NEW ORLEANS, La. - After the Round Rock Express took a 2-1 lead over the New Orleans Zephyrs in the top of the seventh inning, the Z's rallied for two runs in the bottom half of the frame to drop the E-Train to 0-2 on the road.
For the second straight night, New Orleans struck first when designated hitter Matt Diaz singled with one out in the second inning. Diaz recorded his third steal of the season, swiping second with left fielder Jordan Brown at the plate. Brown followed with a double on a 1-1 pitch into right field to put the Zephyrs up 1-0.
The E-Train tied the game in the sixth after shortstop Greg Miclat singled with one out, followed by another single from center fielder Engel Beltre. With one out and runners on the corners, Beltre attempted to steal second, but Zephyrs starter Elih Villanueva threw over to first for a pick-off attempt. Beltre was caught in a rundown, but stayed in the scramble long enough to allow Miclat to score from third, knotting the game at one apiece.
Round Rock took the lead one inning later on a RBI single off the bat of newly acquired catcher Robinson Chirinos. Right fielder Jim Adduci and second baseman Yangervis Solarte led off with back-to-back singles after left-hander Zach Phillips entered the game out of the New Orleans bullpen. Left fielder Joey Butler attempted to bunt the runners into scoring position, but Phillips was able to force Adduci out at third on the fielder's choice. With one out, Chirinos knocked in Solarte from second for the go-ahead run, putting the Express up 2-1.
In the bottom half of the seventh, New Orleans countered with a run of its own when Brown singled in Nick Green after the third baseman doubled to begin the frame. Express starter Collin Balester exited the game after 6.1 innings of work, leaving runners on first and third for reliever Lisalverto Bonilla.
The Z's followed with another run to take a 3-2 lead after Miclat's error at shortstop allowed Brown to score from third.
New Orleans' bullpen held the lead over the final two innings to close out its second consecutive victory over Round Rock, dropping the Express to 6-4 on the season.
Balester suffered his first loss of the year after allowing three runs on six hits. Phillips earned the victory and right-hander Chris Hatcher nailed down his second straight save against the E-Train and fourth on the season.
Round Rock will start game three of the four-game series tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Right-hander Josh Lindblom (0-0, 1.29 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Express while Tom Kohler (0-0, 0.82) will take the hill for New Orleans. The next set of home games for the Express will include the New Orleans Zephyrs (April 20-23) and the Albuquerque Isotopes (April 25-28). For tickets and more information, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook and Twitter!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.