Editors note: Shutdown Inning will be unveiling a brand new feature on the website every Monday called “Minor League Monday.” Each Monday we will bring you a detailed report of your minor league affiliates, prospect updates, news, notes, and weekly recaps of the teams performance. This is a preview, to give you an idea, of what you can expect each Monday. There will be writing from Austin Dietz, Jasen Southward, Grant Schiller, and the leader, Sarah Powers.
It was a really impressive stretch for your Express this past week as they won 6 of 7 games, including 6 in a row improving to 33-37 in the process. Among the 6 wins was a very nice 4 game sweep in Albuquerque that saw Round Rock score 30 runs in the series. They carried that offense into the weekend set with El Paso scoring 16 in the first two games for wins but stalling out in the Sunday affair and losing 5 to 4. Nonetheless, the team has struggled to score runs so this past week, it was great to see the bats come to life. Round Rock still remains 4 games back of first place New Orleans in the Pacific Coast American Southern Division. They sit in fourth overall, but the nice week certainly helps them get right back in the thick of things.
Your CF Jared Hoying had a pretty big hand in things for Round Rock in the series against the Isotopes as he went 8 for 16 with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 runs, 1 Triple, and a walk. Also of note was IF Kensuke Tanaka hitting a Grand Slam in the 15-8 Express win on the 11th. Phil Erwin pitched 5 shutout innings in the first game of the series, surrendering only 4 hits and striking out a season high 8. (Erwin also got the start against El Paso Saturday and went 6 quality innings)
Neftali Feliz appeared in 2 games this week. He threw 3 innings total allowing 1 Earned run, 2 hits, 2 walks, Struck out 3. All of the damage came in his 2-inning effort on June 10th. He pitched a clean 1-2-3 inning in his other outing. Reports are that he still has work to do before we see him again with the big club. Michael Kirkman appeared in 4 games and pitched 3 1/3 innings allowing only 2 hits, 1 walk, no runs, and struck out 2. Not sure if that does anything for ya, but hey it is something positive for Michael!
Hitter of the week has to go to Jared Hoying who hit .464 with 2 HRs, 10 RBI, 2 Triples, 10 Runs, and 3 Stolen Bases. Mr. Hoying was certainly instrumental in those wins as a middle of the lineup bat. Over his last 10 games, Hoying has a 1.113 OPS so he’s feeling pretty darn good. Pitcher of the week is Miles Mikolas. The former 7th rounder started 2 games this week and went 1-0 throwing 11 innings, allowing 13 hits, 0 walks, 4 earned runs, and striking out 11. (If the Rangers sustain another injury, Miles could be in line for a call up as he has a 2.99 FIP in 27 2/3 innings this year for RR)
This week Round Rock will finish their 4 game set with El Paso on Monday then return home for a home stand starting with 4 with Sacramento and 2 with Fresno (2 more with Fresno the following week to complete the home stand). My “Pick to Click” this week is Roman Mendez. The 23-year-old Dominican’s last 4 appearances have all been pretty solid. He has not allowed any runs, and he’s struck out 6. Look for Buechele to go to Mendez a few times this week if the Express get a lead.