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Round Rock-Nashville Game 5 Notebook
09/10/2006 6:06 PM ET
Heat to a Boil, Then Cool
Nashville Sounds manager Frank Kremblas was ejected in the middle of the first inning of Saturday's Game 4 against the Round Rock Express, getting the boot for arguing a check-swing strike.

Kremblas was in the team's clubhouse for more than eight innings of what could have been the Sounds' final game. Still, Kremblas wasn't worried about his team. He said he didn't pay close attention to the game after his ejection, catching parts of the game on TV and hearing some of the PA announcements from the field.

"I was able to [watch the game], but I didn't," Kremblas said. "I watched a little bit of it early, and I was just like, 'I don't need to watch this. They'll do fine without me,' " Kremblas said.

He was right, as Sounds hitting coach Gary Pettis, a five-time Gold Glove outfielder, took the reins for the Sounds, leading them to a 2-0 victory to force a deciding Game 5.

Still Round Rocking
Round Rock's Dell Diamond experienced its first decrease in season attendance in 2006, dipping to 677,706 this season from the franchise record of 700,277 in 2005. Attendance had increased each of the previous six years since the foundation of the franchise and as the team moved from Double-A to Triple-A.

The drop was negligible, and the Express finished with the third-highest attendance in the 16-team Pacific Coast League.

"We had bad weather early, and we had more games with school," Express president Jay Miller said. "But when you're talking about being down 20,000 over 72 dates, that's a pretty minimal decrease. I couldn't be happier with our attendance, really."

The loyalty of Round Rock fans was on display Friday night, as a large percentage of fans watched three hours of rainy baseball and then stuck around through a 51-minute rain delay during the Express' 6-5, 10-inning win over Nashville in Game 3.

"I think [Friday] night could be as proud as I've ever been of our fans," Miller said. "The crowd we had, in that weather, you could feel the buzz in the air from the playoffs. The fact that they stuck around the entire game ... I was just so impressed with that crowd."

Know Your No-Nos
No matter how many times we hear it, it's always surprising when a pitcher tells the media that he didn't know he had a no-hitter going. That was the case again Saturday, when Nashville's Justin Lehr pitched 6 2/3 innings without allowing a hit.

"I didn't even know, to be honest with you. I knew I was pitching well, but I didn't know about [the no-hitter]," said Lehr, who's never pitched a complete-game no-hitter. "I think maybe if I had kept it going a little longer, like into the eighth or ninth, then I would have realized it."

Lehr allowed a bloop single to Eric Munson in the bottom of the seventh, and was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth. With Lehr's spot in the batting order due up, it's unclear if Lehr would have stayed in the game had he maintained the no-hitter through seven innings.

"I sure hope so," Lehr said, laughing.

Next Up
With Sunday's 8-0 win, the Express advanced to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series, where they will meet the PCL's Pacific Division champs, the Tucson Sidewinders. The Sidewinders finished the regular season with the PCL's best record, but split their four-game series with the Express.

PCL Championship Series Schedule
Game 1: Round Rock at Tucson, Sept. 12

Game 2: Round Rock at Tucson, Sept. 13

Game 3: Tucson at Round Rock, Sept. 14

Game 4 (if necessary): Tucson at Round Rock, Sept. 15

Game 5 (if necessary): Tucson at Round Rock, Sept. 16

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.