who batted .273 with a .368 OBP% and .418 SLG% against him last season.
Another Ya(w)n Performance: Dating back to last season, Johan Yan has given up an earned run in just 1 out of his 21 appearances. He earned his second save of the season in as many opportunities and appearances with a three up and three down 11th inning. The 23 year old reliever has held right handed hitters to just a .151 (8 for 51) batting average against him as a RoughRider.
Former Riders on the Mound
LHP C.J. Wilson (Los Angeles Angels) @ Minnesota Twins
RHP Luis Mendoza (Kansas City Royals) @ Oakland Athletics
RHP Doug Mathis (Pawtucket Red Sox) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs
LHP Robbie Erlin (San Antonio Missions) vs. Northwest Arkansas Naturals
RHP Omar Poveda (Jacksonville Suns) vs. Huntsville Stars
LHP Michael Ballard (Harrisburg Senators) @ New Britain Rock Cats
Minor League Baseball Golden Sombrero Count: 24
Minor League Baseball Sombrero Count: 136
Around the Ranger's System
Yesterday's Record: 1-3
Round Rock (AAA) gave up 4 runs in the final two innings to lose 6-5 to the Iowa Cubs on the road. Former Tulsa Driller Greg Reynolds started for Round Rock and gave up 6 hits and 2 runs over 6 innings with 3 strikeouts. He did not walk a batter either. Michael Kirkman gave up 3 runs in 1/3 of an inning of relief, while Derek Hankins took the loss after giving up a run in an inning of relief as well. Yangervis Solarte powered the Express with a 2 for 5 game including 2 doubles, 3 RBI, and a run scored. Julio Borbon also went 2 for 5 and added a double, RBI, and a run scored. Leonys Martin reached base twice with a 1 for 4 game including a walk. Mike Bianucci added a 1 for 3 day with his 6th RBI on the early parts of the season.
Myrtle Beach (A+) committed 3 errors for the game and gave up 3 runs in the 5th inning to lose 3-2 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Nick Tepesch started for Myrtle Beach and took the loss despite giving up 4 hits and 3 unearned runs over 4 2/3 innings. Tepesch also struck 3 batters out in the game. Zach Osborne, Wilmer Font, and Jimmy Keyes combined for 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Yefry Castillo led the Pelicans with a 2 for 3 game at the plate including 2 doubles and a RBI. Vincent DiFazio also went 1 for 3 with a double in the game and walked in his fourth plate appearance. Jared Hoying and Edwin Garcia each chipped in a hit of their own in 4 at bats. Jake Skole walked 3 times at the plate and scored one of the two runs in the game.
Hickory (A) got outlasted in an offensive shootout as they lost 12-11 to the Kannapolis Intimidators. Both teams combined for 31 hits in the game, including ten extra base hits. Hickory's Zach Cone was the only starter for either team without a hit. Santo Perez made the start for Hickory and gave up 4 hits, 1 walk, and 5 runs over 3 innings. Chris Hanna gave up 7 hits and 3 runs over 3 2/3 innings. Jose Mavare took the loss after giving up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 4 runs (3 earned) over 2 innings of relief. Hanser Alberto led the Crawdads with 3 hits in the game in 5 at bats, including a double, RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. Drew Robinson went 2 for 4 with a triple, 2 RBI, 3 runs scored, and a walk. Jorge Alfaro also scored 3 runs as he also went 2 for 4 with a walk and a RBI at the plate. Kevin Torres added 2 hits, a RBI, and a walk in the game as well. Leading off for the game, Chris Grayson went 2 for 5 with a triple, 2 RBI, a walk, and a run scored. Rougned Odor, Jeremy Williams, and Kellin Deglan each had a hit of their own.
Minor League Performance of the Day
To have a hitless outing at any level in the minor leagues that is more than an inning or two is impressive. To do that in the California League for 6 innings is down right phenomenal. On Sunday, San Jose Giants starting pitcher and Houston, TX native Justin Schumer took the ball and did not give the ball up until after he had pitched nearly six perfect innings against the Modesto Nuts. Schumer faced one over the minimum for those six innings, thanks to a hit batter in the second inning, and left the game for the bullpen to preserve a 5-0 lead at the time. Ultimately, San Jose won 8-0 in the game and Schumer got his first victory of 2012. Schumer struck out 3 batters in the game as well. The 23 year old right handed pitcher was signed by the San Francisco Giants as a non-drafted free agent in July 2010. Last season, he went 6-5 with a 4.66 ERA in 26 appearances (14 starts) between class low-A Augusta and Double-A Richmond.
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- By Michael Damman