Express Even Series With 8-2 Win Over Nashville
Jason Castro's two-run homer capped a four-run first inning, and the Round Rock Express led wire-to-wire in an 8-2 win over the Nashville Sounds in Sunday night's Pacific Coast League action at The Dell Diamond. The Express (26-31) evened the series with the victory and have won four of six against the Sounds (32-24) this season.
Round Rock's four-run first was its highest scoring first inning of the season. The Express have scored multiple first-inning runs in four of their last five games. Edwin Maysonet and Brian Bogusevic had a single and a double, respectively, with one out in the frame. Chris Johnson then reached on a throwing a throwing error; Maysonet and Bogusevic scored on the play. Castro followed with his second home run of the season, a towering shot down the right-field line.
That was more than enough run support for starter Sergio Perez (2-0), who allowed two runs on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 7.0 innings. It was Perez' fourth start with the Express since being promoted from Double-A Corpus Christi; he has worked 7.0 innings in each start and allowed no more than three earned runs in any of those four starts. Jonah Bayliss allowed one hit in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, striking out four.
Nashville starter Mike McClendon (2-1) took the loss. He allowed seven runs, six earned, on nine hits and a walk with five strikeouts over 4.1 innings.
The Sounds put a pair of runs on the board in the top of the fifth inning. Brendan Katin led off with a home run off the top of the maintenance shed beyond the centerfield wall; the homer was the first hit allowed by Perez on the night. Luis Cruz followed with a single and scored on Johnny Raburn's RBI double.
However, the Express quickly answered, pushing their lead to 7-2 with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth. Oswaldo Navarro drew a bases-loaded walk, and Yordany Ramirez followed with an RBI fielder's choice. Michael Garciaparra capped the frame with an RBI single. Garciaparra added another run in the eighth, leading off with a single and later scoring on Matt Kata's sacrifice fly.
Jason Bourgeois was 1-for-5 on the night and extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest this season by an Express player. Bourgeois has hit safely in 25 of the last 26 games. Castro has reached safely in 27 consecutive games; it is the second-longest on-base streak this season in the PCL, four games shy of the season's longest.
Maysonet, Navarro, Ramirez and Garciaparra all had two-hit nights for the Express. Castro and Bogusevic each scored twice.
Cruz led the way for Nashville offensively, collecting three of the Sounds' five hits on the night.
Round Rock and Nashville continue the series Monday with a 7:05 p.m. CDT first pitch at The Dell Diamond. It will be dueling southpaws as Andy Van Hekken (2-4, 4.09 ERA) takes the mound for the Express and Sam Narron (0-0, 0.00 ERA) toes the rubber for the Sounds.
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