Rain and Rainiers Top Express 8-2 in Five Innings
TACOMA, Washington - For the second time this season, mother nature prevented the Round Rock Express (14-20) from mounting a late comeback, this time allowing the Tacoma Rainiers (21-11) to claim an 8-2 decision after five innings in Thursday night's series opener. First pitch was delayed 28 minutes due to rain.
Express starter RHP Eddie Gamboa (2-3, 6.81) suffered the loss after allowing eight runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings. The knuckleballer walked four while striking out two. Rehabbing Seattle Mariners reliever RHP Steve Cishek (1-0, 0.00) picked up the win after a scoreless fifth inning of relief. Rainiers starter LHP Kyle Hunter surrendered just two runs on six hits in four innings.
Round Rock jumped all over Hunter in the first. SS Jurickson Profar recorded his first Triple-A home run of the year in what was the second at-bat of the game. DH Ronald Guzman followed up with a double before CF Jared Hoying and 1B Brett Nicholas teamed up for a pair of singles, the latest of which scored Guzman to double the early lead to 2-0.
However, Tacoma responded with eight unanswered runs. In the third, C Steven Baron lined a leadoff double to center field before RF Boog Powell singled to put the Rainiers on the board. After 3B Seth Mejias-Brean worked a walk, two more singles from DH Mike Zunino and 1B D.J. Peterson gave the home side a 3-2 edge.
The Rainiers continued their offensive attack in the fourth inning. Baron singled, then Powell collected a one-out walk to set up Meijas-Brean. The infielder delivered a knockout punch, blasting a three-run homer to left field. Zunino made it back-to-back longballs with a solo homer of his own in the very next at-bat. Baron homered in the bottom of the fifth to make it 8-2 in favor of Tacoma.
Nicholas opened the sixth inning with a leadoff walk, but then the rains came. Umpires halted play before ultimately calling the contest final after a 32-minute delay.
The two teams resume their series on Friday night. Rainiers RHP Bob Whalen (0-0, 4.50) is scheduled to take the mound against an Express pitcher yet to be announced. First pitch at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma is set for 9:05 p.m. central time.
Single game tickets, season memberships, Flex Plans and Kids Club packages are on sale now. For more information on the Express, visit or call (512) 255-2255.
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