It was Hans Crouse day in Hickory, but it wasn’t the dominant Hans Crouse today that we have seen so often this year. Crouse was okay for four innings — he allowed a run in the first on a walk, sac bunt, stolen base, wild pitch, and then another on a home run in the fourth — but got lifted with one out in the fifth after allowing a double and then a home run. Overall, he gave up just 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 in 4.1 IP, but when 2 of the 4 hits allowed are home runs, its going to hurt. Hans now has a 3.14 ERA on the year.
Sam Huff, of course, had to homer again, blasting his 15th bomb of the year as part of a 3 for 4 day. He has an 1164 OPS, and while I’ve been of the belief that the Rangers weren’t likely to promote guys until after short season ball starts, Huff is making it hard to justify keeping him in low-A much longer. Sherten Apostel, who has gotten off to a slow start, also homered, while Jonathan Ornelas, who has gotten off to a terrific start, went 2 for 5 while playing left field.
Jake Latz pitched for Down East, and had what is probably his best start at high-A, giving up a lone run in 5 innings of work, with 6 Ks against 2 walks. Demarcus Evans had a worrisome outing —while he didn’t allow a run in 1.1 innings of work, he did walk 4 of the 7 batters he faced. As far as the bats go, Leody Taveras went 2 for 4, pushing his average up to .331 with an 808 OPS. and Diosbel Arias also had a pair of hits.