Express Outshine Dodgers 5-3 in Series Opener
ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (73-48) prevailed 5-3 against the Oklahoma City Dodgers (57-64) in their series opener on Thursday night at Dell Diamond. 1B Nick Tanielu smoked his 14th home run of the season to fuel the victory.
Round Rock LHP Kent Emanuel (7-1, 4.08) earned the win after holding Oklahoma City to three runs on four hits while fanning four in a 5.2 inning start. On the losing side, OKC RHP Rob Zastryzny (3-5, 6.42) surrendered five runs, three of which were earned, on eight hits in a 6.0-inning appearance out of the bullpen.
The teams exchanged three-run innings to open scoring mid-game. To kick things off in the bottom of the fourth, E-Train DH Drew Ferguson notched a single prior to a pair of base hits off the bats of SS Jack Mayfield and RF Kyle Tucker, the third of which plated Ferguson for the first run. The next at-bat, 3B Taylor Jones grounded into a double play that also erased Tucker at second. With Mayfield waiting on base, Tanielu blasted a two-run shot to extend the lead to 3-0.
However, Oklahoma City answered with a three-run inning of their own to level the score in the top of the fifth. RF Jon Kemmer reached base on a single before racing home on a triple off the bat of SS Zach McKinstry. 3B Drew Jackson then kept the ball rolling with an RBI double before later scoring the game-tying run when 2B Gavin Lux singled.
Round Rock battled back for the eventual game-winning runs in the fifth. De Goti reached base on a Jackson throwing error before trotting home when LF Myles Straw tripled. Shortly thereafter, Ferguson sent a sacrifice fly into left field, allowing Straw to tack on an insurance run.
The E-Train bullpen combined for 3.1 scoreless frames, allowing only one hit, to hold off OKC. RHP Ralph Garza and RHP Brad Peacock each ended the night with holds while RHP Brendan McCurry struck out the side in the ninth to earn a save.
The Express hope to extend their winning streak to three games as they battle the Dodgers again on Friday. Express founder and Houston Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame before the 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Round Rock LHP Ryan Hartman (5-5, 5.38) is slated to start while the Dodgers plan to counter with RHP Logan Bawcom (1-1, 3.57).
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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