Results tagged ‘ koyie hill ’

Top 12 Games of 2012 (No. 12)

TOP 12 GAMES OF 2012
Throughout the fall, we’ll take a look at the top 12 games of 2012. Before we get to that list, here is a brief look at nine games that were considered but didn’t make the list.

April 15 vs. Iowa:  Round Rock edged Iowa 11-10 in 13 innings – the longest home game this season and tied for the third-longest Triple-A game in The Dell Diamond’s history. Matt Kata’s sacrifice fly was the game-winner.

May 8 at Salt Lake:  Five homers gave the Express an 11-9 victory. Dusty Brown, Joey Butler, Mike Bianucci, Yangervis Solarte and Brad Nelson provided the homers, and Round Rock scored in seven different innings at hitter-friendly Spring Mobile Park.

June 1 at Memphis:  Despite getting out-hit 9-3, the Express blanked Memphis 3-0. Greg Reynolds scattered six singles and four walks with four strikeouts over seven innings. Elio Sarmiento and Dusty Brown had consecutive RBI singles in the second, and Joey Butler tacked on a ninth-inning solo homer.

June 17 vs. Oklahoma City:  What a pitching matchup – Oswalt vs. Clemens. OK, the Clemens was Paul Clemens. Roy Oswalt allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings with five strikeouts in his final game before joining the Rangers; it was his lone win with the Express. Greg Miclat homered in the second, and his two-run double in the sixth erased a broke a 2-2 ties as the Express won 4-2.

July 17 at Nashville:  Round Rock scored two runs in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, and Luis Hernandez delivered a two-out RBI single in the 11th for a 5-4 Express win. Round Rock’s bullpen (Joe Ortiz, Aaron Heilman and Neil Cotts) tossed five shutout innings.

Aug. 3 vs. Tucson:  After squandering a 6-0 lead over the final three innings, the Express plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth for an 8-7 victory. Julio Borbon’s two-run single was the game-winner.

Aug. 21 vs. Oklahoma City:  In his final win of the season, Zach Jackson limited the RedHawks to one run on seven hits and no walks over seven innings with seven strikeouts for a 4-1 Express victory. It was Jackson’s 20th win with the Express – a franchise record. Joey Butler’s sixth-inning solo homer snapped a 1-1 tie, and Leonys Martin added a two-run shot in the seventh.

Aug. 22 vs. Nashville:  One night later, the Express overcame a 6-3 deficit entering the bottom of the eighth and eventually won 7-6 in 11 innings. This was the closest of the honorable mention games to make the top 12. Ryan Spilborghs clubbed a two-run homer in the eighth to pull the Express within a run. Matt Kata tied the game in the ninth with an RBI fielder’s choice. Manager Bobby Jones was ejected after a peculiar call on a double-play ball later in the ninth, a play in which Kata collided with Nashville second baseman Adrian Williams. Spilborghs came through in the 11th with a two-out RBI single.

And now on with the Top 12 list, starting today with No. 12:

No. 12
Aug. 15:  Express 14, at Reno 1
Scoring 14 runs on 19 hits in the 4,400-foot elevation of Reno was no big surprise. However, the ability of Martin Perez to hold the eventual PCL-champion Aces to one run on six hits and five walks over eight innings was quite impressive. The lone run came on Konrad Schmidt’s eighth-inning, two-out solo homer, ending Perez’s bid for his first career complete-game shutout.

All nine Express starters hit safely as the Express won their fifth straight game – the season’s longest streak at that date (they won a sixth straight the following night). Brad Snyder’s two-run double keyed a four-run second inning, and Round Rock never looked back, adding three in the third and two in the fourth. Brad Nelson’s two-run homer pushed the Express lead to 11-0 in the seventh, and Koyie Hill tacked on an RBI single later in the inning. Hill capped the scoring with a two-run homer in the ninth.

Perez posted his first road win with the Express since April 27 at Oklahoma City. It was the deepest into a game he carried a shutout in what was his 28th career Triple-A start. Perez escaped trouble in the fourth, inducing an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

It was Round Rock’s fifth straight game with at least 10 hits as the Express won for the 15th time in 21 games. Eight of nine batters had multiple-hit efforts; ironically, the lone exception was Luis Hernandez, who snapped a streak of nine consecutive multiple-hit outings. Leonys Martin ended a streak of four consecutive games with a homer but enjoyed a 4-for-6 effort nonetheless.


A couple weeks ago, we talked about the Baltimore Orioles’ success this year and how several members of the 2011 Express squad have played a part. We also asked when the Orioles will fire manager Buck Showalter. Here is the reason for the question:

Showalter managed three teams previously – the Yankees (1992-1995), Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and Rangers (2003-2006). In each case, his tenure ended with a firing. And, in each case, the succeeding manager led the team to a world series.

In 1994, Showalter guided the Yankees to a 70-43 record and was named American League Manager of the Year. New York owned baseball’s second-best record behind only Montreal (74-40). But the season was cut short due to the strike.

The following season, the Showalter-led Yankees were 79-65 and claimed the American League wild card – New York’s first playoff appearance since 1981. However, the Yankees lost to the Mariners 3-2 in the division series. Game 5 was one of the best playoff games in the wild-card era as Seattle edged New York 5-4. Randy Velarde’s one-out RBI single snapped a 4-4 tie in the top of the 11th, but Edgar Martinez won the game with a two-run double in the bottom of the inning that scored Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. Coming off the bench for the Mariners in that game was rookie Alex Rodriguez; he replaced Tino Martinez, who would join the Yankees the following season.

Showalter was shown the door following the loss. Joe Torre took over, and the Yankees won four of the next five World Series.

A year later, Showalter was named inaugural manager of the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks – two years prior to the club’s first season. The D-backs were 65-97 in the first season (1998) but thundered to 100 wins and a division crown the following season thanks to off-season acquisitions of Randy Johnson, Armando Reynoso, Todd Stottlemyer and Steve Finley. Arizona lost to the New York Mets in the division series, and Showalter was fired after a lack-luster 85-77, third-place finish in 2000.

His replacement, Bob Brenly, followed Torre’s suit and guided the Diamondbacks to a World Series title in 2001, defeating none other than the Yankees in one of the best Game 7s in World Series history.

Showalter was unable to lead the Rangers to a playoff appearance in his four seasons at Arlington. However, he was named American League Manager in the Year in 2004, skippering the Rangers to an 89-73 record in his second season after a 71-91 mark in 2003. Texas finished third in the division, three games back of Anaheim and two games behind Oakland. It was the Rangers’ lone winning season with Showalter at the helm. He was fired following an 80-82 mark in 2006.

Showing Showalter the door in Arlington was then-29-year-old general manager John Daniels, who then hired Ron Washington. Four years later, the Rangers reached the World Series for the first time ever and returned the following season. Washington currently has Texas atop the division in pursuit of the Rangers first division three-peat.

So, surely the Orioles will fire Showalter after the Birds dip to a sub-.500 record next season. We’ll prognosticate former or soon-to-be-former players as potential replacements:  Chipper Jones (retires after this season), Scott Rolen (has played for heralded managers Tony La Russa, Dusty Baker, Terry Francona and Larry Bowa), Derek Lee (clubhouse guy has played for Jack McKeon, Lou Pinella, Bobby Cox and Showalter) or Todd Helton (quietly one of this generation’s best hitters). However, the best bet among former players surely is Hall of Famer and former Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. – assuming he wants the job… and (of course) assuming it all comes to this.

Express vs. Nashville (Aug. 24)

Silenced:  Sounds win 5-2.

So Far, It’s Not Working:  If you read our players to watch post earlier today, well… so far, our efforts are not working. Brandon Snyder is 0-for-2 with a strikeout, Koyie Hill is 0-for-2 including an inning-ending double play, and Justin Grimm has yielded four runs on eight hits and a walk with two strikeouts through five innings.  Sounds lead 4-0 going to sixth.

Deja Blue All Over Again… Again… Again:  Round Rock is wearing blue jerseys for the fifth consecutive game. The Express won each of the previous four games. If it ain’t broke…

Short Stop:  Matt Kata is starting at shortstop tonight; it’s his first start at the position since May 13 at Tacoma. Luis Hernandez was added to the Rangers 40-man roster this afternoon and is with the parent club while Michael Young is on paternity leave. Alberto Gonzalez left last night’s game after being hit by a pitch. All that necessitates Kata’s fill-in at shortstop.

First Pitch:  We’re underway at 7:08 p.m. CDT. Temperature at first pitch was 93 degrees – that’s 34 degrees in Mzuzu, Malawi.

Players to Watch (Aug. 24 vs. Nashville)

Last night, we listed Leonys Martin as a player to watch with the explanation that no reason for doing such was necessary. Martin was 0-for-4. With that in mind, we’ll try to impose the opposite result with tonight’s players to watch.

BRANDON SNYDER enters tonight’s game hitless in his last nine at bats with five strikeouts in his last eight at bats. He is 1-for-15 (.067) over his last five games and 2-for-23 (.087) since his third-inning single Aug. 15 at Reno. Furthermore, he’s 4-for-17 (.235) with no homers, four RBI and seven strikeouts in five Aug. 24 games in his career. Reverse the curse.

KOYIE HILL is hitless in his last eight at bats with at least one strikeout in seven straight games (10 strikeouts). Somewhat surprisingly, Hill has played only one game on Aug. 24 since 2004. That was in 2008 with the Iowa Cubs when he was 2-for-3 with one homer, three RBI, two walks and one run scored. The opponent that night? The Oklahoma City RedHawks – then the Rangers Triple-A affiliate.

JUSTIN GRIMM is 0-2 with a 4.61 ERA in four starts and one piggy-back relief outing at The Dell Diamond. The losses came in each of his last two home starts – Aug. 8 vs. Las Vegas, Aug. 19 vs. Oklahoma City. He surrendered 10 earned runs on 18 hits over 10.2 innings in those games. This is Grimm’s first-ever professional outing on Aug. 24.

One Year Ago Today… Chad Tracy homered twice and drove in six runs as the Express blistered Albuquerque 16-8 at Isotopes Park. His first homer capped at nine-run fourth inning that matched the highest-scoring inning in franchise history. His six RBI gave him 100 for the year, one shy of the franchise record he would tie the following night and break two nights later.

Express vs. Oklahoma City (Aug. 19)

Close, But No Cigar:  Round Rock loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth but couldn’t get a run across. Oklahoma City wins 5-2. The Express left the bases loaded in two of the last three innings.

Grimm Outcome:  Oklahoma City takes a 4-2 lead on Carlos Corporan’s seventh-inning, two-run single. Justin Grimm got ahead 0-2 and made a good pitch in on Corporan’s hands; but, Corporan fisted a lollipop liner over the infield for the go-ahead hit. Ben Snyder spelled Grimm and got the Express out of the inning without further damage. Grimm went six and one-third innings and allowed four runs – three earned – on seven hits, one walk and one hit batter with three strikeouts. All in all, he pitched better than his line would indicate.

Snyder Warning:  Ben Snyder beginning to loosen in the Express bullpen. His brother made the final out of the last inning, so it would be a while before a potential squaring off.

Hamburger, Hill:  Mark Hamburger got a fly ball to center, walked Yangervis Solarte and struck out Koyie Hill to get the RedHawks out of the sixth. The Express left the bases loaded as Hamburger stranded both runners inherited from starter Fernando Abad, who allowed two runs on six hits, a walk and one hit batter with three strikeouts over five and two-thirds innings. Still 2-2 going to the seventh.

Hey! I Know That Guy!  Former Express pitcher Mark Hamburger is now on the mound for Oklahoma City. Hamburger, who was designated for assignment when Roy Oswalt was added to the Rangers 40-man roster in June, spent five weeks with Tucson (San Diego Padres) before being released and signing with the Astros in mid-June. He is 0-1 with a 3.63 ERA in 11 appearances with the RedHawks. Hamburger is on the Astros 40-man roster.

Tonight’s Attendance:  Much like what Godzilla did when he wanted a hot dog and a Slurpee, he… 8711.

Fourth-Degree Burns:  Brad Snyder’s RBI double and a two-out throwing error allowed the RedHawks to tie the game 2-2 in the top of the fourth.

Did You Know?  Thanks to his first-inning single, Brad Nelson has hit safely in 17 of 20 home games since the All-Star break. He is 27-for-67 (.403) at The Dell Diamond in that time.

King of the Hill:  Koyie Hill laced a two-out RBI single to left-center, giving the Express a 2-0 lead after two innings. Credit the run to Ryan Spilborghs running on a full-count pitch to Brandon Snyder with one out. Snyder grounded out to short on a ball that likely would have been an inning-ending double play without Spilborghs in motion. Hill, who joined the Express last week, has hit safely in three of his first four games with the E-Train.

Snyder, Snyder… Snyder:  Two Snyders are in tonight’s game… at least for now – Express third baseman Brandon Snyder and Oklahoma City right fielder Brad Snyder. While those two Snyders are not related, Brad Snyder is the brother of Express reliever Ben Snyder. The brothers faced each other three times this season; Brad is 1-for-3 with a strikeout.

Boom Boom Borbon:  Julio Borbon homered on the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning – a towering shot down the right-field line that landed just shy of the pool. It was Borbon’s ninth homer of the season. He had nine homers in 264 career minor league games entering this season. Borbon had 16 homers in 479 career professional games prior to 2012. It was Borbon’s first homer since July 29 at Memphis and first at The Dell Diamond since June 16 against Oklahoma City. Express lead 1-0 after the first inning.

First Pitch:  Underway at 6:09 p.m.

E-Train Steam-Rolls Aces

15 August 2012  |  Aces Ballpark  |  Reno, Nev.
Records:  Express (58-67), Aces (71-54)
– Round Rock leads series 2-0
– Express riding five-game winning streak
– Game 3 of series Thursday at 9:05 p.m. CDT

– Thursday’s scheduled starters:  RR – LHP Zach Jackson (6-12, 4.66 ERA); RENO – LHP Zach Kroenke (6-3, 5.49 ERA)

ROUND ROCK won 15 of last 21 … improved to 17-8 since five-run, ninth-inning rally July 22 vs. Omaha … won 11 of last 14 road games … season-best, five-game road winning streak … improved to 19-15 since All-Star break … scored nine-plus runs in four straight games for first in franchise history (Triple-A era) … all nine starters hit safely … 47 runs, 67 hits over last four games … 10-plus hits in five straight games … nine-plus hits in eight straight games (.346, 107-for-309).

MARTIN PEREZ claimed first win with Express since June 21 vs. Iowa … first road win since April 27 at Oklahoma City (sixth road start since that win) … won three of last four decisions with Round Rock … did not allow run until two-out solo homer in the eighth … deepest into game carrying shutout in Triple-A career … 3.27 ERA (20 ER/55.0 IP) since June 1.

JULIO BORBON (2-for-5) produced first multiple-hit game since Aug. 3 vs. Tucson.

LUIS HERNANDEZ (1-for-5) extended hitting streak to 11 games (.451, 23-for-51) … snapped streak of nine straight multiple hit games … snapped streak of seven straight game with at least one RBI … scored in fourth straight game.

LEONYS MARTIN (4-for-6) second career four-hit game (July 22, 2011 at Omaha) … extended hitting streak to 10 games (.409, 18-for-44) … hit safely in 20 of last 21 games with Round Rock (34-for-87) … snapped franchise-record tying streak of four games with a homer … third straight multiple-hit outing, fourth in last five games … 24-for-60 (.400) since returning to Round Rock … scored in sixth straight game … fifth straight multiple-run game.

JOEY BUTLER (2-for-6) hit safely in 10 of last 12 games (15-for-50) … at least one strikeout in nine straight games (14 strikeouts) … fifth straight multiple-strikeout game, sixth in last seven games.

BRAD NELSON (2-for-3, walk) clubbed 21st homer, 14th on the road … reached safely in 27 of last 28 games … 38-for-111 (.342) since All-Star break.

MATT KATA (2-for-4, walk) became second player to amass 400 career hits with Express (Mark Saccomanno, 424) … extended hitting streak to five games (.478, 11-for-23) … fourth straight multiple-hit outing … snapped streak of three straight multiple-RBI outings.

YANGERVIS SOLARTE (2-for-4, walk) hit safely in five of last six games (11-for-27) … fourth multiple-hit outing in last six games … scored in seven of last eight games.

BRANDON SNYDER (2-for-5) extended hitting streak to seven games (.393, 11-for-29) … multiple hits in four of last six games … scored in four straight games … hit safely in 10 of 11 games with Express.

KOYIE HILL (2-for-5) first game with Express … first homer since July 19 at Pawtucket with Syracuse (Nationals system).

Express Get MLB Vets Hill, Gonzalez

This today from the Rangers and Express:


Major league veteran reports to Round Rock

 New York, NY—The Texas Rangers today announced the signing of catcher Koyie Hill to a minor league contract. Hill will join Triple-A Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League tonight at Reno.

Hill, 33, was released by the Washington Nationals on August 3 after hitting .163 with 2 homers and 9 RBI in 31 games at Triple-A Syracuse. The switch-hitter signed as a minor league free agent last winter with St. Louis before being released on March 25. Hill signed with the Cincinnati organization on April 28 and hit .195 in 14 games at Double-A Peninsula before being traded to the Chicago Cubs on May 19. He batted .179 (7-39) with one RBI in 11 games with the Cubs before being designated for assignment on June 14 and granted free agency on June 17. Hill signed with Washington on June 19.

Hill has a career major league average of .210 with 8 homers and 76 RBI in 313 games with the Dodgers (2003), the Diamondbacks (2004-05), and Cubs (2007-12). He set career highs with 83 games with Chicago in 2009.

Also joining the E-Train is infielder Alberto Gonzalez. The 29-year-old has been with the Rangers all season until he was designated for assignment this weekend.  He hit .241 with four RBI in just 24 games with Texas.

To make room, C Elio Sarmiento has been placed on the seven-day disabled list and IF Guilder Rodriguez has been assigned to Double-A Frisco.