The New Orleans Zephyrs rallied to score five runs in the ninth inning, but it was not enough as the Round Rock Express grabbed the opener of the four-game series on Saturday night, 8-7 at the Dell Diamond.
Robinson Chirinos slugged a three-run homer in Round Rock's four-run first inning to jump out to a quick lead. The Express added to the lead in the fourth with an Aaron Cunningham RBI single.
Yangervis Solarte had three hits, including an RBI single in the fifth and a home run in the seventh as the Express carried an 8-2 lead into the ninth inning.
New Orleans sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring all five runs with two outs. Wilson Valdez drew a bases-loaded walk, and Kevin Mattison followed with a triple and Bryan Petersen singled to right to get the Zephyrs within a run, but Ben Lasater, whose ground out had led off the inning, popped out to end the rally.
The Z's outhit the Express 13-9, but stranded a season-high 15 baserunners. Mattison led the Z's with three hits and four RBI.
Josh Lindblom (2-0) allowed one run and four hits in five innings to earn the victory. He struck out seven and walked two.
Brad Hand (2-1), who entered the game without an earned run allowed through his first three starts, was charged with six runs in 4 2/3 innings and took the loss.
The Zephyrs and Express resume the series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.