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Round Rock Express - Game Notes at Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs)

April 5, 2012 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) Round Rock Express

GAME 1 | 5 APRIL 2012 | 6:35 P.M. CDT | PRINCIPAL"ˆPARK | DES"ˆMOINES, IOWA

ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (0-0) at IOWA"ˆCUBS"ˆ(0-0)

RADIO: 104.9 FM The Horn ESPN"ˆAustin | ONLINE"ˆAUDIO: www.espnaustin.com

EXPRESS: RHP Mark Hamburger (0-0, 0.00 ERA) "¢ CUBS: RHP"ˆRandy Wells (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

TONIGHT'S GAME

Round Rock opens the 2012 season Thursday with the first game of an eight-game road trip. The Express start a four-game series against the Iowa Cubs at Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa; first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT. This is the first of 16 regular-season meetings for the two teams.

SERIES"ˆINFORMATION

GAME"ˆ1 | THURSDAY, APRIL"ˆ5 | 6:35 p.m. CDT

Express: RHP"ˆMark Hamburger (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Cubs: RHP"ˆRandy Wells (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

GAME"ˆ2 | FRIDAY, APRIL"ˆ6 | 7:05 p.m. CDT

Express: LHP"ˆMartin Perez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Cubs: RHP"ˆCasey Coleman (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

GAME"ˆ3 | SATURDAY, APRIL"ˆ7 | 7:05 p.m. CDT

Express: RHP"ˆNeil Ramirez (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Cubs: LHP"ˆChris Rusin (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

GAME"ˆ4 | SUNDAY, APRIL"ˆ8 | 1:05 p.m. CDT

Express: RHP"ˆGreg Reynolds (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Cubs: RHP"ˆJay Jackson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

BROADCAST"ˆINFORMATION

Tonight's game airs on 104.9 FM"ˆThe Horn ESPN"ˆAustin. Online audio also is available at www.espnaustin.com. Express Director of Broadcasting Mike Capps handles play-by-play duties.

EXPRESS-CUBS SERIES

Round Rock won nine of 16 meetings in a 2011 season series that was dominated by the road team. Iowa won five of eight games at The Dell Diamond, but the Express were 6-2 at Des"ˆMoines. ... Joey Butler hit .344 (11-for-32) with two home runs and 10 RBI in nine games against Iowa in 2011. ... Brad Nelson, an Iowa native, homered twice and drove in 11 runs in 15 games against the Cubs last season. ... Cody Eppley was 2-for-2 in save opportunities againts Iowa in 2011, holding the Cubs to one earned run over 4.0 innings in six outings. ... Neil Ramirez was 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA and nine strikeouts over 9.2 innings in two starts against Iowa last season. ... The Cubs visit The Dell Diamond for Round Rock's first home series of the season April 13-16. The teams meet again for eight consecutive days in June with the Cubs visiting The Dell Diamond for four games June 19-22 and the Express following the Cubs to Des Moines for four games June 23-26.

EXPRESS ON OPENING DAY

Round Rock is 4-3 on Opening Day since joining the Pacific Coast League in 2005, including a 2-2 mark in such games on the road. This marks the fifth season and the second in a row in which Round Rock and Iowa have been Opening Day opponents (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011). The Express have not won their first road game of the season since 2008 - a 4-2 victory at Iowa.

EXPRESS"ˆOPENING"ˆDAY"ˆRESULTS (TRIPLE-A"ˆERA)

2005: L 4-1 vs. Omaha

2006: W 5-4 at New Orleans

2007: W 6-2 vs. Iowa

2008: W 4-2 at Iowa

2009: W 10-4 vs. Iowa

2010: L 2-1 at New Orleans

2011: L 12-9 vs. Iowa

EXPRESS"ˆROAD"ˆOPENER RESULTS (TRIPLE-A"ˆERA)

2005: W 7-3 at Omaha

2006: W 5-4 at New Orleans

2007: L 4-1 at Iowa

2008: W 4-2 at Iowa

2009: L 8-3 at Iowa

2010: L 2-1 at New Orleans

2011: L 4-0 at New Orleans

EXPRESS STARTER

RHP Mark Hamburger (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

2011: Express Pitcher of the Year ... 7-4 with a 3.88 ERA in four starts and 27 relief outings; 62.2 innings, 20 walks, 48 strikeouts, .233 opponents' average ... Made first start of professional career Aug. 12 at Sacramento; held River Cats scoreless on one hit, one walk and a hit batter over 4.0 innings with five strikeouts ... Did not allow a run in eight of season's final nine appearances, including a 24.2-inning scoreless streak from July 21 to Aug. 22 ... 7-1 with a 1.98 ERA"ˆ(11 ER, 50.0 IP) after June 3 ... Promoted to Rangers following Aug. 28 start ... Made five relief appearances for Rangers, going 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA; 8.0 innings, three walks, six strikeouts ... Made Major League debut Aug. 31 against Tampa Bay, retiring all three batters faced ... Earned first Major League win Sept. 26 in season's final outing; allowed one run on two hits and a walk with three strikeouts over 3.2 innings at Los Angeles (AL) ... Began season at Double-A Frisco ... 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA and four saves in 11 relief appearances; 19.2 innings, five walks, 22 strikeouts, .162 opponents' average.

2011 vs. IOWA: 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two relief outings; 4.2 innings, two walks, five strikeouts ... Took loss May 28 at The Dell Diamond, allowing three runs on four hits and no walks with two strikeouts over 1.1 innings; was charged with a blown save, surrendering a 4-2 Express lead ... Earned victory in relief June 9 at Iowa, holding Cubs to one run on two hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 3.1 innings.

NOTABLE: Writes left-handed Signed in June 2007 by Minnesota Twins at an open tryout (only signee out of 110 participants) ... Posted 2-1 record with 1.20 ERA in eight games with Gulf Coast League Twins in 2007 ... 2008 Appalachian League All-Star with Elizabethton Twins ... Traded Aug. 25, 2008, to Texas Rangers for Eddie Guardado.

EXPRESS"ˆENJOY"ˆBANNER"ˆ2011 SEASON

Round Rock claimed its second Pacific Coast League American Southern Division Championship since joining the league in 2005 last season. The Express also won the division title in 2006. Round Rock enjoyed the best record in the franchise's Triple-A history, going 87-57. That was a 30-game turnaround from 2010, the club's final season as an Astros affiliate. Furthermore, Round Rock's 87 wins last season were the most ever by a Rangers Triple-A squad. The 1999 Oklahoma City RedHawks previously held the mark, going 83-59. Bobby Jones, who claimed the 1,500th victory of his career in 2011, was named PCL"ˆManager of the Year.

BUTLER NAMED PCL POSTSEASON ALL-STAR

Joey Butler was named to the PCL Postseason All-Star Team last season. Butler was the fifth Express member so honored since Round Rock joined the PCL in 2005, joining Mike Coolbaugh (2005), Danny Klassen (2005), Jason Hirsch (2006) and Bud Norris (2009).

KATA AMONG ALL-TIME EXPRESS GREATS

Matt Kata enters the 2012 season with 304 games played as a member of the Round Rock Express, a total that ranks fourth in franchise history. His .278 career batting average with Round Rock is ninth among players with at least 500 at bats, sixth among those with at least 700 at bats, and third among those with at least 800 at bats. Kata also ranks in the Express career top 10 in each of the following categories: at bats (third, 1104); runs (fourth, 145); hits (third, 307); multiple-hit games (third, 82); doubles (third, 65); multiple-homer games (tied-fifth, 3); extra-base hits (fifth, 91); total bases (third, 445); RBI (fifth, 140) and multiple-RBI games (tied-third, 36).

MAJOR LEAGUERS FILL EXPRESS ROSTER

Several members of the Express logged Major League service time last season: pitchers Sean Green (Milwaukee), Mark Hamburger (Texas), Aaron Heilman (Arizona), Michael Kirkman (Texas) and Greg Reynolds (Colorado); catchers Dusty Brown (Pittsburgh) and Luis Martinez (San Diego); and outfielders Julio Borbon (Texas) and Leonys Martin (Texas). Additionally, pitcher Zach Jackson (Milwaukee 2006, 2008; Cleveland 2008-2009) and infielders Luis Hernandez (Baltimore 2007-2008; Kansas City 2009; New York-NL 2010), Matt Kata (Arizona 2003-2005; Philadelphia 2005; Texas 2007; Pittsburgh 2007; Houston 2009) and Brad Nelson (Milwaukee 2008-2009) also have Major League service time.

NEXT SERIES

Round Rock continues a season-opening, eight-game road trip with a four-game series against the Omaha Storm Chasers at Werner Park in Papillion, Neb. The series runs Monday through Thursday with a 7:05 p.m. CDT"ˆfirst pitch each night.

GAME"ˆ5 | MONDAY, APRIL"ˆ9 | 7:05 p.m. CDT | PAPILLION, NEB.

Express: LHP Zach Jackson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Storm Chasers: LHP"ˆWill Montgomery (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

GAME"ˆ6 | TUESDAY, APRIL"ˆ10 | 7:05 p.m. CDT | PAPILLION, NEB.

Express: RHP Mark Hamburger (starts tonight)

Storm Chasers: LHP"ˆWill Smith (starts tonight)

GAME"ˆ7 | WEDNESDAY, APRIL"ˆ11 | 7:05 p.m. CDT | PAPILLION, NEB.

Express: LHP"ˆMartin Perez (starts tomorrow)

Storm Chasers: RHP Vin Mazarro (starts tomorrow)

GAME"ˆ8 | THURSDAY, APRIL"ˆ12 | 7:05 p.m. CDT | PAPILLION, NEB.

Express: RHP"ˆNeil Ramirez (starts Sunday)

Storm Chasers: RHP Nate Adcock (starts Sunday)

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