ROUND ROCK, Texas - A six-run fourth inning propelled the Round Rock Express (52-41) to an 11-8 win over the Oklahoma City RedHawks (49-42) Tuesday night in game two of a three-game set at Dell Diamond.
Each time the Express rallied, the RedHawks seemed to have an answer until Round Rock finally broke through with six runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a lead it would never relinquish.
The RedHawks struck first for the second straight night, tagging Express starter Evan Meek for three runs in the top of the first. A one-out single by third baseman Brandon Laird plated the first run before center fielder George Springer blasted a two-run shot to spot Oklahoma City a three-run advantage.
Meek allowed another run in the top of the second when an errant pickoff attempt at first base let second baseman Jose Martinez score from third to put the RedHawks up 4-0.
With one swing of the bat in the bottom of the second, Round Rock climbed within one as center fielder Jim Adduci's three-run homer brought designated hitter Manny Ramirez and right fielder Joey Butler home after both singled to start the frame.
Trailing by one, the defense couldn't hold the game in check in the third when third baseman Mike Olt's throwing error allowed Laird to reach before Springer launched his second homer of the night to put Oklahoma City back in front by three at 6-3.
Ramirez pulled the Express back within one, slamming his first home run as a member of the Express onto the left field berm for a two-run shot in the bottom of the third to bring the score to 6-5.
After the RedHawks tacked on another run in the top of the fourth on a RBI triple off the bat of Springer, Round Rock rallied in the bottom of the frame. Olt led off with a single and scored when first baseman Mike Bianucci followed with a RBI double. After Adduci reached on a bunt single, Miclate knocked in Bianucci with a RBI single two batters later. With runners on first and second, Oklahoma City went to the bullpen, bringing in Jose Valdez in relief. A walk to left fielder Aaron Cunningham loaded the bases and the Express cashed in. Shortstop Yangervis Solarte singled in a run before Ramirez worked a bases loaded walk to force in another. Butler's second single of the night plated the fifth run while Olt capped the scoring spree with a sacrifice fly to bring in the sixth score of the frame. Round Rock finished the fourth inning with six runs on six hits to take an 11-7 lead.
The RedHawks brought home a run two frames later in the top of the sixth after Johan Yan had replaced Meek on the mound for the E-Train. Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez began the inning with a double and came around to score on a RBI knock off the bat of Laird to bring Oklahoma City within three.
Leading 11-8, the bullpen finished off the night by holding the RedHawks scoreless over the final three innings to preserve the victory. Meek earned the victory while Wilmer Font closed out the ninth to earn his first save in an Express uniform.
The Express concludes a seven-game homestand with the series finale against the RedHawks Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Round Rock will send right-hander Scott Richmond (2-2, 6.58 ERA) to the mound to face Oklahoma City starter Brad Peacock (4-2, 2.89 ERA). Dell Diamond will feature game show style promotions throughout the night as a part of Winning Wednesday, presented by the Texas Lottery. For more information on the Express, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook and Twitter!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.