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News and Notes

PCL Top 20 Prospects
Baseball America announced its Top 20 Pacific Coast League prospects Monday. Outfielder Leonys Martin, a Round Rock Express member each of the past two seasons, was ranked 17th on the list. He was the lone Express/Rangers player listed.

Martin hit .359 (83-for-231) in 55 games for the Express this season with 12 homers, 42 RBI, 18 doubles, two triples, 48 runs scored and 10 stolen bases. He also had seven outfield assists. His batting average is the best in Round Rock’s Triple-A history among players with at least 200 at bats, eclipsing Brian Barden’s .357 mark from last season.

Signed by the Rangers in after defecting from Cuba the previous summer, Martin began his professional career at Double-A Frisco in 2011 before joining the Express in mid-July. He hit .263 (46-for-175) in 40 games with Round Rock that season, collecting 17 RBI, seven doubles, 27 runs and nine stolen bases.

Martin appeared in 24 games with the Rangers this season, going 8-for-46 (.174) with six RBI, five doubles, two triples, six runs scored and three stolen bases. He made his major league debut Sept. 2, 2011, and hit safely in a pinch-hit role. Martin played in eight games for the Rangers in 2011.

With the Rangers season complete, Martin is playing the Dominican Winter League, which opened its season Sunday. Martin was 1-for-3 with two walks, two stolen bases and three runs scored for Licey.

Rangers in Winter Leagues
Several Rangers farmhands other than Martin are in Winter League Baseball this offseason. … Mike Olt, who made his major league debut this season, will report Licey in the coming days. … First baseman Chris McGuiness was named Arizona Fall League Co-Player of the Week, sharing the honor with Houston Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton. McGuiness is with the Surprise Saguaros; he was 7-for-18 with two homers, six RBI, two doubles and two runs scored. A 13th-round pick of Boston in 2009, McGuiness was acquired by the Rangers in the 2010 Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade. He hit .268 with 23 homers and 77 RBI in 123 games with Double-A Frisco this season. … Shortstop Luis Sardinas also is off to hot start with Surprise, going 4-for-9 with three runs scored in two games. … A pair of 2012 Express members are in the Dominican Winter League in addition to Martin. Catcher Robinzon Diaz is with Gigantes del Cibao, while pitcher Johan Yan is with Aguilas Cibaenas. … Much heralded outfielder Engel Beltre also is playing with Licey in the DWL.

Other News
Dallas Morning News sports writer Gerry Fraley recently reported that 2012 Express member Luis Hernandez declined an outright minor-league assignment, opting instead for free agency. Hernandez hit .262 (136-for-519) in 129 games for the Express this season with eight homers, 70 RBI, 23 doubles, six triples, 64 runs scored and nine stolen bases. He hit .302 (55-for-182) after the All-Star break, including a .390 mark (41-for-105) in 24 games during August. Hernandez played two games and garnered two plate appearances (both outs) with the Rangers in late August.

Express Outlast Aces in Extras

ROUND ROCK EXPRESS 9, at RENO ACES 8 (10 innings)

16 August 2012  |  Aces Ballpark  |  Reno, Nev.

Records:  Express (59-67), Aces (71-55)
– Julio Borbon leadoff triple in 10th inning … scored on errant pickoff throw from Reno catcher Ryan Budde
– Round Rock leads series 3-0
– Clinched second straight series … improved to 4-0-2 in last six series
– Express riding six-game winning streak
– Series finale Friday at 9:05 p.m. CDT
– Friday’s scheduled starters:  RR – RHP Greg Reynolds (10-7, 4.90 ERA); RENO – RHP Trevor Bauer (4-1, 2.85 ERA)

ROUND ROCK won 16 of last 22 (league-best record during that time) … improved to 18-8 since five-run, ninth-inning rally July 22 vs. Omaha … won 12 of last 15 road games … season-best, six-game road winning streak … improved to 20-15 since All-Star break … extended franchise record with fifth straight nine-plus run game … eight of nine starters hit safely … 56 runs, 85 hits over last five games … 10-plus hits in six straight games … nine-plus hits in nine straight games (.352, 125-for-355) … improved to 13-0 since All-Star break when scoring at least seven runs … improved to 15-15 in one-run games, 8-3 since All-Star break … fourth straight victory in one-run games … improved to 6-4 in extra-inning games (3-1 on the road).

ZACH JACKSON (no-decision) left game leading 5-3 … held opponent to three or fewer earned runs in nine of last 10 starts (4-4) … allowed three or fewer earned runs in sixth straight start … second no-decision in last 16 outings (15 starts) … Express won his fifth straight start.

JOE ORTIZ earned first career Triple-A win.

JOHAN YAN earned first career Triple-A save.

JULIO BORBON (4-for-6) three-game hitting streak (.467, 7-for-15) … second straight multiple-hit game … first four-hit game since July 25 vs. Albuquerque (fourth of season) … seventh triple, tying for second-best season total in Express history.

LUIS HERNANDEZ (4-for-5, walk) extended hitting streak to 12 games (.482, 27-for-56) … 10th multiple-hit outing during streak … second four-hit game of season (June 29 vs. Nashville) … scored in fifth straight game.

JOEY BUTLER (3-for-6) five-game hitting streak (.346, 9-for-26) … first game with three-plus hits since five-hit effort July 18 at Nashville … hit safely in 11 of last 13 games (18-for-56) … at least one strikeout in 10 straight games (14 strikeouts) … sixth straight multiple-strikeout game, seventh in last eight games.

BRAD NELSON (0-for-6) hitless with at least five at bats for only second time this season (July 2 vs. New Orleans) … first 0-for-6 game since July 2, 2011 vs. Nashville.

RYAN SPILBORGHS (1-for-4, walk) six-game hitting streak (.320, 8-for-25) … first home run since July 30 at Memphis (12 games, 46 at bats) … third homer in last 67 games, 254 at bats … first game with four-plus RBI since Aug. 22, 2011 vs. Salt Lake (with Colorado Springs).

BRANDON SNYDER (1-for-5) extended hitting streak to eight games (.353, 12-for-34) … first homer with Express … scored in fifth straight game … hit safely in 11 of 12 games with Express.

YANGERVIS SOLARTE (1-for-4, walk) hit safely in six of last seven games (12-for-31).

ALBERTO HERNANDEZ (3-for-5) first game with Express … first three-hit game since May 30 with Rangers (vs. Seattle).

KOYIE HILL (1-for-5) hit safely in each of first two games with Express.

Express Thump Memphis 8-4

Records:  Express (46-61), Redbirds (42-65)
 Express lead series 1-0 … Season series tied 6-6
– Johan Yan (RR) tosses season-high 2.1 innings in relief and strikes out season-high five batters to earn his first win in Triple-A
– Elio Sarmiento (RR) 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored
– Express continue five-game series Sunday at Memphis with doubleheader – first pitches 4:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. CDT
– Sunday’s scheduled starters: 
Game 1: RR – RHP Neftali Feliz (0-1, 1.96 ERA); MEM – LHP Tyler Lyons (1-6, 5.01 ERA);
Game 2: RR – RHP Justin Grimm (0-0, 3.00); MEM – TBA