Chris Davis became only the fourth player in Round Rock Express history to hit three home runs in a game as the Express clubbed the Iowa Cubs 13-9 in Saturday night's Pacific Coast League action at The Dell Diamond. Round Rock hit six home runs as a team, the second-best game total in franchise history and one shy of the club record seven hit at Albuquerque in 2006.
Davis joined Morgan Ensberg (vs. Shreveport, 2000), Charlton Jimerson (at Albuquerque, 2005) and Luke Scott (vs. Salt Lake, 2006) as the only Express players to hit three homers in a game. Davis had a solo homer in the first, a two-run shot in the fourth and another solo homer in the sixth. He finished the night 3-for-4 with five RBI, also drawing a bases-loaded walk in the second.
Doug Deeds and Esteban German each added a solo homer, and Brad Nelson capped the six-homer barrage with a two-run shot in the seventh. Round Rock has 11 home runs in its first three games this season; last year's club - then the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros - hit 10 home runs the entire month of April (21 games).
Express starter Zach Jackson (1-0) worked 5.1 innings and allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts to pick up the win. Iowa starter Robert Cuello (0-1) took the loss after allowing seven runs on eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts over 4.0 innings.
Trailing 13-7, Iowa made things interesting the ninth. Marquez Smith and Scott Moore opened the frame with consecutive singles, and Chris Robinson plated Smith with a one-out single. Consecutive two-out walks by Fernando Perez and Bobby Scales scored another run, but Cody Eppley struck out Luis Montanez to end the game. It was Eppley's first save of the season.
The Express tallied 16 hits as a team as eight of nine starters hit safely. Deeds, German, Nelson, Endy Chavez, Craig Gentry and Kevin Cash all had two-hit nights. Chad Tracy, the lone starter without a hit, walked once and was hit by a pitch.
Moore was 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored for the Cubs, while Bryan LaHair was 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI. Montanez, Smith, Robinson and Jonathan Mota each added two hits.
Iowa took the game's first lead on LaHair's two-run, first-inning homer. Davis answered with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning. The Express scored two runs on two hits in the bottom of the second. Chavez tied the game with a two-out RBI single. Davis then drew a bases-loaded walk, and the Express never trailed again.
Round Rock and Iowa conclude their four-game series Sunday with a 1:05 p.m. CDT first pitch at The Dell Diamond. Right-hander Brett Tomko (0-0, 0.00 ERA) starts for the Express, while southpaw J.R. Mathes (0-0, 0.00 ERA) goes for the Cubs.