ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (54-61) sprinted past the first-place Colorado Springs Sky Sox (68-44), colleting a 9-1 victory in Monday night's series opener at Security Service Field. The game was called prior to the start of the ninth inning due to rain.
Round Rock RHP James Dykstra (2-6, 7.11) posted his best start of the season, limiting Colorado Springs to just one run on five hits in six dominant innings. The righty struck out four and walked just one en route to recording his second win of the season. On the losing side, Sky Sox RHP Michael Blazek (2-4, 3.73) surrendered five runs on nine hits in five innings.
The lone Colorado Springs run of the game came in the second inning. 3B Nick Noonan opened the frame with a single before C Tyler Heineman followed up with a sacrifice bunt. DH Kirk Nieuwenhuis then lined a single into left field, scoring Noonan from second to give the Sky Sox an early edge.
However, the Express stormed back in the third inning. Newly promoted E-Train C Kevin Torres blasted a solo home run on the first pitch of his first career Triple-A at-bat, leveling the score at 1-1. After 3B Pete Kozma singled, SS Jurickson Profar connected on a 3-2 offering from Blazek, sending the ball over the wall in right field to give Round Rock the lead at 3-1.
Round Rock tacked on two more in the fourth. 2B Tyler Smith kicked things off with a single, then RF Travis Snider followed up with an RBI double. After a Torres groundout that moved Snider to third, CF Jared Hoying doubled to push the E-Train lead to four.
The Express blew the game wide open with a four-run seventh. Profar started the frame with a walk prior to a Willie Calhoun single. DH Will Middlebrooks drove in a run with a single, then 1B Ronald Guzman jumped aboard via a fielding error by Sky Sox 1B Chris Colabello . Calhoun raced home from third on the play to extend the gap to 7-1. The inning continued as Smith singled while Middlebrooks sprinted home on a missed catch error by Colorado Springs CF Lewis Brinson . Snider then sent Guzman to the plate on a groundout, giving Round Rock a 9-1 edge.
After a scoreless eighth inning, play was halted prior to the top of the ninth as a steady drizzle turned into a downpour, washing away any chance of completing the final frame.
Round Rock and Colorado Springs meet again on Tuesday night. Express RHP Tyler Wagner (3-9, 6.46) is scheduled to take the mound against Sky Sox RHP Paolo Espino (4-1, 3.72). First pitch at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs is set for 7:40 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.