A quick look at the lineups for tonight's Pioneer League game between the Mustangs and Helena at Dehler Park. First pitch is at 7:
BILLINGS MUSTANGS 4-1 (1st North division) -- 1. Avain Rachal, 2b; 2. Gabriel Rosa, dh; 3. Phillip Ervin, cf; 4. Jonathan Reynoso, rf; 5. Humberto Valor, ss; 6. Taylor Terrasas, 3b; 7. Jhimy Lopez, 1b; 8. Jose Ortiz, c; 9. Nick Benedetto, lf; SP - Pedro Diaz, RHP
HELENA BREWERS 3-3 (2nd North division) -- 1. Angel Ortega, ss; 2. Michael Ratterree, rf; 3. Garrett Cooper, 1b; 4. Taylor Brennan, 3b; 5. Jose Pena, dh; 6. Dustin Houle, c; 7. Charlie Markson, lf; 8. Jalen Harris, 2b; 9. Omar Garcia, cf; SP - Anthony Banda, LHP
A few pregame notes an hour before first pitch:
• The Mustangs come into tonight's game following a rainout Tuesday at Missoula. It was supposed to be the final game of a four-game road trip, but the team was able to arrive back in town earlier than expected. Billings won each of its three games on the road, and come into tonight having beaten the Brewers twice this year by scores of 9-2 and 4-2.
• RHP Pedro Diaz (0-1, 6.00) gets the start tonight for Billings. Diaz was the pitcher of record in the Mustangs' only loss this year last Friday at home against Great Falls. He's been scuffling ever since joining the Reds organization in 2011, and is 1-7 so far this year, including a 1-6 mark with Single-A Dayton of the Midwest League. A good performance against Helena could give Diaz some confidence going forward. Opposing hitters are batting .322 against his in 10 starts this season, but he had a decent outing in his Pioneer League debut last week, allowing two earned runs in three innings.
• Helena has been the top run-producing team in the North division so far, thanks to the power surge of 1B Garrett Cooper and 3B Taylor Brennan. Cooper and Brennan come in tied atop the Pioneer League with three homer each, but perhaps most impressive are their OPS numbers: Cooper at 1.450 and Brennan at 1.241. Cooper is a sixth-round pick from the 2013 Draft out of Auburn. He is one of six top 10 picks the Milwaukee Brewers have assigned to Helena.
• Finally, here is a little update on former Mustang and current Louisville Bat (Triple-A) Billy Hamilton:
NEW YORK (AP) — Speedy Billy Hamilton is among 50 players picked for the July 14 Futures game ahead of the All-Star game at Citi Field. Hamilton stole a professional-record 155 bases in 192 attempts last season at Class A and Double-A and he began Wednesday with 48 in 57 chances at Triple-A Louisville. The 22-year-old Cincinnati Reds prospect played in last year's Futures game at Kansas City.
Jorge Soler, a 21-year-old outfielder who signed a $30 million, nine-year contract with the Chicago Cubs last year, also was among the players picked. Ten former first-round picks are on the U.S. roster announced Wednesday and one is on the world team roster.
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