Express Shutout 3-0 To Isotopes
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Claudio Vargas scattered only three hits in 7.0 innings of work, and added an RBI double in leading the Albuquerque Isotopes to a 3-0 win over the Round Rock Express Saturday night at Isotopes Park. It was the first time the Express (39-55) have been shutout in a nine-inning contest since May 29 at Omaha. The Isotopes (47-45) hold a 2-1 series advantage heading into tomorrow's finale.
Vargas (2-3) - who threw 56 of 84 offerings for strikes - held the Round Rock offense in check, after giving up only a double and two base hits. He finished with four strikeouts in 7.0 innings. Ramon Troncoso (1) picked up the save, working around one hit in the eighth and ninth.
Express starter Andy Van Hekken (6-6) was credited with the loss; he allowed three earned runs on 10 hits in 7.0 innings. Van Hekken had two walks with four strikeouts. Daniel Meszaros made his Express debut, tossing a perfect eighth inning.
Jay Gibbons' leadoff homer, his second home run in as many nights, led off the second inning. They added a run in that frame with Vargas' two-out RBI double to center field, which brought in Justin Sellers, who had singled before Vargas.
The Isotopes added their final run in the seventh after Lucas May's one-out triple, and the next batter, Ivan De Jesus Jr., drove him home on a sacrifice fly.
Tommy Everidge had the only two-hit night for the Express. Ramon Vazquez extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double, while Wladimir Sutil had his eight-game streak snapped.
An 0-4 shutout loss at Iowa in a seven-inning game on June 15 was the last time the Express have been shutout.
Round Rock and Albuquerque conclude their four-game set Sunday at Isotopes Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CDT. Dueling right-handers square off, as Shane Loux (2-7, 7.23) takes the mound for the Express, while John Ely (2-1, 3.00) gets the ball for the Isotopes.
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