OMAHA, Neb. - The Round Rock Express (73-71) finished off the 2013 campaign by falling to the Omaha Storm Chasers (70-74) 8-4 Monday afternoon at Werner Park.
Round Rock concluded the final road trip of the 2013 season with a 2-6 record, including dropping 3-of-4 to the Storm Chasers in the season-ending four-game set.
After tossing 5.0 shutout innings in his last start, Express starter Josh Lindblom was tagged for two runs in the first inning with just one out on the board. With one gone, the right-hander issued a walk before giving up a two-run home run to Omaha first baseman Carlos Pena that put the Storm Chasers up 2-0.
Round Rock's offense wasted little time battling back as the E-Train tied the game in the second. With two on and two out, catcher Zach Zaneski delivered a two-run double in his first start with the Express since August 21, knotting the game at two apiece.
With the game tied, Lindblom allowed just two hits over the next three innings before the Storm Chasers broke through in the fifth. A pair of RBI singles, capped with a two-out two-run double put four more runs on the scoreboard for Omaha and gave the Storm Chasers a 6-2 advantage after five.
Once again, the Express did not wait around to cut into the lead. The E-Train offense got started in the top of the sixth when right fielder Joey Butler worked a leadoff walk before designated hitter Mike Bianucci belted a two-run home run that trimmed Omaha's lead to two at 6-4.
Lindblom was lifted after 5.0 innings of work, allowing a season-high six runs on eight hits. Southpaw Ryan Feierabend took over out of the bullpen for the Express, making his eighth relief appearance of the season.
The Storm Chasers tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh and eighth off Feierabend and right-hander Wilmer Font to drop the Express into a four-run deficit to start the ninth.
Trailing 8-4, the Express put two runners on base in the final frame, but a double play erased the first before a fly out ended the game. Lindblom (8-4) suffered the loss, while Omaha starter John Lamb (1-2) picked up his first win after holding the Express to four runs over 5.0 innings. Round Rock managed just one hit off the Storm Chasers bullpen, the lone knock coming with two outs in the ninth.
The Express finished the season with 70 or more wins for the fourth time in Triple-A franchise history (2011, 2006, 2005), while two of the prior three 70-plus win seasons resulted in playoff berths (did not make playoffs in 2005).