Express closer Alvarez makes PCL All-Star team


Relief pitcher R.J. Alvarez will represent the Round Rock Express in the Triple-A All-Star game July 11 in Columbus, Ohio.

Alvarez, a 27-year-old closer, leads the Pacific Coast League with 15 saves and is second to Lehigh Valley’s Pedro Beato in all of Triple-A ball with 21 saves. Alvarez will be making his first career All-Star appearance.

The West Palm Beach, Fla., native has been overpowering for a last-place team. Alvarez, whose fastball reaches 96-97 mph, carries a 2.42 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He has 27 strikeouts in 26 innings and has not allowed a home run.

The Rangers claimed Alvarez on waivers from the Cubs in September 2016. He spent all of 2017 in Round Rock, with a 4.43 ERA and seven saves over a team-high 45 appearances.

The Florida Atlantic alum was a third-round draft choice of the Angels in 2012.

The only other Express player who merited All-Star consideration was first baseman Tommy Joseph, who leads the team in home runs (16), extra-base hits (31), RBIs (50) and total bases (130).

Division-leading Fresno, the Astros’ top affiliate, placed three position players in the starting lineup: first baseman A.J. Reed, third baseman J.D. Davis and outfielder Kyle Tucker.

Late Wednesday: Joseph hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning, leading the Express to its sixth straight win, 6-4 over Omaha at Dell Diamond.

Joseph’s blast scored Juan Centeno and Christian Lopes to give the Express a 6-3 lead. Joseph finished 2 for 4 with a run scored and four RBIs. He also drove in a run in the fifth on a single to score Drew Robinson.



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