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Round Rock Express Game Notes

June 5, 2011 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Round Rock Express News Release

TODAY'S GAME

Round Rock hosts Albuquerque (Los Angeles Dodgers) for the second game of a four-game series. First pitch between the Express and Isotopes is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. CDT at The Dell Diamond. Round Rock is 16-13 at home this season, while Albuquerque is 12-15 on the road. Both teams are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

PROMOTIONS

H-E-B Kids' Day ... Express Kids' Jerseys for all kids age 12 and under, compliments of Chasco Constructors

RADIO BROADCAST INFORMATION

Today's game airs on 104.9 FM The Horn ESPN Radio Austin. Online audio also is available at www.espnaustin.com. Express Director of Broadcasting Mike Capps provides play-by-play alongside color analyst Jerry Grote.

EXPRESS-ISOTOPES SERIES

Albuquerque won last night's series opener 8-3. Today's game is the second of 16 meetings between the PCL American Southern Division foes this season. The Rangers and Dodgers affiliates have finished first and second in the American Conference Southern Division each of the last three seasons with the Rangers affiliate winning the division crown in 2008 and 2010. Albuquerque finished second in the division last season, one game behind then-Rangers affiliate Oklahoma City. Round Rock travels to Albuquerque for a three-game series July 4-6. The teams then meet for nine of the regular season's final 13 games, including a season-ending four-game series at The Dell Diamond.

STARTING PITCHERS

EXPRESS: RHP Neil Ramirez (3-1, 3.50 ERA)

Last Outing: No-decision in May 31 start at Oklahoma City, a 7-5 Express loss ... Left game after 3.0 innings due to a right forearm contusion ... Comebacker ricocheted off arm on third inning's final pitch ... Allowed one hit, walked two and hit one with one strikeout ... Left game leading 1-0.

2011: Makes 11th start with Round Rock today ... Started year at Class A-Advanced Myrtle Beach ... Started one game for Pelicans, tossing 4.2 scoreless innings on one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts ... Joined Express on a spot start April 13 but remained with team after working 6.0 scoreless innings on three hits and no walks with three strikeouts for the win against Omaha ... Express are 7-3 in his starts, best on staff ... Averages 5.90 runs of support per start ... Last decision was win May 5 against Iowa ... 5.68 ERA (12 ER / 19.0 IP) in five outings since ... Surrendered two earned runs over 7.0 innings in last two starts (2.57 ERA) ... Posted wins April 13 against Omaha, April 19 at Oklahoma City and May 5 at Iowa ... Lost April 24 against Oklahoma City ... Allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine of 10 starts, surrendering five May 10 at Tucson ... Five of six runs allowed at Tucson were in the fourth inning ... Held opponent to six or fewer hits in nine of 10 starts ... Seventh in PCL with 3.50 ERA and fourth in opponents' batting average (.229) ... Second among league starters with 9.52 strikeouts per nine innings ... 49 strikeouts against 21 walks over 46.1 innings.

2010: Spent entire season with Hickory Crawdads (A) ... 10-8 with a 4.43 ERA in 28 games, 26 starts ... Tossed one complete game ... 142 strikeouts, 37 walks over 140.1 innings.

Notable: Rangers first-round pick (44th overall) in 2007 out of Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach, Va. ... School also produced former professional baseball player and NFL running back D.J. Dozier, and former NBA player J.R. Reid ... One of five Rangers first-round picks in 2007.

ISOTOPES: LHP Alberto Bastardo (3-1, 4.44 ERA)

Last Outing: No-decision in May 31 start at Memphis, a 10-4 Albuquerque loss ... Allowed four runs on six hits, three walks and one hit batsman over 4.0 innings with three strikeouts ... Left game trailing 4-3 but Isotopes tied the score in the sixth.

2011: Makes 10th start today ... Missed spot in rotation May 20 with a sore lower back but did not go on DL ... Wins April 23 vs. New Orleans, April 29 at Nashville and May 15 at Tucson ... Loss May 10 at Las Vegas ... Allowed four or fewer earned runs in all nine starts and three or fewer runs six times ... Lasted at least 5.0 innings in seven of nine starts, working at least into the sixth inning six times, at least into the seventh twice and into the eighth inning once ... Five-plus strikeouts in five of nine starts ... Season-high eight strikeouts May 26 vs. Colorado Springs ... 2-1, 4.13 ERA, .270 opponents' batting average in five road starts ... Holds opponents to a .207 average (12-for-58) with runners in scoring position ... Logged 50.2 innings with 44 strikeouts against 19 walks and a .287 opponents' batting average.

2010: Split season between Chattanooga (AA) and Albuquerque ... Posted a combined 12-8 record with a 5.68 ERA in 27 starts ... Tied for Dodgers organizational leads in wins and starts ... Dodger Pride Award for May, going 3-1 with a 3-1 record and a 2.56 ERA ... Southern League Pitcher of the week after taking no-hitter into the seventh inning May 17 at Mobile ... Assigned to Albuquerque in mid-June and won each of first three decisions ... Returned to Chattanooga in mid-August and completed season there ... Pitched for Bravos de Margarita of the Venezuelan Winter League following the season.

Notable: Born in Mara Cay, Venezuela ... Signed as non-drafted free agent by Baltimore Orioles in 2002 ... Spent four seasons in Orioles organization - two seasons with Venezuelan Summer League and two seasons with rookie-league Bluefield ... Joined Philadelphia Phillies organization following 2005 season but was released prior to 2006 season ... Signed with Dodgers ... Pitched three seasons at Inland Empire (A-Advanced), earning California League mid-season All-Star honors in 2009 ... Spent most of 2009 at Chattanooga (AA), making one start at Albuquerque ... Career 63-45 minor league record.

LAST GAME

Albuquerque built a 4-0 lead through the first three innings and never relinquished that lead en route to an 8-3 victory. Russ Mitchell's two-run homer sparked a three-run second off Express starter Tommy Hunter, who suffered the loss in a predetermined 2.0-inning rehab start. Albuquerque added a run in the top of the seventh before Round Rock cut its deficit to 5-3 with a two-run second and Chad Tracy's eighth-inning solo homer. However, the Isotopes pulled away with three runs in the top of the ninth.

DIVISION LEAD DOWN TO HALF-GAME

Round Rock (32-24, .571) saw its PCL American Southern Division lead trimmed to a half-game over Albuquerque (31-24, .564) with last night's loss to the Isotopes. The Express have led the division since April 16 and outright since May 2. New Orleans (30-27, .526) lost at home to Nashville last night and remained two-and-a-half games behind the Express in the division standings. Oklahoma City (24-32, .429) is eight games back. The American Southern Division is the league's only division with three teams above .500.

BIG-INNING THEORY

Round Rock is 9-3 this season when scoring at least four runs in an inning and 22-20 when failing to do such. However, the difference in record is even more pronounced based upon what the opponent does. The Express are 30-12 when not allowing an inning of at least four runs but 1-11 when the opponent posts such an inning. The lone victory was May 11 at Tucson when the Padres scored four first-inning runs and the Express rallied for a 7-5 victory.

COMEBACK KIDS

Round Rock has 17 comeback win this season (trailing at any point in the game). The Express has won seven times when trailing after five innings, four times when trailing after six innings and four times when trailing after seven innings. Sunday's 9-8 victory against Iowa, which featured a three-run ninth, was the second time this season the Express trailed through eight innings and won.

CLOSE CALLS

Round Rock is 11-5 in one-run games; that .688 winning percentage is tied with Sacramento (11-5, .688) for the second-best mark in the PCL behind only Albuquerque (13-5, .722). The Express started the season 7-1 in such games and then lost four straight before winning each of their last four one-run affairs. Round Rock is 18-13 in games decided by two runs or fewer.

EXPRESS RESPONDERS

Round Rock's opponent has scored first in 32 of 55 games this season. In 13 of those cases, the Express responded with at least one run in their next at bat, tying the game twice and claiming the lead six times. However, quickly responding has not guaranteed success. Round Rock is 14-16 when the opponent scores first and 5-8 when immediately answering with at least one run, meaning the Express are 9-8 when not immediately responding to the opponent's first score of the game. Round Rock is 3-3 when allowing the opponent to score first and then immediately claiming the lead, 1-1 when immediately tying the game, and 1-4 when responding but still trailing.

FIVE IS THE KEY

Round Rock is 27-10 this season when scoring at least five runs. Only five times have the Express won when scoring fewer than five runs: April 12 vs. Omaha (3-2, 13 innings), April 13 vs. Omaha (2-0), April 18 at New Orleans (3-1), April 22 at Oklahoma City (2-1) and May 27 vs. Iowa (3-1). Round Rock has lost 12 of its last 13 when scoring fewer than five runs. Meanwhile, Round Rock is 19-5 when allowing fewer than five runs and 12-19 when allowing at least five runs.

EXPRESS AMONG TOP PCL TEAMS

Round Rock is tied with Las Vegas (32-24, .571) for PCL's third-best record behind Sacramento (37-20, .649) and Reno (34-23, .596). Albuquerque (31-24, .564), Omaha (31-25, .554) and New Orleans (30-27, .526) are the league's only other teams above .500. The Express are 10-7 against teams currently above .500 and 22-17 against the rest of the league.

STRONG START CONTINUES

The Express owns the second-best 56-game start in the franchise's Triple-A history (since 2005). The 2006 squad was 33-23 and improved to 57-33 by the All-Star Game break en route to a division title. No other Round Rock Triple-A team was above .500 through 55 games.

ROAD WARRIORS

Round Rock is 16-11 (.593) away from home, joining Sacramento (16-8), Las Vegas (15-9), Salt Lake (15-12), New Orleans and Omaha (14-13) as the only PCL teams above .500 on the road. Of that group, only Sacramento (10-18) has a below-.500 record at home. The Express average twice as many home runs per game and hit nearly 20 points better at home. However, opposing batters hit .304 against Express pitching at The Dell Diamond and .256 on the road.

EXPRESS LEAD PCL IN ATTENDANCE

Round Rock leads the PCL in attendance, averaging 8,349 fans per game. Sacramento is second with a 7,234 per-game average. The Express have finished second or third in the PCL each season since joining the league in 2005.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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