Milwaukee’s Ben Sheets (shown somewhere above — sorry, Walter Iooss charges too much) had a rough time in last night’s rehab start for the PCL’s Nashville Sounds, allowing 3 earned runs, 3 hits and walking 3 over 3 innings in a 4-3 loss to Round Rock.  Express 3B Cody Ransom hit a solo HR in the 2nd inning, and Astros P Brandon Backe — making his own rehab appearance — had a pair of doubles and two RBI’s.   Backe earned the win, striking out 5 over 5 and two thirds.

The Express announced that Clint Black will be performing at the Dell Diamond in September. Apparently, negotiations to book the Scratch Acid reunion fell through.

Express P Jason Hirsh threw a scoreless inning in the US’ 8-5 win over the World Team at the Futures Game. Had Zinedine Zidane not been tossed, who knows how that one would’ve turned out.

With all due respect to the doubleheader-of-sorts that took place in Chicago earlier today, the Cards’ 12 inning, 7-5 win over the Astros had something for everyone. Especially those who take a perverse pleasure in watching Brad Lidge’s career fall apart. Though it’s customary around these parts to dump on radio and tv mouthpieces at every available opportunity, Dave Campbell was right on the money in characterizing Houston’s lineup as defensively negligent.  But other than being weak at third, right and left field, the Astros have nothing to worry about.