Three Rangers pitching prospects combined to surrender eight runs in Friday's loss at Mesa.
Starting pitcher Joe Van Meter yielded two runs on four hits in 2.1 innings, walking two and striking out two. Sidearming reliever Ben Rowen followed by coughing up three runs in two-thirds of an inning. Ryan Rodebaugh, in relief of Rowen, was tagged for three runs in two innings. He allowed two hits, walked two, and fanned two.
Rowen allowed a two-run homer to third baseman Bobby Borchering while Rodebaugh surrendered a three-run shot to Astros prospect George Springer.
In an all-around rough day for the Surprise Saguaros, the two Rangers prospects in the lineup also scuffled. Cleanup-hitting first baseman Chris McGuiness was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Catcher Kellin Deglan, making his first Arizona Fall League start, whiffed three times in four hitless at-bats.
The Solar Sox ran wild against the Deglan/Van Meter combination, stealing four bases without being caught in the game's first 2.1 innings. Overall, Mesa was five-for-five in stolen base attempts.
Through two days of the LVBP campaign, La Guaira southpaw reliever Joe Ortiz has tossed a pair of scoreless innings. The diminutive hurler worked the ninth inning on Friday, striking out one.
Other Rangers currently listed on rosters in Venezuela include RHP Wilfredo Boscan (Zulia), RHP Wilmer Font (Caracas), RHP Randol Rojas (Magallanes), and RHP Arlett Mavare (La Guaira).
A number of Rangers farmhands are currently playing in Liga Paralela, the Venezuelan Winter League's minor league system.
On Thursday's opening day, the Caracas lineup featured Santiago Chirino, Tomas Telis, and Edwin Garcia.
Batting leadoff and playing third base, Chirino went 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base. He also committed an error. Telis, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter and DH, was 1-for-2 with two runs batted in. The shortstop Garcia had one single in four at-bats.
For Magallanes, third baseman Elio Castillo batted eighth and went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. The 18-year-old Castillo has spent the last two seasons with the Rangers' Dominican Summer League club, and he posted a .272/.391/.341 slash line in 65 contests this past summer.
Tiburones first baseman Jhonny Gomez batted cleanup and was key in his club's 3-2 victory. The Venezuela native went 2-for-3 with a double, a solo home run, and a hit-by pitch.
On Friday, Gomez played in right field and collected two singles in four at-bats. Castillo, playing third base and batting ninth, was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Catcher Tomas Telis (1/5, BB) and shortstop Edwin Garcia (0/2, 3 BB) both started for Caracas. Both players also committed a fielding error.
Right-handed pitcher Randol Rojas, who is expected to pitch for the Navegantes del Magallanes' big club at some point this winter, saw his first winterball action in relief with the Liga Paralela club on Friday. The sinkerballer fanned one in two hitless, scoreless innings.
The 22-year-old Rojas posted a 3.43 earned-run average in 126 innings between Single-A Hickory and High-A Myrtle Beach this past regular season. He yielded 126 hits while walking 42 and striking out 89.
Qualification for the 2013 World Baseball Classic began on September 19, when two of the four qualifying round groups were played. Spain and Canada each won their respective group and earned a spot in next year's Classic.
The Spanish and Canadian squads each feature one Rangers prospect. For Spain, it's outfielder Engel Beltre, who was actually born in the Dominican Republic and lived in the United States for a period while growing up. Regardless, Beltre is eligible to play for the Spanish side. Playing as the club's leadoff hitter and centerfielder, the 22-year-old prospect went 6-for-16 (.375) with a triple in four games. He also drew four walks, was hit by a pitch, and stole three bases.
Rangers catching prospect Kellin Deglan is the youngest player on Team Canada's squad by two and a half years. Working as the club's backup catcher, Deglan appeared in one game as a defensive replacement but didn't get a plate appearance.
Left-handed pitcher Richard Bleier made two appearances for Israel, who finished as runners-up to Spain in Qualifier 1. Bleier tossed one hitless, scoreless inning between the two games, working around a pair of walks.
In other international baseball news involving Rangers prospects, infielder Nick Urbanus recently competed in the 2012 European Baseball Championship. Although Urbanus played well, his Dutch side fell to Italy in the title game. But over nine games, Urbanus was 11-for-28 (.393) at the plate with a double, two triples, three walks, and eight runs batted in. He saw time at second base, shortstop, and third base during the tournament.
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