Results tagged ‘ leonys martin ’

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.

Top 12 Games of 2012 (No. 10)

TOP 12 GAMES OF 2012
Throughout the fall, we’ll take a look at the top 12 games of 2012. Today, we look at Game No. 10 on our list.

No. 10
April 10:  at Omaha 9, Express 8 (16 innings)
The lone loss that makes our list was a definite memorable game, simply for the length. It went down as the longest game in franchise history both in terms of innings and time of game (five hours, 24 minutes). The game started at 11:06 a.m. and concluded during rush hour.

It was a boat race for the first five innings, and neither starter made it that far. David Lough was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, starting the scoring spree. Tommy Mendonca’s two-out RBI double tied the game in the top of the second, but the Storm Chasers answered with a three-spot in the bottom half that included a Johnny Giavotella’ two-run homer.

Round Rock again tied the game in the top of the third on Mike Bianucci’s three-run homer, but Omaha again answered with a three spot – this time on an Irving Falu three-run homer. The Express knotted the game in the top of the fifth on a Yangervis Solarte RBI double and a Mendoca two-run single.

That 6-6 score held until the 10th inning when Greg Miclat scored on a Leonys Martin RBI groundout. Once again, Omaha answered in the bottom of the inning when Derrick Robinson plated Irving Falu with a single to right. The Storm Chasers finally put the game away in the 16th when Falu reached on a two-out infield single and Jerrod Dyson followed with a game-winning triple.

Both teams had ample opportunities throughout the final nine innings. The Express stranded two runners in the seventh and two in the 15th. The Storm Chasers left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and stranded two runners in the 10th and 11th innings.

Mendonca had four of Round Rock’s 16 hits, while Robinson and Falu both enjoyed four-hit games for Omaha. The game’s only players to get at least three at bats and not get a hit were Express catcher Luis Martinez (0-for-3) and Storm Chasers catcher Max Ramirez (0-for-4, two walks). Round Rock used six pitchers, while Omaha used seven.

It was the first of seven straight one-run games for the Express – also a franchise record. It also was the first of seven Round Rock games to last at least 11 innings, including a pair of 13-inning games.

No. 11:  Express 6, at Oklahoma City 3 (Sept. 1)
No. 12:  Express 14, at Reno 1 (Aug. 15)

 

BALTIMORE EXPRESS
As we’ve mentioned before, several former Express players are now enjoying a postseason run with the Baltimore Orioles. Chris Davis is 4-for-10 through three games, including a two-run double that erased a 1-0 deficit in the Orioles’ 3-2 Game 2 win. He had two hits in each of the first two games before going 0-for-2 with a walk in Wednesday’s Game 3. Fellow former Express member Endy Chavez replaced Davis for defensive purposes in the late innings. Another former Express member – Darren O’Day – worked one scoreless inning of relief Thursday night after striking out the lone batter he faced in Game 2 and working a scoreless frame in the series opener.

Express with Rangers

The Texas Rangers announced their active roster for tonight’s American League Wild Card Game Friday morning. The 25-man crew features six former Express members, including five that played for the Express this season. Another nine rehabbed with Round Rock at some point over the past two seasons – four this season.

Here is a look at the 15 players who have donned an Express uniform over the past two seasons (* – rehab):

*Adrian Beltre (2011)
*Nelson Cruz (2011)
*Scott Feldman (2011)
Craig Gentry (2011)
*Josh Hamilton (2011)
*Derek Holland (2012)
Michael Kirkman (2011, 2012)
Leonys Martin (2011, 2012)
Luis Martinez (2012)
*Mitch Moreland (2012)
*Mike Napoli (2011)
*Alexi Ogando (2012)
Roy Oswalt (2012)
Yoshinori Tateyama (2011, 2012)
*Koji Uehara (2012)

 

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.

 

WHY FIRE SHOWALTER?
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.

News and Notes (Sept. 7)

2012 EXPRESS MEMBERS STILL IN ACTION
Several 2012 Round Rock Express members still are in action this season. The current Texas Rangers roster features eight 2012 Express members:  pitchers Michael Kirkman, Roy Oswalt, Martin Perez, Tanner Scheppers and Yoshinori Tateyama, catcher Luis Martinez, infielder Brandon Snyder and outfielder Leonys Martin. Additionally, the Rangers roster includes outfielder Craig Gentry, who was an Express member last season. Other current Rangers who rehabbed with the Express this season are pitchers Alexi Ogando and Koji Uehara and infielder Mitch Moreland.

Meanwhile, Double-A Frisco is alive and well in the Texas League playoffs (more on that below). Former Express members Val Majewski, Tommy Mendonca, Guilder Rodriguez and Justin Grimm have seen action through the RoughRiders’ first two games of the playoff games. Right-hander Neil Ramirez also is on Frisco’s active roster.

 

ROUGHRIDERS BUILD 2-0 SERIES LEAD
Rangers Double-A affiliate Frisco is one win away from reaching the Texas League Championship Series. The RoughRiders lead their division series against Houston Astros affiliate Corpus Christi 2-0, winning both home games in dramatic fashion.

Wednesday, the RoughRiders got a one-out RBI double from Chris McGuiness that scored Leury Garcia with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as Frisco edged Corpus Christi 6-5. The RoughRiders got hits from all nine starters, including former Express members Tommy Mendonca (1-for-4, run), Val Majewski (2-for-3, RBI, run, walk) and Guilder Rodriguez (1-for-3, RBI, walk). One of Majewski’s hits was a second-inning leadoff homer that tied the game 2-2. The RoughRiders plated three runs in the third to take a 5-2 lead before the Hooks posted solo spots in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to tie the game.

Frisco got another walk-off win Thursday night as Garcia blasted a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-2 victory. Rodriguez walked to open the ninth and moved to second on an Engel Beltre sacrifice bunt. Rodriguez then was caught trying to steal third with Garcia at the plate. Garcia, however, had the last laugh as he deposited a Ryan Rodebaugh 2-1 offering over the fence down the right-field line. Mendonca (1-for-2) and Rodriguez (0-for-2) both walked twice; Majewski scored the game-tying run as a pinch-runner in a two-run eighth. Justin Grimm worked two scoreless innings in relief for the RoughRiders, scattering a pair of hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Corpus Christi designated hitter Drew Locke, who played for the Express in 2010, was 0-for-4.

The best-of-five series now shifts to Corpus Christi’s Whataburger Field. Game three features former University of Missouri right-hander Nick Tepesch on the mound for the RoughRiders against Hooks right-hander Ross Seaton. Tepesch was 6-3 with a 4.28 ERA in 14 starts and two relief outings for Frisco during the regular season. He began the 2012 season with Class A-Advanced Myrtle Beach, where he was 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 12 starts. Seaton was 8-8 with a 4.07 ERA in 25 starts for the Hooks during the regular season.

Frisco has not announced starters for the final two games of the series should they be necessary. However, projections have Neil Ramirez going in game four and right-hander Cody Buckel in the series finale. Ramirez began the season with the Express and struggled through 15 starts (6-8, 7.66 ERA) after a promising Round Rock showing in 2011. He was reassigned to Frisco in late June and went 2-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance with the RoughRiders. Like Tepesch, Buckel started the season with Myrtle Beach; he was dominant with the Pelicans, going 5-3 with a 1.31 ERA and 91 strikeouts over 75.2 innings in 13 starts. Buckel was promoted to Frisco in mid-June and was 5-5 with a 3.78 ERA and 68 strikeouts over 69.0 innings in 10 starts and three relief outings with the RoughRiders.

 

FORMER EXPRESS MEMBERS ELSEWHERE
Pitchers Mark Hamburger and John Gaub, both of whom were Express members in 2012, completed their seasons with other Triple-A squads.

Hamburger, who was Round Rock’s pitcher of the year in 2011, was acquired by the San Diego Padres upon his mid-June release from the Rangers. However, he was not with the Padres long, going 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in one start and four relief outings with Triple-A Tucson. Hamburger was released in mid-July and nabbed by the Houston Astros, who assigned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City. There, Hamburger was 1-1 with a 4.71 ERA in 17 relief appearances. His lone victory was Aug. 19 at Round Rock when he worked one and one-thirds scoreless innings with one strikeout and one walk in the RedHawks’ 5-2 win.

If you blinked in late May and early June, you likely missed Gaub’s stint with the Express. The veteran lefty started the season with Triple-A Durham (Tampa Bay Rays) of the International League and was released May 20. The Rangers signed him three days later and assigned him to Round Rock, where did not record a decision or allow a run in five relief outings – the first four of which were on the road. Gaub threw 12 pitches in an Express uniform at The Dell Diamond, those coming in one perfect inning June 5 against Albuquerque. He was released shortly thereafter and acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals, who assigned him to Triple-A Memphis. Gaub spent the remainder of the season with the Redbirds, going 0-3 with one save and a 6.68 ERA in 33 relief appearances. He pitched in three games against the Express, including a scoreless inning July 13 at The Dell Diamond.

 

FORMER EXPRESS MEMBERS IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES
Several other former Express members currently are in the majors with organizations other than Texas. Here is a look at a couple; we’ll check in with others throughout the remainder of the season.

Luis Cruz (Express 2011) began the season with Triple-A Albuquerque (Los Angeles Dodgers) and hit .381 with eight homers, 46 RBI, 31 doubles and three triples in 74 games with the Isotopes. He was promoted to the Dodgers in early July and did not look back. His call-up was due to an injury to starting shortstop Gordon Dee. Cruz moved to third shortly after the Dodgers’ trade for Hanley Ramirez, who returned to shortstop after playing third with the Miami Marlins. (Remember all the ballyhoo surrounding his move to third when the Marlins acquired Jose Reyes in the off-season?) Cruz is hitting .306 with four homers, 30 RBI and 15 doubles in 54 games with the Dodgers. After leading Dodgers regulars with a .333 average in August, Cruz is off to an 8-for-20 start in five games this month (he had four hits Monday against San Diego). In fact, his August average tied for the National League’s seventh-best mark that month. Cruz has done most of his damage in key situations, hitting .352 with runners in scoring position.

Cody Ransom (Express 2006-2007) made it to the majors for the sixth consecutive season and the second straight with Arizona. This is his 10th big-league season with five organizations (Giants, Astros, Yankees, Phillies, Diamondbacks). Ransom started the 2012 campaign with the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate Reno Aces, hitting .294 with two homers and nine RBI in 10 games before joining the Diamondbacks, for whom he played 17 games (.269, four homers, 12 RBI). He was claimed on waivers by Milwaukee in mid-May but struggled with the Brew Crew (.196, six homers, 26 RBI in 64 games). Arizona reclaimed Ransom off waivers last weekend, and he was 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored in his first game back Monday night.

Express vs. New Orleans (Aug. 28 – Game 1)

One Down, One to Go:  Tanner Scheppers struck out the side in the seventh in his first game back with the Express. His save preserved Round Rock’s 5-4 win. Game two in about 30 minutes.

Back-to-Back Blasts:  Leonys Martin (12th) and Brad Nelson (24th) clubbed back-to-back homers with two outs in the top of the fourth, giving the Express a 5-3 lead. Round Rock’s last back-to-back homers were July 8 at Albuquerque – Matt Kata and Joey Butler. Nelson matched his 2011 home-run total with that blast.

Go Figure:  Joey Butler, who played collegiately at the University of New Orleans, clubbed his 19th home run of the season in the top of the third, tying the game at 3-3. Ironically, it will go down as his 14th “road” homer of the season.

Chaser:  Chase Lambin’s three-run homer in the bottom of the first put the Zephyrs up 3-2.

Mr. 200:  Matt Kata delivered a two-out, two-run single in the top of the first. He now has 200 career RBI with the Express, joining Mark Saccomanno (236) and Brooks Conrad (221) as the only players in franchise history to reach the milestone.

First Pitch:  We got underway at 5:48 p.m. – a 13-minute delay. Temperature at first pitch was 90 degrees – that’s 32 degrees in Nice, France.

Yes, We’re at Home:  Round Rock “hosts” New Orleans tonight for a doubleheader at The Dell Diamond. However, the Zephyrs will be the designated home team and will bat last. First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. They’ve just pulled the tarp, so we should start on time.

E-Train Clips Nashville

at ROUND ROCK EXPRESS 6, NASHVILLE SOUNDS 5

25 August 2012  |  The Dell Diamond  |  Round Rock, Texas

Records:  Express (64-71), Sounds (62-73)

- Round Rock leads series 3-1
- Round Rock leads season series 8-7
- Series finale Sunday at 6:05 p.m. CDT
- Sunday’s scheduled starters:  RR – LHP Zach Jackson (7-12, 4.53 ERA); NAS – RHP Wily Peralta (7-10, 4.58 ERA)

ROUND ROCK won five of six, 11 of 15 … improved to 21-10 since July 26 (PCL’s best record in that time) … won 12 of 15 vs. Nashville at The Dell Diamond since beginning of last season, 18 of 23 since beginning of 2010 season … improved to 24-19 since All-Star break … nine homers in last five games … at least one homer in five of last seven games, 11 of last 15 … 10-plus hits in 10 of last 15 games … clinched fifth series win in last eight series (split other three) … improved to 18-16 in one-run games, 11-4 since All-Star break … 28th comeback win (trailed 3-0, 5-3) … 12th final-at-bat win.

MARTIN PEREZ surrendered three first-inning runs … most runs allowed in first inning since May 25 at Nashville (four runs) … first time allowing more than two runs in any inning since June 10 at Omaha, ending a streak of 49.2 innings over six starts, one relief appearance … two-run homer surrendered to Sean Halton was first multiple-run homer allowed since June 10 at Omaha (Tony Abreu, two runs) … allowed one home run in every other outing with Express since June 10.

JULIO BORBON (1-for-5) delivered game-winning RBI with eighth-inning fielder’s choice … hit safely in 11 of last 12 games (.392, 20-for-51) … reached safely in 12 straight games … fourth player in franchise history to reach 150 hits in a season (Mark Saccomanno, 157; Tommy Manzella, 153; Esteban German, 153).

YANGERVIS SOLARTE (1-for-5) hitting .329 (20-for-61) over last 14 games.

LEONYS MARTIN (3-for-4) snapped 0-for-7 skid with first-inning single … hit safely in 23 of last 26 games with Express (.394, 43-for-109) … at least one extra-base hit in eight of last 11 games … at least one RBI in eight of last 11 games (15 RBI) … at least one run scored in 10 of last 11 games (17 runs).

BRAD NELSON (0-for-3, walk) hitless in last six at bats.

MATT KATA (3-for-3) … tied franchise records for career games (405) and multiple-hit games (114) … 11 multiple-hit outings over last 23 games …  hitting .377 (20-for-53) over last 14 games.

JOEY BUTLER (2-for-4) extended hitting streak to 13 games (.345, 19-for-55) … 17th multiple-RBI effort … clubbed 18th home run of season, 30th of Express career – seventh player in franchise history with at least 30 career homers.

RYAN SPILBORGHS (1-for-4) scored game-winning run … hit safely in 12 of last 14 games (.321, 17-for-53) … hitting .462 (24-for-52) in 14 games vs. Nashville this season with three homers, 14 RBI, six doubles … hitting .418 (38-for-91) in 25 career games vs. Nashville.

BRANDON SNYDER (1-for-3) snapped 0-for-15 skid with sixth-inning single … 3-for-30 (.100) since third-inning single Aug. 15 at Reno … eight strikeouts in last 15 at bats.

KOYIE HILL (2-for-4) snapped 0-for-13 skid with fourth-inning single … first game without a strikeout with Express (nine games) … first multiple-hit effort since Aug. 20 vs. Oklahoma City.

Express vs. Nashville (Aug. 25)

Might As Well Be An Inch As A Mile:  Express win 6-5.

Safe at Home:  Ryan Spilborghs slid under Humberto Quintero’s tag at home, scoring the go-ahead run on Julio Borbon‘s fielder’s choice. Express lead 6-5 going to the ninth.

Call to the Pen:  Martin Perez exits the game after seven innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts. His outing was better than the line would indicate. Perez righted the ship after a rough first inning pitched quite well other than the mistake pitch (Halton’s homer). Nonetheless, neither starter will factor in tonight’s decision. Fabio Castillo takes over on the mound for the Express, who left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh. Still 5-5 going to the eighth.

Vargas Vacates… the mound. He worked six innings and allowed five runs on nine hits, one walk and one hit batter with six strikeouts. The Express matched the most hits against Vargas this season (Oklahoma City, June 19). Jesus Sanchez takes over on the mound for the Sounds. Still 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh.

Attendance:  Tonight’s attendance – much like the cost in USD for one semester of out-of-state tuition at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore., for the 2011-2012 academic year – 10,382.

Tit For Tat:  Joey Butler answered in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run blast. It was his 18th homer of the season and 30th in two years with the Express. He is the seventh player in franchise history with at least 30 home runs, a list that includes teammates Matt Kata (30) and Brad Nelson (46).

High-Power Halton:  Sean Halton blasted a two-run homer in the top of the fifth, giving the Sounds a 5-3 lead. It was his third homer of the series (he had two in the opener). It was the first multiple-run homer allowed by Martin Perez since June 10 when Omaha’s Tony Abreu hit a two-run shot in the sixth inning. Perez has allowed one home run every other outing since. Sounds lead 5-3 now going to the bottom of the sixth.

Mr. Express:  Matt Kata‘s third-inning RBI single knotted the game 3-3. Coupled with his first-inning single, that gives Kata 114 career multiple-hit games with the Express, tying Mark Saccomanno’s franchise record. Coincidentally, Kata also tied Saccomanno’s career games played record tonight (405).

Answer:  Round Rock responded with two runs on four hits in the bottom of the inning – RBI singles from Leonys Martin and Joey Butler. Martin was thrown out at third, rounding too much on Matt Kata‘s infield single. That cost the Express at least a run. Sounds starter Claudio Vargas matched his season high for most runs allowed in the first inning; he also surrendered two first-inning runs June 19 vs. Oklahoma City. Sounds lead 3-2 through one inning.

Shaky First:  Martin Perez surrendered three first-inning runs – the most he’s allowed in the first inning since a four-run first May 25 at Nashville. In fact, it was the first time he allowed more than two runs in any inning since surrendering three runs in the fourth inning June 10 at Iowa – a span of 49.2 innings over six starts and one relief appearance. Sounds lead 3-0 in the bottom of the first.

First Pitch:  We’re underway at 7:07 p.m. Temperature at first pitch was 90 degrees – that’s 32 degrees in Triesenberg, Liechtenstein.

Players to Watch (Aug. 23 vs. Nashville)

CHAD BELL isn’t necessarily a player to watch in the sense that we think he will have a great night. He may indeed have a solid start, but he’s the one to watch in the sense that how this game plays out likely will have more to do with his performance than that of anyone else. Bell is 1-3 in six starts at The Dell Diamond despite a tidy 3.72 ERA. Half those starts ended in shutouts – two for the opponent and one for the Express. Bell was very sharp in his last start (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K vs. Oklahoma City; Aug. 18), but he did not get a win due to a four-run eighth inning against the bullpen. The third inning has been the “hump” inning for Bell (9.82 ERA). We predict that if he is strong through three, he’ll at the least leave in line for the win.

RYAN SPILBORGHS delivered the game-winning hit last night, but that wasn’t the full story. Round Rock was 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position last night, and Spilborghs had both hits (two-run homer in the eighth inning). Spilborghs has blistered Nashville throughout his PCL career (.425 in 22 games), and he’s done most of the damage this season – .488 (20-for-41), 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 2B, 9 R in 11 games.

LEONYS MARTIN. Period. Nothing more needed.

Express vs. Nashville (Aug. 22)

Ryan’s Hope:  Ryan Spilborghs delivered a walk-off single down the third-base line. Express win 7-6. HALF-PRICE PAPA JOHN’S TOMORROW!!!

Gimme Five:  Leonys Martin led off the bottom of the 11th with a single – his fifth hit of the night (four singles, one double). It is his first career five-hit game.

Still Tied:  We’re headed to the bottom of the 11th tied 6-6. Up for the Express:  Leonys Martin, Luis Hernandez and Matt Kata. Game is now four hours old.

What the…?:  The bottom of the ninth inning was so bizarre, we’ll just say this:  Round Rock tied the game on a Matt Kata RBI fielder’s choice. Everything beyond that was just too mind-boggling to explain. We’re tied 6-6 in the 10th.

Leonys Laser:  Leonys Martin just threw out a runner at home to end the top of the ninth on an Humberto Quintero single. Jordan Brown was trying to score from second. Martin’s throw was so strong that catcher Koyie Hill dropped the ball and still had time to pick it up and tag out Brown, who didn’t even arrive in time to bother with a slide. Wow! … Sounds lead 6-5 going to the bottom of the ninth. Leading off for the Express? Martin.

Spil-ling Over:  Ryan Spilborghs clubbed a two-run homer in the eighth, cutting Nashville’s lead to 6-5. It was his eighth of the year and second in his last six games. However, it was only his second at The Dell Diamond (July 21 vs. Omaha).

Boom Boom Borbon:  Julio Borbon blasted a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning, his 10th of the season. That eclipses his career minor league total entering this season. Borbon has homered in two of his last four games.

Are You Kidding Me?  Yangervis Solarte has hit into 26 double plays this season. That’s four more than any other player in Triple-A or Major League Baseball this season. Miguel Cabrera leads the American league with 22, Ryan Zimmerman leads the National League with 17, and three players lead the International League with 17 each.

Alberto Gonzo:  Alberto Gonzalez clubbed a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. It was his first homer since June 25, 2011, at Petco Park against the Atlanta Braves while a member of the San Diego Padres. The Express went on to load the bases with no outs, but Yangervis Solarte grounded into a home-to-first double play, and Ryan Spilborghs struck out to end the threat. 5-2 Sounds going to the sixth.

Rough Outing:  Greg Reynolds exited two batters after Halton’s homer, allowing a single and a walk to the subsequent batters. Neal Cotts struck out former Express member Humberto Quintero to end the inning, stranding both of Reynolds’ bequeathed runners. Reynolds allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks over 4.2 innings – matching his shortest of 25 starts. Sounds lead 5-0 going to the bottom of the fifth.

Halton Does It Again:  Sean Halton blasted his second homer of the game in the fifth inning – this one a three-run shot into the Express bullpen. It is his third two-homer game of the season, all of which were on the road (June 23 at Albuquerque, July 23 at New Orleans).

Multi-Tasking:  Leonys Martin singled in the bottom of the third, giving him multiple-hit efforts in four of his last five games and five of his last seven. Express trail 2-0 heading to the fourth inning.

Halton Right There:  Sean Halton blasted a leadoff homer in the top of the second, pushing Nashville’s lead to 2-0. It was his 13th homer of the season and first since Aug. 4 at Fresno. That was his 10th homer on the road.

That Didn’t Take Long:  Leonys Martin extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a first-inning double. He is hitting .408 (20-for-49) during the streak – now the longest of his career at any level. Martin has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games with the Express.

Sounds Strike First:  Eric Farris led off with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Khris Davis (eh, not Chris Davis). That marks the first time Round Rock pitchers have allowed a first-inning run since Colorado Springs plated three runs in the bottom of the first Aug. 13, snapping an eight-game streak.

Deja Blue All Over Again:  Round Rock is wearing blue jerseys for the third straight game.

First Pitch:  We’re underway at 7:07 p.m. CDT. It’s 90 degrees at first pitch – that’s 32 degrees in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

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