Express Outshine Missions 11-4 in Series Opener
ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (26-18) shook off a brief losing streak while simultaneously erasing their I-35 Rivalry Series foe San Antonio Missions' (27-18) six-game winning streak with an 11-4 victory on Tuesday night at Dell Diamond. A five-run seventh-inning offensive explosion propelled Round Rock to the series-opening win.
E-Train RHP Jose Urquidy (2-0, 3.27) notched his second straight win, allowing just one run on only three hits in a 6.0 inning start. The righty racked up 12 punchouts to tie a Round Rock Express Triple-A franchise record, set by RHP Jason Hirsh in 2006. Missions RHP Thomas Jankins (2-2, 4.50) suffered the loss after surrendering six runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits in 6.0 innings pitched.
Round Rock got the scoring party started in the first inning when doubles from 3B Jack Mayfield and RF Kyle Tucker scored the opening run, sparking a huge offensive night for the Express.
The Missions answered back two innings later as 3B Nate Orf worked a walk prior to scoring on a David Freitas double. The Express fired back the next frame with a Tucker leadoff single before DH Drew Ferguson smoked a no-doubter home run into left field to put Round Rock back on top 3-1.
A wild fifth inning began with E-Train CF Derek Fisher reaching base on a fielding error by Missions 2B Tyler Saladino. After Mayfield was hit with a pitch, Tucker grounded into a fielder's choice that eliminated Mayfield at second but also led to yet another fielding error, this one by SS Mauricio Dubon, allowing Fisher to race home from second base with another run. An ensuing Ferguson RBI double extended the gap to 5-1, then 1B AJ Reed tacked on another with an RBI single of his own.
The Express piled it on even more in the seventh, starting with a leadoff homer courtesy of Fisher. Mayfield then worked a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Tucker later jumped aboard via San Antonio's fourth error of the night. Ferguson sent Tucker home with a single in the next at-bat, then Reed tacked on two more with a single. The fifth run of the busy inning came thanks to a Jamie Ritchie single that plated Reed and widened the gap to 11-1.
The Missions threatened a last-minute comeback in the final two frames, beginning with a David Freitas solo home run in the eighth. 1B Cory Spangenberg, LF Troy Stokes, DH Lucas Erceg, Orf and Freitas combined for five straight singles in the ninth to plate two runs, cutting the San Antonio deficit to 11-4. However, the Express defense recovered to shut things down and preserve the victory.
The Express continue their I-35 Rivalry Series with the Missions in game two on Wednesday night. Round Rock RHP Cy Sneed (1-5, 6.30) is slated to start against a San Antonio pitcher to be announced. First pitch at Dell Diamond is set 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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