ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (61-57) battled back from an early four-run deficit to send their finale with the Memphis Redbirds (61-57) into extra innings, but would have to settle for a series split Tuesday, falling 5-4 in 10 innings at Dell Diamond.
With the loss, Round Rock finished their 10-game, eight-day series with a 5-5 record.
3B Ryan Rua led the E-Train at the plate, finishing 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and two RBI, but it was for not.
Continuing with recent trends, the Redbirds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. After two quick outs, 3B Scott Moore and RF Stephen Piscotty ripped back-to-back doubles off Express starter to get Memphis on the board. 1B Xavier Scruggs then cranked his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot to give the visitors a three-run lead.
Memphis added another run in the top of the third on a solo blast by LF Randal Grichuk before Round Rock finally got something cooking with three runs in the home half of the inning. RF Bryan Petersen led off with a single through the right side ahead of 2B Brent Lillibridge, who cut the E-Train's deficit in half by clubbing his 10th homer on the campaign. Later in the inning, with two outs and LF Michael Choice on first following a single, Rua ripped a double down the left field line to pull the Express to within one at 4-3.
Rua came up big for Round Rock again in the eighth, tying the game at 4-4 with a solo blast to left. The third baseman now has six homers with the E-Train this season.
The Redbirds broke the tie in the 10th on a two-out single by 2B Greg Garcia. With one out in the inning, DH Jermaine Curtis walked. After Curtis advanced to second on a passed ball, Garcia scored the designated hitter with a RBI base knock into right field off Express reliever RHP Jon Edwards (1-1, 3.86 ERA).
Rua led off the home half of the 10th inning with a double, but would be stranded at second.
Georgetown High School and UT-Austin alum RHP Corey Knebel tossed two perfect innings in place of starter LHP Edwar Cabrera, striking out one to record his best performance since joining his hometown team.
After playing 24 games in 21 days, the Express will get a day off Wednesday before heading to Nashville on Thursday to begin a five-game series with the Sounds at Greer Stadium. RHP Luke Jackson (1-0, 6.58 ERA) is expected to take the mound for Round Rock against Nashville RHP Taylor Jungmann (5-5, 4.90 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Listen to the game live on 104.9 The Horn or at hornfm.com. For more information on the Express, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook and Twitter!