Round Rock Express Game Notes
Round Rock begins its third home stand of the season Thursday, opening a four-game series against the Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT at The Dell Diamond. This series is the lone scheduled meeting between the two clubs this season. The Aces won three of four games in last year's series at Reno. This is Reno's first-ever series at The Dell Diamond; the Diamondback's previous Triple-A Affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders, split a four-game series in Round Rock in 2008. The Express enter Thursday's game 6-4 in their last 10 games, going 5-3 on their third road trip of the season. The Aces are 4-6 in their last 10 games; Reno won three of eight games in a home stand against Omaha (2-2) and Iowa (1-3) that concluded with losses of 9-2 and 6-1 Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
EXPRESS ON THE AIR
Tonight's game will be broadcast live on "The Horn" 104.9 FM ESPN Austin. Pregame starts at 15 minutes prior to first pitch with veteran Express play-by-play man Mike Capps on the call. Live streaming audio of the broadcast also is available online at www.ESPNAustin.com. ... Home games also are simulcast on 92.5 FM and 1530 AM.
EXPRESS RHP JOSH BANKS
First season with the Astros organization, eighth year in professional baseball ... Signed to Minor League Jan. 4, 2010 ... Toronto Blue Jays second-round pick in 2003 out of Florida International ... Made Major League debut Sept. 11, 2007 ... Blue Jays organization 2003-2008 ... Was traded to San Diego Padres in late June 2008 ... Split each of the past two seasons between Portland (AAA) and San Diego ... Makes ninth start of season Friday ... Has lasted at least 5.0 innings in all eight starts, going at least 6.0 innings six times ... Allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of eight starts, including each of the last four ... Six of 16 earned runs allowed came in one game (4/23 vs. Omaha) ... Owns a 2.03 ERA through the fifth inning, 7.00 after fifth ... No-decision at Salt Lake in last start (5/14); allowed two runs on five hits and no walks with four strikeouts over 6.0 innings and left with game tied 2-2.
ACES RHP MATT TORRA
Sixth year in professional baseball, all with Arizona Diamondbacks organization ... Diamondbacks 2005 first-round pick (31st overall) out of the University of Massachusetts ... Spent entire 2009 season with Mobile BayBears (AA) ... Appeared in 28 games, all starts, in 2009 with four complete games and two shutouts; posted a 10-13 record with a 3.75 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 28 walks over 180.0 innings ... Began 2010 season at Mobile but made only one start ... Makes seventh start with Aces tonight ... Has worked at least 6.0 innings and allowed three or fewer runs in each start ... Tossed 8.0 scoreless innings on four hits and no walks with four strikeouts for the win at Portland (5/9) ... No-decision against Omaha in last start (5/14); allowed three runs on eight hits, including one home run, and one walk with season-high seven strikeouts over 6.1 innings.
TEAM QUICK NOTES
Round Rock has tallied 10-plus hits in six consecutive games and in seven of their last eight. ... The Express are 0-6 when allowing a big inning (four-plus runs). ... The Express are 11-7 in May after earning just six wins in 21 games in April. Round Rock is hitting .308 and averaging 6.7 runs per game in May after hitting .244 with 3.5 runs per game last month. Round Rock has 18 home runs in May with a .479 team slugging percentage after only 10 home runs in April. ... Despite being five games below .500, Round Rock has out-scored its opponents 193-179 on the season. ... The Express are 15-4 when scoring at least five runs and 2-18 when scoring fewer than five runs. ... Round Rock is 16-1 when leading after eight innings. ... The Express have lost eight games in the opponent's final at bat this season. ... In the season's first 19 games, the Express hit .178 (30-for-169) with runners in scoring position. However, Round Rock is hitting .317 (73-for-230) with runners in scoring position over the last 20 games. ... Of Round Rock's 22 losses, 17 have been by three runs or fewer, including 10 one-run losses. ... Round Rock has won five of its last seven series openers. ... Express in the PCL statistical rankings: fifth in batting (.275), 10th in pitching (4.32) and ninth in fielding (.978).
PLAYER QUICK NOTES
Josh Banks ranks fourth in the league with 49.0 innings pitched. Banks has a 2.03 ERA through five innings; it balloons to 7.00 after the fifth. ... Brian Bogusevic is hitting .188 (6-for-32) over the last eight games after hitting .463 (19-for-41) in the first 10 games of May. He owns a .426 average (20-for-47) during innings six through eight, including a .571 mark (8-for-14) in the sixth inning. Bogusevic hits .421 (24-for-57) with an even count (0-0, 1-1, 2-2). ... Jason Bourgeois ranks fourth in the PCL in batting average (.344) and stolen bases (13). He currently is riding an eight-game hitting streak, his longest of the season and the second-longest by an Express player this year; he is 17-for-39 (.436) during the streak with four multiple-hit outings and three games of three-plus hits in the streak. Bourgeois hits 148 points higher on the road (.383) than at home (.235). ... Jason Castro has reached savely in 28 of 31 games played, including each of the last 11 games. He has scored at least one run in nine straight games. Castro has hit safely in nine of the last 10 games, going 13-for-37 (.351) in that time. He is hitting .423 (11-for-26) with four walks and a .500 on base percentage when leading off an inning, all team bests. ... Casey Daigle has recorded a save in four consecutive opportunities after failing to convert his first two chances of the season. Five of the six runs he has allowed this season came in two outings, both blown saves. Daigle has not allowed an earned run in seven straight appearances. ... Collin DeLome has not homered since a two-homer game April 18, a 24-game dry spell. ... Chris Johnson has hit safely in seven of eight games with the Express, delivering a sacrifice fly in the lone hitless game. He enters the Reno series riding a four-game hitting streak. ... Matt Kata is riding a seven-game hitting streak (.471, 16-for-31), his longest of the season and tied for the third-longest this year by an Express player. He has multiple hits in six of his last seven games; he had multiple hits in the first five games of that span, the longest such streak by an Express player this season. Kata is hitting .408 (42-for-103) since snapping out of a 1-for-35 funk April 18, raising his average 215 points in that time. He is 16-for-31 (.516) with a runner at first base only. Kata is 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position since May 10. He is hitting .436 (17-for-39) when batting fifth, .271 (29-for-107) elsewhere in the lineup. ... Drew Locke's three-run homer Monday at Colorado Springs was his first hit in 19 at bats this season with runners in scoring position and two outs. He has hit safely in five of six starts with homers in two of last three games. ... Yordany Ramirez snapped an 18-game, 6-for-47 (.128) skew in Colorado Springs series finale, going 2-for-5 with a double and four RBI. It was his first multiple-hit game since April 19. He is hitless in his last seven pinch-hit appearances after starting the year 2-for-2 as a pinch hitter. ... Chris Shelton leads the Express and ranks fourth in the PCL with eight home runs, four of which have been solo shots and four of which have come in the last seven games. He leads the PCL with seven homers this month. Shelton has gone consecutive starts without a hit only once this season (April 21-22), recording a hit in a team-best 29 games. He leads the Express in hits (15) and RBI (23) with runners in scoring position. Shelton ranks eighth in the PCL in batting average (.326). ... Andy Van Hekken has allowed 11 walks against eight strikeouts in his last three starts after posting a 26-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first five starts. ... Wesley Wright has allowed three or fewer earned runs in seven of eight starts, allowing one earned run four times.
THREE NEW FACES TO START HOME STAND
Three new names are on the roster as the Express open their third home stand of the season. Pitchers Erick Abreu and Sergio Perez, and infielder Marco Cabral all made the jump to Round Rock from Corpus Christi (AA). Abreu was 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in 18.0 innings over 11 relief appearances for the Hooks, while Perez was 2-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 43.2 innings over eight starts. Perez will move into the rotation in the spot occupied by Roy Corcoran, who made three spot starts after Gustavo Chacin was promoted to Houston. Cabral hit .284 (27-for-95) with one home run and 12 RBI in 28 games for the Hooks. ... The moves were made as pitchers Sammy Gervacio and Gary Majewski were placed on the 15-day DL, and infielder Oswaldo Navarro was promoted to Houston. Navarro hit .312 (24-for-77) with three home runs and 19 RBI in 20 games for the Express.
BATS STAY HOT
Round Rock won its first road trip of the season over the last nine days, going 3-1 at Salt Lake and splitting a four-game series at Colorado Springs. The Express are 11-7 in May after going 6-17 in April. While the staff ERA took a hit in the four games at Colorado Springs (9.17 ERA), the bats got even hotter as the Express hit .342 (54-for-158) with eight home runs and 46 runs scored in the four-game set. Round Rock posted a .320 average on the eight-game road trip with 11 home runs, 71 runs scored and 22 doubles.
EXPRESS AMONG ATTENDANCE LEADERS
Through games of May 19, Round Rock ranks second in the Pacific Coast League in average attendance. A total of 128,490 fans have passed through the turnstiles at The Dell Diamond, a 16-date average of 8,031. Sacramento leads the PCL with an 8,282 per-game average. Round Rock ranks fourth in Triple-A and fifth in Minor League Baseball. Interestingly, none of the top five teams in Minor League Baseball attendance, each of which averages at least 8,000 per game, have winning records.
FIVE THE MAGIC NUMBER FOR EXPRESS
Round Rock is 15-4 this season when scoring at least five runs and 2-18 when scoring fewer than five runs. Two of the four losses came at Colorado Springs (10-6, 11-10). The two victories when scoring fewer than five runs came April 20 against Omaha (1-0 in 10 innings) and May 5 against Nashville (2-1).
Round Rock continues its third home stand of the season with a four-game series against the Las Vegas 51s (Toronto Blue Jays). The series runs Monday through Thursday of next week with a 7:05 p.m. CDT first pitch each night.
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