ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (34-35) jumped out of the gate and never looked back in a 7-3 win over the first-place Memphis Redbirds (41-27) in Saturday night's series opener at Dell Diamond. E-Train CF Drew Stubbs finished 2-3 with a big three-run double in the fifth inning.
Express reliever LHP Adam Loewen (3-0, 4.91) picked up the win after allowing just one run on four hits and a walk in two innings of relief. Memphis starter LHP Sean Gilmartin (2-3, 7.78) took the loss following a performance in which he surrendered all seven Round Rock runs on a total of 11 hits in 4.2 frames.
Round Rock RHP James Dykstra was solid in his first career Triple-A start. The righty allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk in four innings. Dykstra struck out three in the no-decision.
For the eighth game in a row, the E-Train scored first. In the first inning, LF Ryan Rua worked a two-out walk in what was his first plate appearance of the season with Round Rock. 3B Will Middlebrooks then stepped to the plate and lined a two-run homer onto the berm in left field, his third home run in as many at-bats dating back to last night's win over New Orleans.
Round Rock doubled its lead in the second inning. 1B Ronald Guzman and Stubbs each singled before 2B Drew Robinson worked a walk to load the bases. SS Jurickson Profar then sent a pair of runners home with a double to the gap in left-center field.
Memphis picked the runs right back up in the top of the fourth. 1B Rangel Ravelo collected a leadoff double, then C Carson Kelly followed up with an RBI single. After a wild pitch moved Kelly to second, LF Nick Martini singled home another run to trim Round Rock's lead to 4-2.
The Express managed to score three runs with a two-out rally in the fifth. Three straight singles courtesy of 3B Jason Martinson , Guzman and RF Travis Snider loaded the bases for Stubbs. The outfielder delivered in a big way, clearing the bases with a three-run double.
Redbirds CF Harrison Bader answered in the very next inning, lining a solo home run off the batter's eye in center field to cut his team's deficit to 7-3. E-Train RHP Tanner Scheppers and RHP R.J. Alvarez shut down the Redbirds in the final three innings, combining to allow just two hits while striking out to preserve the win.
Round Rock and Memphis continue their series on Sunday afternoon. Express RHP Eddie Gamboa (5-5, 6.62) is scheduled to start against Redbirds LHP Marco Gonzales (1-3, 3.26). First pitch on Father's Day at Dell Diamond is set for 1:05 p.m.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.