ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Round Rock Express (17-9) evened its series with the El Paso Chihuahuas (11-14) thanks to a 6-4 victory on Friday night at Dell Diamond. DH John Hicks made his first start since rejoining the Express off the Texas Rangers Taxi Squad and tallied two hits,
ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Round Rock Express (17-9) evened its series with the El Paso Chihuahuas (11-14) thanks to a 6-4 victory on Friday night at Dell Diamond. DH John Hicks made his first start since rejoining the Express off the Texas Rangers Taxi Squad and tallied two hits, two RBI and a run on the night.
Express RHP Jharel Cotton (2-0, 4.58) earned the win in relief with 2.0 perfect innings in which he struck out four of the six batters he faced. Chihuahuas starter RHP Jesse Scholtens (2-2, 4.07) was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs, four earned, over five hits with eight strikeouts in his 5.1 innings. RHP Spencer Patton earned his fourth save of the season with one strikeout in a strong ninth-inning appearance.
El Paso got one runner across in the first inning when 2B Ivan Castillo singled before rounding the bases on a double from RF Brian O’Grady.
In the bottom of the frame, Round Rock dropped four runs, starting with a two RBI single from Hicks, which scored LF Delino DeShields and CF Leody Taveras. 1B Curtis Terry followed with a double to right-center field to send Hicks in. After advancing to third on a Chihuahuas error, Terry crossed home plate thanks to a sacrifice fly from 3B Andy Ib**áñ**ez and the Express took a 4-1 lead.
The Chihuahuas wasted no time closing the gap as they plated three of their own in the top of the second inning. 1B Nick Tanielu and 3B Matthew Batten had reached base hitting a double and drawing a walk, respectively, before C Michael Cantu grounded into a fielder’s choice that eliminated Tanielu at third. SS Pedro Florim**ó**n then hit a three-run home run to score the runners and tie the contest at 4-4.
After three scoreless innings, Round Rock added another run in the sixth for a 5-4 lead as RF Eli White knocked a base hit, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored easily on an Ibáñez double.
An Express run from 2B Charles Leblanc secured the 6-4 final in the seventh inning. Leblanc worked a leadoff walk before advancing to second base on a bunt single from DeShields then to third on a Chihuahuas passed ball. Taveras hit a sacrifice fly to send Leblanc in and help Round Rock tie the series at 1-1.
The in-state foes meet for the third series matchup on Saturday for 90’s Night at Dell Diamond. Express RHP Jason Bahr (0-1, 11.57) is scheduled to start on the mound against Chihuahuas RHP Brett Kennedy (1-3, 11.65). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.
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