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 Sugar Land Space Cowboys

Space Cowboys to Take on Divisional Rival Express in Six-Game Set

May 21, 2024 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Sugar Land Space Cowboys News Release


SUGAR LAND, TX - With the season nearly a third of the way complete, the Sugar Land Space Cowboys return to Constellation Field for their lone home series in a four-week span as they take on the Round Rock Express, Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

Record:

Sugar Land: 29-16, +3.0 games ahead of Sacramento for the best record in the Pacific Coast League

Round Rock: 25-19, -3.5 games behind Sugar Land in the PCL East and Overall

Season Series:

Sugar Land leads the season series with a 5-4 record. After losing two of three games to open the season in Round Rock, the Space Cowboys took four of six games from the Express at Constellation Field from April 14 through 21. Sugar Land's three-game series defeat in Round Rock remains the Space Cowboys lone series loss of the season.

Last Week:

Sugar Land: 4-2 @ Albuquerque.

Round Rock: 4-2 vs. Reno

Projected Pitching Matchups:

Tuesday - RHP Adrian Sampson (5-1, 4.01) vs. RHP Misael Tamarez (3-3, 7.61)

Wednesday - RHP Jack Leiter (1-1, 2.84) vs. RHP AJ Blubaugh (3-0, 3.66)

Thursday - RHP Johnny Cueto (0-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Colton Gordon (2-0, 4.15)

Friday - RHP Gerson Garabito (1-2, 2.05) vs. LHP Eric Lauer (NR)

Saturday - RHP Owen White (1-2, 5.02) vs. RHP Ryan Gusto (0-1, 8.44)

Sunday - RHP Kyle Barraclough (0-2, 4.76) vs. RHP Blair Henley (1-3, 5.54)

Prospecting (Organizational ranking per MLB Pipeline):

Sugar Land - RHP AJ Blubaugh (#8), LHP Colton Gordon (#10), INF Will Wagner (#15), INF Jacob Amaya (#23) and OF Pedro León (#27)

Round Rock - RHP Jack Leiter (#6), RHP Owen White (#9), INF Dustin Harris (#10), LHP Antoine Kelly (#21), INF Jonathan Ornelas (#30)

From the Audio Archives:

Hitting Coach Aaron Westlake on the patience of the Space Cowboys offense at the plate, Joey Loperfido's work to get to the Major Leagues and Pedro León's development that has led to his great offensive season.

Manager Mickey Storey on his 400th career win, when he knew he wanted to be a manager and the clubhouse chemistry for the Space Cowboys.

LHP Colton Gordon discusses getting back to pitching in normal games, the mentality of pitching at altitude, what he learned climbing to Triple-A in 2023 and going to the Dominican Republic in the offseason.

C Luke Berryhill talks about his big hit on Saturday night, his hitting adjustments, game prepping behind the plate and what he has on the horizon for his country music career.

Who's Hot for Sugar Land:

INF Jesús Bastidas:

Bastidas is coming off the first Player of the Week honor of his career after mashing in Albuquerque last week. The 25-year-old slashed .542/571/1.292/1.863, going 13-for-24 with four doubles, a triple, four home runs, 11 RBI, nine runs scored, three walks, a stolen base and just three strikeouts. He led Minor League Baseball in total bases (31), slugging and OPS and tied for the most runs scored, while finishing tied for third in RBI and home runs and tied for fifth in hits during the week.

During the season, Bastidas is now hitting .307 in 40 games with 16 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs, 43 RBI and 34 runs scored. He leads Minor League Baseball in extra-base hits (28) and is tied for the Minor League lead in doubles, while sitting second in RBI only behind Space Cowboys OF Pedro León.

Shay Whitcomb:

Were it not for Bastidas, Whitcomb likely would have taken home the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week himself. For the week in Albuquerque, Whitcomb slashed .560/.593/1.120/1.713, going 14-for-25 with a double, two triples, three home runs, eight RBI, nine runs scored, two walks and four strikeouts while stealing two bases in three attempts. He finished tied with Bastidas for the most runs scored in the Pacif Coast League last week and tied for second in total bases (28) and hits while finishing sixth in OPS.

Whitcomb is currently riding a 31-game on-base streak, the longest for any player in Minor League Baseball this season and the longest streak in Space Cowboys history. For the season, Whitcomb is tied for fourth in the Pacific Coast League in RBI (36) and tied for eighth in runs scored (33), while hitting .306 in 39 games with a .950 OPS.

Jacob Amaya

After returning to Sugar Land from the Astros on May 10, Amaya has hit safely in five of seven games and really came to life in the last four games, going 7-for-17 (.412) with five doubles, a triple, four RBI, five runs scored and just three strikeouts, recording an extra-base hit in four consecutive games.

RHP Luis Contreras

After making one appearance for the Space Cowboys to start the year and landing on the IL, Contreras has allowed exactly one run in 10 total appearances, making eight straight scoreless outings from April 27 through May 18. The righty is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA this year, surrendering six hits in 10.0 innings while walking just three and striking out 11.

RHP Alex Speas

Claimed off waivers from the Athletics prior to the Space Cowboys series in Albuquerque, Speas made three relief appearances last week, spinning 2.1 innings and giving up just two hits without surrendering a run and walking one while striking out four. He picked up a win for the Space Cowboys last week and recorded a hold.

Who's Hot For Round Rock:

C Andrew Knapp

Last week at Dell Diamond, Knapp went 11-for-22 in six games, knocking two doubles, a triple, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored with three walks and just three strikeouts. The 2023 Space Cowboys catcher is currently third in the Pacific Coast League in batting average (.370), second in on-base percentage (.451) and fifth in OPS (1.031).

INF Sandro Fabian

While going 7-for-20 (.350) last week against Reno, Fabian had the most offensive production for Round Rock, driving in seven runs to lead the Express while also scoring four time. His 17 total bases (two doubles, a triple, two home runs) trailed only Knapp last week for Round Rock.

RHP Johnny Cueto

After signing with the Rangers, Cueto made his first start for Round Rock on Friday night and threw 4.0 shutout innings, scattering four hits while not walking a batter or striking anyone out. A two-time Major League All-Star, Cueto is set to pitch on Thursday for the Express.


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