Results tagged ‘ Ryan Spilborghs ’

Top 12 Games of 2012 (No. 11)

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. 11 on our list. Click here to read about Game No. 12 and nine others that were considered for the list.

No. 11
Sept. 1:  Express 6, at Oklahoma City 3
It was the last victory in a rather subpar year, but it was a good one to end on. Round Rock plated five runs in the top of the ninth to erase a 3-1 deficit and all but end Oklahoma City’s playoff hopes. The RedHawks were eliminated the following day despite winning the season’s penultimate game.

Julio Borbon reached on an error to start the game and later scored on a wild pitch. However, that was the extent of Round Rock’s offensive production until the ninth inning. Oklahoma City wrestled away the lead with a three-run second, but the RedHawks managed only three hits the rest of the way.

Ryan Spilborghs’ RBI double started the five-run ninth. Later, Borbon delivered a bases-loaded, two-run single that proved to be the game-winning hit. Luis Hernandez followed with a two-run triple for good measure.

Borbon’s ninth-inning single was his 158th of the season, breaking Mark Saccomanno’s 2008 franchise record.

The game may have gone somewhat unknown – the 142nd game of the season and on the road can be that way. But it capped a stretch in which the Express went 9-3, and it was Round Rock’s 26th victory in 38 games after July 25.


Congratulations are in order for Frisco center fielder Engel Beltre, who Friday was named a 2012 Minor League Baseball Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. Although not as prestigious as its major league equivalent, the minor league award is more difficult to win. Consider: There are 30 major league teams and 120 full-season minor league teams.

Beltre, 22, played 119 games in center and committed only one error with 12 outfield assists. He led all Double-A outfielders with a .997 fielding percentage. Beltre was deemed the “Best Defensive Outfielder” in the Rangers’ farm system by Baseball America prior to the 2012 season. He also was rated the Texas League’s best defensive outfielder in the publication’s “Best Tools” issue in August. A mid-season and postseason Texas League All-Star, Beltre hit .261 with 13 homers, 55 RBI, 80 runs scored and 36 steals. He also finished second in the minors with 17 triples.

Originally signed by the Red Sox out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 2006, Beltre was acquired by the Rangers along with David Murphy in the Eric Gagne trade one year later.

Expect to see Beltre at The Dell Diamond in 2013.

Players to Watch (Aug. 26 vs. Nashville)

ZACH JACKSON is 10-1 with a 3.90 ERA in 12 starts and two relief appearances after July 25 over the past two seasons. There is absolutely no reason why. He just is.

JOEY BUTLER is hitting .400 with four home runs and 10 RBI in the fourth inning this season. There is absolutely no reason why. He just is.

RYAN SPILBORGHS is hitting .462 with three homers, 14 RBI, six doubles, and 10 runs scored in 15 games this season against Nashville. There is absolutely no reason why. He just is.

Express vs. Nashville (Aug. 23)

Pivotal Inning:  Nashville loaded the bases with one out in the seventh but managed only one run on Logan Schafer’s sacrifice fly. Joe Ortiz spelled Derek Hankins and inherited runners on the corners with two outs. Ortiz stranded both inherited runners and has stranded 12 of 15 inherited runners with the Express. That was the only batter Ortiz would face as Willie Eyre takes over on the mound as we start the eighth. Express lead 5-1.

Here’s To You, Mr. Robinzon:  Robinzon Diaz delivered a two-out RBI single later in the sixth. Express lead 5-0 going to the seventh.

Catch 22:  Brad Nelson led off the bottom of the sixth with his 22nd homer of the season, tying for the ninth-best tally in Express history (Triple-A era). After hitting 24 homers last season, Nelson joins Mark Saccomanno and Brooks Conrad as the only Express players to hit at least 22 homers in multiple seasons. Nelson’s 46 career homers with Round Rock places him fifth in franchise history behind Conrad (67), Saccomanno (64), Luke Scott (51) and Cody Ransom (49). Behind Nelson are Joey Butler and Matt Kata with 29 each.

Bellwether Outing:  Express starter Chad Bell worked five shutout innings, scattering five hits (two doubles, one triple) and working around two walks. He struck out five, including two in the third inning. However, he had only one 1-2-3 inning (fourth) and was stretched to five full counts (Nashville batters were 3-for-5 with two doubles and a triple in those at bats). That added up to 85 pitches through five innings (51 strikes). Bell worked ahead on 11 of 20 batters faced, and the Sounds were 1-for-6 with four strikeouts when falling behind 0-2. As we suggested in tonight’s “Players to Watch,” Bell got through the third inning unscathed and left in line for the win. Derek Hankins spelled Bell to start the sixth with the Express still leading 3-0.

As a Matt-er of Fact:  Matt Kata clubbed a solo homer with one out in the fourth – his ninth of the season. Coupled with a second-inning single, this is Kata’s 113th career multiple-hit game with the Express – one shy of Mark Saccomanno’s franchise record (Triple-A era). Express lead 3-0 through four.

That Looked Very Familiar:  Ryan Spilborghs doubled just inside the third-base line with one out in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs. It looked almost exactly like his game winning hit from last night. As we mentioned in tonight’s “Players to Watch,” Spilborghs owns Nashville. He’s now 21-for-42 with three homers, 14 RBI and six doubles in 12 games this season against the Sounds. Express lead 2-0 going to the third.

Deja Blue All Over Again… Again:  Round Rock is wearing blue jerseys tonight for the fourth straight game. The Express won each of the last three. If it ain’t broke…

First Pitch:  Underway at 7:07 p.m. tonight. Temperature at first pitch was 91 degrees – that’s 33 degrees in Ponta Figa, São Tomé and Príncipe.

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.

Express vs. Oklahoma City (Aug. 20)

Job Complete:  Martin Perez tossed his second complete game, giving the Express a 2-1 win.

Rub Some Dirt On It:  Martin Perez took a comebacker off the leg with one out in the sixth inning. The result was an RBI single for Jimmy Paredes, cutting Round Rock’s lead to 2-1. Perez stayed in the game and has been nearly perfect since, retiring eight of nine batters on 16 pitches. He used five pitches in the seventh and six pitches in the eighth. Express still lead 2-1 going to the bottom of the eighth.

So Much For a Night Off:  Alberto Gonzalez was ejected by first-base umpire Joel Hospodka after expressing displeasure with Hospodka’s ruling of his check swing on a third strike. Ryan Spilborghs has replaced Gonzalez in the lineup, playing left field. Brandon Snyder moves from left field to third base.

Sweet 16:  Luis Hernandez ripped a one-out double in the bottom of the first, extending his hitting streak to 16 games. That ties for the fifth-longest in Express history (Triple-A era); Ryan Spilborghs also had a 16-game streak earlier this season. Matt Kata followed with a double of his own, giving the Express a 1-0 lead after one inning.

First Pitch:  Underway at 7:06 p.m.

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.

Express Pregame 7/23/12

Express Starters:

Starting Pitcher: LHP Chad Bell (3-2, 4.50 ERA)

1. 1B Mitch Moreland (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
2. CF Julio Borbon (.289, 7 HR, 34 RBI)
3. LF Ryan Spilborghs (.310, 5 HR, 33 RBI)
4. DH Brad Nelson (.278, 16 HR, 58 RBI)
5. RF Joey Butler (.294, 13 HR, 48 RBI)
6. 2B Yangervis Soalrte (.281, 6 HR, 38 RBI)
7. SS Luis Hernandez (.230, 6 HR, 44 RBI)
8. C Luis Martinez (.260, 2 HR, 17 RBI)
9. 3B Tommy Mendonca (.208, 7 HR, 27 RBI)



Today I am going to take OF Ryan Spilborghs. Spilly has looked much more like himself lately, hitting a homerun two games ago, and two huge late game singles, which resulted in four runs, the final one ending the game for the E-Train. I look for him to stay hot today.


*Wade is temporarily out.*


Before I tell you who I am picking I would like to recount how I won yesterday’s affair. Going into the bottom of the ninth everybody thought Andrew had the win in the bag. His choice, OF Joey Butler had a single, one run, and an impressive defensive play. My choice, 1B Brad Nelson only had two walks. However, Nelson came to the plate in the ninth with two outs and a runner on in a 7-5 ballgame. The 29-year-old was down to his last strike before taking a fastball over the fence in right field for a two run homer to tie the game. And I won again. For tonight’s game it is an easy call, I am going to take 1B Mitch Moreland. He has 35 career major league home runs and after watching batting practice today I would not be surprised if he lifts one into another stratosphere against Omaha.

Storm Chasers Starters:

Starting Pitcher: LHP Ryan Verdugo (6-2, 3.58 ERA)

1. 3B Irving Falu (.313, 5 HR, 30 RBI)
2. 2B Johnny Giavotella (.322, 9 HR, 47 RBI)
3. CF Wil Myers (.291, 15 HR, 47 RBI)
4. 1B Clint Robinson (.302, 12 HR, 56 RBI)
5. SS Tony Abreu (.322, 7 HR, 60 RBI)
6. RF David Lough (.288, 7 HR, 51 RBI)
7. DH Max Ramirez (.308, 11 HR, 60 RBI)
8. LF Jason Bourgeois (.209, 2 HR, 5 RBI)
9. C Adam Moore (.308, 1 HR, 6 RBI)

Express vs. Redbirds 7/13/12

Final: The Express fall to the Redbirds 5-0. Tomorrow is a premiere pitching matchup between Justin Grimm (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Shelby Miller (4-8, 6.17 ERA). Miller is one of the top 20 prospects in the game, and Grimm is one of the Rangers top prospects making his triple-A debut.

Bottom 8th: After two singles by the first two batters in the inning (Miclat and Borbon) Express Tracks writer Will Weinstock is going on record to say that this is the start of a turning point in the season.

A Familiar Face: John Gaub has come in to pitch for Memphis, Gaub pitched for the Express just over a month ago.

Tonight’s Attendance: Much like the number of days between today and November 21, 2035.. 8,530

2 for 34: We have scored in two of our last 34 innings at home.

The Bell Tolls for Thee: Chad Bell’s night is done as Ross Wolf comes in to relieve.

– Final Line: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 26 BF, 16 First Pitch Strikes, 96 pitches (61 strikes)

EPW Update: Let’s be honest, there may not be a winner tonight.

The Great Chicken Race: Chicken White brings home the victory tonight

– totals now stand at Blue (1), White (2), Red (2)

Unlucky Friday the 13th: Joey Butler crushed a ball to centerfield, only to see it turn into a ground rule double, sending Brad Nelson (who would have scored from first) back to third. Then Yangervis Solarte crushed a ball right to the Redbirds 3B Zack Cox for an easy 5-3 put out to end the inning.

EPW Update: Bell has given up seven hits and four runs, while Spilly is 0-2.

Top 2nd: Bell gets pegged for four hits and three runs

EPW Update: Bell was uncharacteristically wild in the first inning, throwing nearly a one-to-one balls-to-strikes ratio, but worked out of trouble with no hits or runs allowed.

– Spilly put a good charge into a ball, but ultimately flied out to the right/centerfield gap

Double Trouble: By a strike of luck (or.. unluck) this is the second game that the Express have played on Friday the 13th this season.

First Pitch: 7:10

E-Train First Half Recap

OF Julio Borbon

By Will Weinstock

The 2012 Express season has been known for its inconsistencies. At the halfway point in June, the team was 32-40 and was 10.5 games back in the American Southern Division. Coming into the season expectations were tempered because much of the key contributors from the 2011 division champion team were gone. No longer could the Express count on timely hitting from Chad Tracy, Chris Davis, and Esteban German. But poor hitting has not plagued the Express this season.

At times, the E-Train’s inconsistencies have come from its inability to get consistent quality starts from the starting rotation. Coming into the year most thought that the rotation would hold down the fort till an overhauled lineup felt comfortable. But it has been the other way around. A projected rotation with top prospects Neil Ramirez and Martin Perez, Zach Jackson (who had a team-high 13 wins in 2011) and 2011 Express Pitcher of the Year Mark Hamburger looked formidable.

Things have not gone according to plan as the team is in the bottom third of the PCL in the ERA, 4.92. Even more telling, they are dead last in the league with only 485 strikeouts despite being in the top third with 700.1 innings pitched. Conversely, in the first 80 games, the Express have scored five or more runs 44 times.

There is hope that the pitching will improve. Left-hander Chad Bell had an impressive Triple-A debut on June 26, and when everyone is healthy in Arlington, the Express can expect reinforcements coming down from the big leagues in the second half.

Coming into the year the outfield was expected to be the strongest spot of the squad and they haven’t disappointed. The lone PCL All-Star selection, Joey Butler, has been the most consistent and has improved significantly from last year. In 2011, Butler became a fan favorite in Round Rock after hitting .322 with 12 HR and playing stellar defense. But there were still areas of his game he could improve. One was his lack of discipline at the plate as he led the team with 138 strikeouts in 113 games. The changes Butler has made have been noticeable. He leads the PCL in walks and already has more than he had last year, all while improving on his home run numbers (11 first-half home runs). Center fielder Leonys Martin has only played 31 games in Round Rock because of a thumb injury and a recent call-up to Arlington, but he has been productive in his short time here. Martin hit .344 with 22 RBI and 19 runs scored, and could be back in Round Rock before the season is over.

Last year’s team scored runs through its big power bats in the middle of the lineup. The 2012 squad has been productive offensively but in a much different way. In a span of two months, three Express hitters went on red-hot hitting streaks. Infielder Yangervis Solarte and outfielders Julio Borbon and Ryan Spilborghs each spent weeks hitting the ball all over the field. In fact, Solarte’s 22-game streak from April 19 to May 11 is now the franchise record. Borbon came one hit away from tying Solarte with a 21-game hitting streak from May 12 to June 12, a span which saw his batting average rise from .238 to .316.  Spilborghs had a 16-game hitting streak that began from his first game with the Express, May 5 to May 22.

After only making a few transactions in the first two months, injuries in both Round Rock and Arlington have a created a lot of roster turnover in June.  After only 16 roster moves through May, the number is now close to 50 at the end of June.

“It can get pretty crazy with guys going up and guys going down and half the time you don’t even know who’s on your team,” Express manager Bobby Jones said. “That is the fun part of it. You got to put bodies in and make things fit.”

The 2011 Express played some of its best baseball after the PCL All-Star break when they went 35-19 down the stretch. If some of talent from Frisco makes its way to Round Rock and the recently promoted players return, a run at a division title is not out of the realm of possibility.

“[Our team] will be better than the first half,” Butler said. “I think we are starting to come together and make strides.”

As the summer starts to heat up don’t overlook the E-Train.