MEMPHIS, Tennessee - The Round Rock Express (41-50) built an early lead but couldn't hang on as the Memphis Redbirds (57-33) claimed a 6-2 decision in the series opener on Thursday night at AutoZone Park.
Express starter RHP Tyler Wagner (1-8, 7.28) suffered the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks in six innings of work. On the winning side, Memphis LHP Marco Gonzales (6-3, 2.60) limited Round Rock to just two runs on three hits while striking out eight in six innings.
The E-Train wasted little time putting runs on the board. SS Jurickson Profar worked a one-out walk in the top of the first inning before C Brett Nicholas laced an RBI double into right field. A Jared Hoying single two hitters later doubled the Express lead to 2-0.
However, in the second inning, RF Adolis Garcia and 2B Breyvic Valera teamed up for a pair of singles prior to a booming three-run homer off the bat of 3B Patrick Wisdom .
After four scoreless innings, Memphis padded their lead in the seventh. With RHP Sam Wolff on in relief, Valera recorded a leadoff single before promptly stealing second base and moving to third on a wild pitch. C Alberto Rosario then singled Valera home. Rosario stole second base then came racing home on an ensuing Aledmys Diaz single. 1B Rangel Ravelo extended his team's lead to 6-2 with an RBI double in the next at-bat.
Offensively, Round Rock managed just two baserunners in the final eight innings as Gonzales, LHP Zach Duke and RHP Mark Montgomery combined to retire 24 of the last 26 E-Train hitters.
The Express look to bounce back in game two on Friday night. Round Rock RHP Nick Martinez (1-0, 5.93) is set to take the mound against Memphis RHP John Gant (1-4, 3.33). First pitch at AutoZone Park 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.