Location: Dr. Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
Team Records: Frisco RoughRiders (4-2 First Place in the Texas League South)... Springfield Cardinals (3-3 1 game back in the Texas League North)
Last 10: 4-2
2012 Series Record: 2-0-0
2012 Record against Springfield: 2-1
All-Time Record against Springfield: 48-42
Record on April 12 since 2003: 4-5
Starting Pitchers: Miguel De Los Santos (0-1 3.60 ERA) vs. John Gast (1-0 1.29 ERA)
'Riders Cruise to Second Straight Series Win: Yesterday was an off day for Frisco, but the day before that the Frisco RoughRiders took their second straight road series win by scoring 4 runs in the 5th, a run in the 8th, and 3 more in the 9th. Frisco got dominant pitching once again and defeated the Arkansas Travelers 8-1.
Grimm Tough Once Again: He did not strikeout ten batters in the game this time, but Justin Grimm held the Travelers to just 4 hits, 2 walks, and a run over 6 1/3 innings and recorded 2 strikeouts. He moved to 2-0 on the season through 2 starts for Frisco and has allowed less than a baserunner an inning thus far for the 'Riders.
Beltre's Explosion: Through the first three games of the season, it looked as if Engel Beltre was going to be the same Engel Beltre from 2011. He was 2 for 12 with a couple of singles and five strikeouts. Over the last three games since then, however, Beltre has gone 5 for 12 with 3 home runs, a triple, and has 13 total bases. He also has seen 64 pitches over that span as well. Over his last four games, Beltre has seen a total of 91 pitches in 19 plate appearances. Last year over 482 plate appearances with the RoughRiders, Beltre averaged 3.25 pitches per plate appearance, totaling 1,565 total pitches seen.
Wednesday's game was part of this explosion as Beltre went 3 for 5 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI in the game, including 4 on a grand slam. The RBI were one short of tying Frisco's single game record of 7, which was last achieved by Tommy Mendonca, last year on July 22nd.
Keeping it in the Ballpark: Through six games this year, Frisco's starting pitchers have not given up a home run to a player. In 31 1/3 innings, Frisco starters have given up 24 hits, 6 earned runs, 10 walks, and struck out 27 batters. In fact, in the Ranger's minor league system, the Round Rock Express are the only team to have had a starting pitcher give up a home run. The four full season teams have combined for just 3 homeruns given up by the starting pitchers. The reason for why this could be is the tendency for starting pitchers in the system to keep the ball on the ground. The full season starters have combined for nearly a 2:1 groundout to flyout ratio with 122 groundouts to 63 flyouts.
Opening Day: Frisco comes home tonight for the first time in 2012 and looks to even up their Opening Day record. Coming into tonight, Frisco is 4-5 on Opening Day. Last season the 'Riders defeated Springfield 6-2 on Opening Day. The starting pitcher for Frisco was Wilfredo Boscan, who is now in the bullpen for the team this season.
De Los Santos Gets the Ball: This year's Opening Day starter will be Miguel De Los Santos. The southpaw will make his 3rd start in Frisco for his career. Last year he made 6 starts for the club, but only two came at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. He was 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in those two starts. In his first start for Frisco this season, De Los Santos took the loss, but was effective for 5 innings. He gave up 4 hits, 2 runs, and struck out 8 batters.
Even more promising, Miguel showed better ability to throw strikes as he threw first pitch strikes to 76% of the batters he faced and threw 68% of his pitches for strikes.
Former 'Riders on the Mound Today
LHP Derek Holland (Texas Rangers) vs. Seattle Mariners
RHP Neil Ramirez (Round Rock Express) @ Omaha Storm Chasers
RHP Eric Hurley (Salt Lake Bees) @ Reno Aces
Minor League Baseball Platinum Sombrero Count: 1
Minor League Baseball Golden Sombrero Count: 34
Minor League Baseball Sombrero Count: 275
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- By Michael Damman