Sutil drives in tying run, scores the game-winner
ROUND ROCK — Less than a month ago, Wladimir Sutil was struggling just to keep his chin up. He won’t have any such trouble today.
After scratching out six hits in his first 46 Triple-A at-bats, the Express infielder is breaking out of his slump. Sutil hit a game-tying single and scored the winning run on Matt Kata’s single in the ninth inning Monday, in a 6-5 win over Iowa.
The win marked the first time in 49 opportunities Round Rock has come from behind when trialing after the seventh inning.
“You try to do too much and you get down,” said Sutil, 25, who joined Round Rock on June 17 after hitting .268 for Double-A Corpus Christi. “I’m just in a better spot to help the team now. I was nervous and anxious at the plate when I first got called up.”
Sutil, hitting .305 in July, has reached base safely in 15 of his last 17 games.
Leandro Cespedes made a spot start for Round Rock, allowing five runs on eight hits, three walks and a strikeout over six innings of his first Triple-A outing of the year. The 22-year-old appeared in 12 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2007 and the San Diego Padres in 2008. Houston signed him to a minor league contract in January.
Cespedes left trailing 5-3, but Drew Locke pulled the Express within a run in the eighth inning, with his 11th homer of the season. Oswaldo Navarro led off the bottom of the ninth with a pinch double, Sutil singled and Brian Bogusevic walked, pushing Sutil to second before Kata’s hopper through the left side gave Sutil just enough time to beat a throw home.
Note: Aside from adding Cespedes and Houston reliever Jeff Fulchino (rehab), Round Rock made two other player moves Monday. Pitcher T.J. Burton (2-3, 5.52 ERA) was sent to Double-A and Casey Daigle (1-1, 4.28) was added to the inactive list.