Express Rolls to 11-5 Victory over Aviators
For the second consecutive game, the Aviators on Wednesday spotted the Round Rock Express a first-inning lead, immediately rallied to tie it, then allowed the Express to regain the lead in the second inning. However, unlike in Tuesday's contest, there would be no second rally for the home team.
One night after setting season-high marks for runs and hits in a 19-9 victory, the Aviators were the team on the wrong end of a laugher Wednesday night, falling 11-5 before a crowd of 8,488 at Las Vegas Ballpark. Nick Tanielu belted two home runs and scored four times for Round Rock (35-24), which evened the series by scoring runs in each of the first three innings and six of the first seven while building leads of 7-1 and 9-2.
After opening their seven-game homestand by scoring 19 runs on 19 hits in the first four innings Tuesday, the Aviators (33-27) struggled out of the gate this time around, managing just one run - Jorge Mateo's first-inning solo homer - on three hits through the first four frames against Express starter Akeem Bostick.
Just as Round Rock did Tuesday night when it scored five times in the final five innings to make a lopsided score a bit more respectable, Las Vegas chipped away at the big deficit with single runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Beau Taylor and Seth Brown each cracked booming solo homers over the right-field wall, while Corban Joseph had an RBI double as part of a 3-for-4 night, but the Aviators never mounted a serious threat.
While Bostick (4-2) had a solid outing on the mound for the Express, scattering three runs on six hits and two walks over six efficient innings, the same couldn't be said for Las Vegas right-hander Parker Dunshee. In his fifth start since being promoted from Double-A Midland (Texas), Dunshee (1-3) lasted just 2 1/3 innings, surrendering six runs (five earned) on five hits and four walks.
In fact, walks proved to be the difference in this one, as Dunshee and relief pitchers Ben Bracewell and Kyle Lobstein combined to issue seven free passes in the first six innings, five of which came around to score. Conversely, Las Vegas drew just three walks against Bostick and reliever Ryan Hartman, cashing in just one.
GAME NOTES: Thanks to his ninth home run in the first inning, Mateo has now hit safely in 12 consecutive games. ... Taylor extended his hitting streak to six games with his fifth-inning homer. ... Right-hander J.B. Wendelken pitched the final three innings for Las Vegas, and while he yielded both of Tanielu's homers - the only two hits he gave up - he struck out six and didn't walk a batter. ... Right-hander Jake Buchanan (3-3, 6.00) is scheduled to start for the Aviators in Thursday's series finale against Round Rock. First pitch on $2 Beer Night is at 7:05 p.m.
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