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Legends On Deck

Minor League Pitching Duel Of The Day: June 5th

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The Frisco Rough Riders beat the the Tulsa Drillers 4-1 on Friday. Nomar Mazara hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning for the Rough Riders and that was all the run support starting pitcher Andrew Faulkner would need as he picked up his fourth win.

Faulkner threw seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven. Jose De Leon took the loss (0-2) going seven innings and allowing three earned runs, on four hits while striking out six. Josh McElwee picked up his fourth save.

Faulkner (LHP) is the 16th rated prospect in the Rangers system by MLB.com. He features a low to mid 90’s fastball (which could play up if he goes to the pen) and mixes in an average slider and fringe change and curve. The lack of a third pitch and the plus fastball have most thinking he’ll be a late inning lefty reliever, but for now at least the Rangers haven’t given up on Faulkner starting.

In the top of the first inning, Drillers starter De Leon retired the first two hitters on flyouts before Nick Williams singled (his first of three hits in the game) and Mazara followed with a two run home run. In the bottom of the inning, Drillers lead off hitter Adam Law led off with a walk. After a strikeout, Yadir Drake (hits in seven of his last eight games) singled. A ground out advanced the runners to second and third with two outs, but a strikeout ended the threat. Both starters settled in after their bumpy first inning and cruised.

Drew Robinson hit a solo home run, his 10th, with one out in the seventh, stretching the Rough Riders lead to three. Relief pitcher Juan Gonzalez replaced De Leon to start the eighth, with runners on first and third and two outs, Gonzalez balked allowing the Rough Riders fourth run to score. Will Lamb replaced Faulkner to start the last of the eighth and walked Jarek Cunningham (hits in eight of his last ten) to start the inning. after a line out, Brandon Dixon doubled Cunningham to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly.

De Leon (RHP), the 97th rated prospect on the MLB.com top 100 prospect list, had a great start to the 2015 season in the California league allowing seven earned runs, in 37 innings and striking out 58 batters, which earned him a quick promotion to Double-A. He features a mid 90’s fastball, a low 80’s slider and a mid 80’s change. Potential mid rotation starter.

The Rough Riders and Drillers will meet in game two of their three game set on Saturday night with Jake Thompson and Eric Stults the projected starters.

John Calvagno

John is a staff writer for legends on deck. A Red Sox fan and Minor league enthusiast, he's usually writing about minor league baseball.John also loves Bruins hockey and Syracuse basketball.
John is married with two grown daughters and lives in Asheville, NC.
you can find John on Twitter @AshevilleSoxFan