ROUND ROCK, Texas - Andy Van Hekken and Mark Melancon combined on a six-hit shutout, while Brian Bogusevic and Collin DeLome both homered as the Round Rock Express blanked the Fresno Grizzlies 3-0 Friday night at The Dell Diamond. Round Rock leads the series 2-1.
The Express (46-68) posted their first shutout since June 10 at New Orleans (2-0) and their first shutout at home since April 20 against Omaha (1-0). The Grizzlies (63-51) have lost 10 of their last 14 road games.
Van Hekken (7-6) earned Round Rock's first victory by a starting pitcher since July 10 when he defeated Oklahoma City at The Dell Diamond. Express starters had lost 12 consecutive decisions before Van Hekken's gem. He scattered three hits and three walks with three strikeouts over 7.1 innings and faced no more than four batters in any inning.
Van Hekken, who owns four of Round Rock's last five wins by starters, has been involved in two of the four Express shutouts this season. He combined with three other pitchers on a five-hit shutout at New Orleans in his first start of the season April 10.
Melancon, who joined the Express one week ago as part of the Lance Berkman trade, earned his first save with Round Rock. After giving up a single to Emmanuel Burris that loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, Melancon got Tyler Graham to ground into an inning-ending double play. Melancon worked around a pair of one-out, seeing-eye singles in the ninth, striking out Steve Holm to end the game.
Bogusevic and DeLome provided the runs, drilling homers to nearly the exact same spot. Bogusevic hit the first pitch in the bottom of the fourth over the berm in right-center for his 12th round-tripper, snapping a scoreless tie. Drew Locke reached on a two-out error in the sixth, and DeLome followed with his 12th homer of the season. Bogusevic, DeLome and Locke share the team lead in homers.
DeLome was 2-for-4 on the night, producing the lone multiple-hit game for the Express. Bogusevic was 1-for-2 and walked twice; he has reached safely in 11 of 17 plate appearances over the last four games.
Jesus Guzman and Brock Bond both had two-hit nights for the Grizzlies.
Round Rock and Fresno conclude their four-game series Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. CDT first pitch at The Dell Diamond. Right-hander Shane Loux (2-11, 6.59 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Express, while southpaw Matt Yourkin is slotted for the Grizzlies.
NOTE: Infielder Anderson Hernandez has accepted his assignment from the Houston Astros and will join the Round Rock Express for Saturday's game.
VAN HEKKEN GETS WIN AND VANISHES HEX
With starter Andy Van Hekken pitching the Express past the Fresno Grizzlies 3-0 on Friday, he picked up the first win for an Express starter since July 10 when he beat Oklahoma City.
The 30-year-old left-hander notched his seventh win of the season, while scattering three hits over 7.1 shutout innings.
"I felt good spotting the fastball and my infield did a great job for me out there," Van Hekken said after throwing an efficient 99 pitches. "I didn't know about that streak but it's definitely good to get that over with.
"I felt better tonight than I have in the past few starts. I've been a little tired but tonight I felt pretty good."
After Friday's game, Van Hekken has logged 144.1 innings, which is the most he has logged in a season since working 152.1 innings for Toledo in 2004.
"I'll just have to throw less in my bullpen sessions this late in the season," Van Hekken said in response to how he will endure the rest of the season.