The Frisco RoughRiders, Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, split the four-game series against the Hooks, with a 3-1 victory in the series finale. Top prospect Yohander Mendez limited the Corpus Christi offense with a spectacular pitching performance. Clutch baserunning awareness and a big insurance home run helped seal the deal for the RoughRiders in last night’s matchup.
Yohander Mendez started the game on the hill for Frisco. Ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Texas Rangers organization, he performed accordingly. Mendez earned his fourth win of the season, pitching 6.0 innings of one-run baseball. He allowed five hits, walked two batters, and had nine strikeouts. He threw a total of 89 pitches, 59 for strikes. Mendez looked phenomenal. His command and control were keyed in to a level similar to his last start, where he threw a complete game shutout.
Cody Palmquist relieved Mendez, throwing 2.0 innings for the RoughRiders. He allowed just one hit and had two punchouts. Reed Garrett was credited with the save, his fifth of the season. He threw a perfect one inning of baseball. With one strikeout, he walked none, gave up no hits, and allowed no runs.
The RoughRiders scored on a wild pitch in the third inning, putting them ahead 1-0. Situational awareness was key in this situation, and the RoughRiders capitalized on the Corpus Christi mistake. The RoughRiders lead was increased to 2-0 in the fifth inning, on a single by Juremi Profar that scored a run. Michael O’Neill launched a big solo home run in the seventh inning, that put Frisco ahead 3-0. It was his third home run in three games.
O’Neill went 1-3 last night, with one RBI and one walk, in addition to his home run. Michael De Leon finished 1-3 as well, drawing a walk and hitting a double. Five of the nine starters for the RoughRiders got hits. The team left eight players on base, hitting 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. This is an area that the RoughRiders have continued to struggle with.
The Frisco RoughRiders are now 27-33 on the season. They are last in the Texas League South and carry the worst record in all of the Texas League.
News and notes on the game, from RidersBaseball.com:
- With another long ball Friday, Michael O’Neill homered in three consecutive games for the first time in his career. It was the first such feat for the Riders since Lewis Brinson did it July 9-11, 2016.
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa extended his on-base streak to 16 games with a walk in the first inning.
- With 12 more strikeouts Friday, Riders pitching has fanned 54 batters over the past five games, striking out at least 10 hitters in each contest.
The RoughRiders will begin another four-game series tonight. They head to Midland, to take on the RockHounds. The Oakland Athletics affiliate will start right-handed pitcher Grant Holmes (4-5, 5.50 ERA). Frisco is scheduled to have righty Connor Sadzeck (3-4, 4.86 ERA) make the start.
Follow Blake Cole, The Inscriber’s exclusive reporter to the Frisco RoughRiders, on Twitter (@blakeacole) for live game day coverage and other team news.