Express Score Early, Hold Off Sounds 5-3
ROUND ROCK, Texas - Round Rock scored one run in each of the first three innings and led wire-to-wire as the Express defeated the Sounds 5-3 Monday night at The Dell Diamond. The Express (27-31) took a 2-1 lead in the series with the victory and have won five of seven meetings with the Sounds (32-25) this season.
The win did not come easily for the Express as the Sounds made a furious rally in the top of the ninth. Round Rock led 5-1 entering the inning, but Roy Corcoran loaded the bases with one out on a pair of walks and a single. Adam Stern followed with a two-run double, but Corcoran induced a game-ending fielder's choice from Mat Gamel to end the threat.
That made a winner of starter Andy Van Hekken, who allowed one run on four hits and three walks. Van Hekken (3-4) worked 5.0 innings, facing two batters in the sixth. He gave way to Yorman Bazardo, who tossed 3.0 scoreless innings on one hit and a walk with two strikeouts; it was his longest outing of the season.
Nashville starter Sam Narron (0-1) took the loss in his first game with the Sounds after starting the season in the Independent League. Narron allowed three runs on seven hits and no walks with two strikeouts over 6.0 innings.
Jason Bourgeois wasted little time extending his hitting streak to 16 games, tied for the fourth-longest streak in the Pacific Coast League this season. Bourgeois led off the bottom of the first with a double and later scored to give the Express a lead they never relinquished. He has hit safely in 26 of the last 27 games.
Round Rock added a run in the second when Jason Castro singled with one out and later scored on a Yordany Ramirez RBI groundout. In the fourth, Oswaldo Navarro doubled with one out; two batters later, Matt Kata delivered an RBI single as the Express pushed their lead to 3-0.
Nashville got on the board with a run in the top of the sixth, but it could have been worse for the Express. With the bases loaded and no outs, Luis Cruz plated a run with an RBI fielder's choice. Bazardo then struck out Johnny Raburn, but it was a dazzling defensive play by Express shortstop Edwin Maysonet that saved at least one run and quelled the threat. Maysonet made a diving stop on a ball up the middle off the bat of Martin Maldonado and flipped to Navarro at second for the inning's third out.
The Express tacked on what proved to be two pivotal runs in the bottom of the eighth, both coming with two outs. Drew Locke opened the frame with a pinch-hit double but was still at third base before Brian Bogusevic's two-out RBI single. Chris Johnson followed with an RBI single on a hit-and-run that pushed the Express lead to 5-1.
Bourgeois and Kata each had two hits for the Express. It was the first multiple-hit game for Bourgeois, who had kept his streak in tact with one hit in each of the last seven games.
Stern had the lone multiple-hit game for Nashville, collecting two of the Sounds seven hits on the night.
Round Rock and Nashville conclude their four-game series Tuesday with a 7:05 p.m. CDT first pitch. Right-hander Shane Loux (1-1, 9.53 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Express, while southpaw Chris Waters (4-2, 3.43 ERA) is slated to toe the rubber for the Sounds.
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