OMAHA, Neb. - The Round Rock Express (72-69) extended their losing streak to three games with a loss to the Omaha Storm Chasers (68-73) 6-4 Friday night at Werner Park.
The Express struck first, putting two runs on the board in the third inning. Shortstop Brendan Harris drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a double by first baseman Jim Adduci in the next at-bat. He scored on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Engel Beltre. Two batters later, designated hitter Mike Bianucci doubled to plate Adduci.
Omaha cut Round Rock's lead to one in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a two-out double by Johnny Giavotella. They tied it up in the bottom of the fourth on another two-out bolt of offensive lightning thanks to a double and a single. The Storm Chasers took the lead in the next inning on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2 Omaha.
Round Rock tied it up in the sixth on a solo home run by Bianucci on a 3-2 pitch, giving him his 10th home run this season.
Express starter Michael Kirkman came back out for the sixth with a tie ball game. He gave up a one-out single and allowed the runner to advance to scoring position on a wild pitch. He issued a walk to put two men on and then uncorked another wild pitch to put them on second and third. A single up the middle brought both runners home and chased Kirkman from the game. Reliever Ryan Rodebaugh came in to retire the next two batters and end the inning.
Trailing 5-3, the Express offense had a chance to take the lead in the top of the seventh. Yangervis Solarte drew a walk to start the seventh inning. A wild pitch by Omaha reliever Michael Cleto put him in scoring position. Harris drew a walk to put two men on with no outs. Adduci lined a single down the middle to load the bases. Beltre flew out in the next at-bat for the second out of the inning. Joey Butler drew a walk to plate Solarte to make it 5-4 Omaha. With the bases still loaded and two outs, Bianucci flew out to end the inning.
RHP Wilmer Font worked the seventh inning allowing just one walk. He was replaced by Cory Burns to start the eighth. A one-out single gave Omaha another run and the 6-4 final.
Kirkman was tagged with the loss (2-3) while Omaha starter Clayton Mortensen picked up his first Storm Chaser win.
The Express continues its final road trip of the 2013 season by continuing a four-game set against the Omaha Storm Chasers Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Jake Brigham (5-5, 4.47 ERA) will toe the rubber for the E-Train, opposing Omaha's LHP Justin Marks (6-13, 4.66 ERA). For more information on the Express, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook and Twitter!