Cubs Serve Express Harsh 11-5 Defeat
ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (54-39) fell victim to a lopsided 11-5 loss to the Iowa Cubs (53-40) on Saturday night at Dell Diamond. The Cubs drove in eight runs in the fifth inning to seal Round Rock's defeat.
Each team's starter earned a decision in the contest. I-Cubs RHP Tyson Mills (1-0, 9.95) earned his first Triple-A win after holding the E-Train to two runs on three hits while punching out five in a strong 5.0-inning start. Round Rock LHP Ryan Hartman (5-5, 4.94) suffered the loss after surrendering three runs on four hits and five walks.
Iowa broke up three scoreless innings as 1B Taylor Davis hit a solo home run to leadoff the fourth.
A big fifth inning for the I-Cubs ultimately doomed the E-Train. The visitors put up eight runs in the frame to take a lopsided 9-0 lead over Round Rock. Twelve hitters came to the plate in the frame and combined for four singles, a double, a triple and two walks. LF Mark Zagunis highlighted the inning with a bases-clearing triple that plated CF Ian Happ, DH Erik Castillo, and 2B Dixon Machado.
Express CF Drew Ferguson broke up the Cubs no-hit bid in the home half of the fifth with a base hit and RF Chas McCormick drew a walk shortly thereafter. C Jamie Ritchie then doubled in the pair to put Round Rock on the board for the first time.
To begin the eighth, Davis and C P.J. Higgins worked back-to-back walks. SS Zack Short then grounded into a force out the eliminated Higgins at second but allowed Davis and Short to advance to third and first respectively. The next at-bat, Machado singled to plate Davis and RF Trent Giambrone mimicked the hit to knock in Short, widening the gap to 11-2.
LF Taylor Jones attempted to spark a late comeback in the bottom of the eighth when he smoked a 420-foot home run that landed in the Express bullpen. The shot scored 3B Jack Mayfield, who had previously walked, and DH Derek Fisher, who notched a single.
The Express aim for a win in tomorrow's series finale while the Cubs hope to salvage a split. Round Rock RHP Brandon Bielak (3-3, 5.40) is scheduled to start opposite an Iowa pitcher to be announced. First pitch at Dell Diamond is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. For more information on the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and join the conversation during our historic 20th season using #20STROng.
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