As you might recall, Leiter’s pro debut against Arkansas went quite well, beginning his Texas Rangers career on a strong note. We’re definitely on Leiter watch here in Arlington. Here’s how things went for the top prospect on Saturday.
Jack Leiter looked sharp in his second organizational start for the Texas Rangers
In the bottom of the first inning, Leiter walked the first batter he faced, Esteury Ruiz, on five pitches. Ruiz would then advance to second base on a stolen base. Leiter would then get the next batters on fly outs. The first strikeout for Leiter would come as he struck out Mitch Walding looking, that would end the inning. Leiter would end the inning with 17 pitches thrown.
Leiter would then head back to the mound for his second inning of work, with his team leading 2-0. In the bottom of the second inning, Leiter would allow a lead off double to Yorman Rodriguez (the first hit of the game for the Missions) as he hit one to center field. Just like the first inning, Leiter would then retire the next two batters faced, this time on groundouts. The second strikeout of the game for Leiter would come against Chris Givin as Leiter struck him out on three pitches. The second inning would end, with Leiter’s pitch count at 37 (22 for strikes).
The third inning would come, with Leiter still pitching for the RoughRiders. In the first batter faced, Leiter would strikeout Agustin Ruiz swinging for his third strikeout of the game. Leiter would find himself in some trouble as he would walk the next batters, to put runners on for the Missions. After a mound visit, Leiter would settle down as he would retire the next two batters on fly outs to end the threat by the Missions. Leiter’s pitch count was quickly raising as he would end the third inning with his pitch count at 59 (32 for strikes). The RoughRiders were able to score two more runs to lead 4-0 after three.
Leiter would taste the fourth inning for the first time in his professional career, as the RoughRiders sent him back for his fourth inning of work. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Leiter would quickly get two outs as he retired the first batter on a fly out while getting Tirso Ornelas on strikes as he called out on strikes for his fourth strikeout of the game. Leiter would finally retire the next batter faced as he would get Connor Hollis on a groundout but not after throwing eight pitches in that at-bat. Through four innings pitched, Leiter’s pitch count was at 75 (42 for strikes). The RoughRiders were leading 4-0 after four innings of play.
The stat line for Leiter in his first road test was as follows:
4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K’s
He threw 75 pitches (42 for strikes).
Leiter is quickly adjusting well in the minors as the Texas Rangers slowly begin to let him go deep in games.
The game would end with the Missions mounting a comeback but it wasn’t enough as the RoughRiders were able to hold on for a 4-3 win, extending their win streak to five games.