SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Round Rock Express (38-25) suffered their first loss to the Salt Lake Bees (28-34) by a narrow 6-5 final score on Sunday afternoon at Smith's Ballpark. Despite firing off 12 hits and coming within a run in the ninth, the E-Train could not plate the game-tying run.
Salt Lake RHP Max Herrmann (1-1, 1.92) notched the win after holding Round Rock to five hits in 4.0 scoreless innings. Express RHP Ronel Blanco (1-1, 3.06) suffered the loss after surrendering two runs on five hits in a 2.2 inning relief appearance.
E-Train RF Kyle Tucker opened scoring with a solo shot just one out into the contest. RF Josh Rojas then worked a walk prior to advancing to third on a Taylor Jones double and racing home thanks to a Drew Ferguson sacrifice fly. Jones followed home as 3B Nick Tanielu tacked on an RBI single before the Bees retired the inning.
However, Salt Lake matched Round Rock's three-run inning in the third as RF Ty Kelly tripled before being waved home on a Brennan Lund double. C Mario Sanjur added a base hit the next at-bat to push Lund into scoring position. Eventually, a throwing error by Express RHP Corbin Martin allowed Lund to touch home. Bees 2B Jose Rojas then recorded a two-out RBI double to plate Sanjur and level the score at three.
Round Rock quickly plated the tie-breaking run in the third as Rojas smoked a leadoff triple prior to a Jones RBI double that put the E-Train on top 4-3. The lead was once again short lived as Lund doubled in a leadoff walk to tie the game again, this time at four.
After a pair of scoreless innings, Salt Lake broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth with a 3B Matt Thaiss homer that also pushed in RF Taylor Ward , who had previously doubled. In the final frame, Round Rock DH AJ Reed attempted to spark a comeback with a leadoff solo home run that brought Round Rock within 6-5, but the Bees held off the E-Train to secure the 6-5 victory.
The Express aim for a series win against the Bees on Monday night while Salt Lake hopes to settle with a split. Round Rock RHP Brandon Bielak (0-1, 14.73) is slated to start against Bees LHP Matt Sandoval (1-2, 5.12). First pitch at Smith's Ballpark is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.
For more information on the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and join the conversation during our historic 20th season using #20STROng.
Round Rock Express Baseball, owned and operated by Ryan Sanders Baseball, LP, is the proud Triple-A Affiliate of the Houston Astros and a member of the Pacific Coast League.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.