TACOMA, Washington - The Round Rock Express (15-22) twice battled back from two-run deficits but twice the Tacoma Rainiers (23-12) responded with runs in the very next inning, ultimately collecting a 6-4 win in Sunday afternoon's series finale. E-Train 1B Ronald Guzman notched his second career multi-home run game in the defeat.
Express reliever LHP Jimmy Reyes (0-1, 2.76) suffered the loss after giving up the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Rainiers RHP Ryne Harper (2-0, 2.20) collected the win after 1.1 perfect innings of relief. Round Rock starter RHP Anthony Bass allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out seven in five innings.
Tacoma struck first with a pair of runs in the first inning. 3B Seth Mejias-Brean kickstarted things with a one-out single before DH Daniel Vogelbach followed up with a walk. In the next at-bat, C Mike Zunino sent a double to left field, scoring Mejias-Brean. Vogelbach sprinted home on an ensuing Leonys Martin single.
Round Rock reset the score in the fourth. Guzman led off the inning with a solo home run, his fourth of the season. CF Jared Hoying and 1B Brett Nicholas teamed up for a pair of walks before LF Cesar Puello tied the game with an RBI single that scored Hoying from second.
The Express lead proved to be short-lived as SS Tyler Smith recorded a leadoff home run in the top of the fourth inning. Vogelbach followed suit, collecting a leadoff homer of his own to open the fifth, extending the Tacoma lead to 4-2.
Guzman evened the game once again in the eighth inning thanks to a two-run bomb that just cleared the wall in right field. Tacoma reliever RHP Emilio Pagan hit SS Jurickson Profar in what was the only plate appearance of his second inning of work. With RHP Dean Keikhefer on in relief, Guzman connected on the third pitch of his at-bat, knotting the game at 4-4.
However, in the bottom of the inning, Reyes surrendered a one-out single to Martin before yielding the way for RHP Preston Claiborne . The closer promptly gave up an RBI triple to LF Tyler O'Neill . 1B D.J. Peterson then poked a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing O'Neill to score Tacoma's sixth and final run of the day.
The Express bats couldn't find another late rally as Harper retired the side in order in the ninth inning to give Tacoma a win in the series finale.
The E-Train now heads to Reno for a four-game showdown against the Aces. Neither team's starting pitcher has been announced yet. First pitch at Greater Nevada Field is set for 8:35 p.m. The Express return home to Dell Diamond on Friday, May 19 to host the Las Vegas 51s.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.