OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - The Round Rock Express (55-62) exploded for 10 runs in the sixth inning to claim an 11-8 victory over the Oklahoma City Dodgers (63-54) in Friday night's series opener. E-Train SS Jurickson Profar finished 2-4 with a home run and three RBI in the win.
Round Rock reliever RHP Anthony Bass (2-2, 4.06) picked up the win after allowing two runs on three hits in 3.2 innings of relief. On the losing side, Oklahoma City LHP Jeremy Bleich (5-1, 2.88) suffered his first loss of the season following a performance in which he surrendered five runs, only four of which were earned, on three hits while recording just one out in the sixth inning.
The Express jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Profar blasted a one-out home run off OKC starter RHP Fabio Castillo . The righty finished the game having allowed just the one run on two hits in five solid innings.
Oklahoma City responded with three runs in the bottom of the second. E-Train starter RHP Clayton Blackburn surrendered a one-out double to RFHenry Ramos before walking DH O'Koyea Dickson . After hitting C Jack Murphy with a pitch, Blackburn gave up a two-run single to SS Drew Maggi , giving OKC a 2-1 lead. Following a Tim Locastro single, Blackburn skipped a wild pitch past C Brett Hayes , allowing Murphy to score the Dodgers' third run of the frame.
The home side tacked on three more in the third. LF Rod Segedin and 1B Edwin Rios recorded back-to-back singles to open the frame. Ramos followed up with an RBI single prior to a two-run Dickson single.
After two scoreless frames, Round Rock unloaded for 10 runs in the top of the sixth inning. With RHP Yaisel Sierra on in relief, CF Jared Hoying singled before Profar worked a walk. An ensuing Willie Calhoun single loaded the bases for 3B Will Middlebrooks . The infielder delivered with an RBI single. After Bleich replaced Sierra, 1B Ronald Guzman singled home Profar to cut the deficit to 6-3. DH Travis Snider then punched a two-run single to center field.
The inning continued as 2B Doug Bernier manufactured a walk. In the next plate appearance, RF Preston Beck reached via a fielding error by Segedin while Guzman raced home to level the game at 6-6. Hayes then recorded an RBI single to give Round Rock the lead once again at 7-6. RHP Steve Geltz entered in relief, immediately allowing consecutive two-run singles to Profar and Calhoun, bumping the gap to 11-6.
Oklahoma City tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Murphy and Maggi opened the frame with back-to-back singles prior to a Locastro double play that left Murphy at third base. Bass then walked Muncy and LF Alex Verdugo to load the bases. Express manager Jason Wood then called on LHP Jimmy Reyes , who gave up a two-run double to Rios, narrowing the Round Rock lead to 11-8.
Express closer RHP Preston Claiborne worked around an error and a walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to preserve the win, recording his 16th save of the season in the process.
The two American Conference foes will face off again on Saturday night. OKC RHP Wilmer Font (9-6, 3.39) is set to take the mound against an E-Train pitcher yet to be announced. First pitch at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05 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.