ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (22-13) notched their fourth consecutive victory thanks to a 3-2 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers (11-23) in Saturday night's series opener at Dell Diamond. 2B Nick Tanielu accounted for every Express run to push the team to a perfect 4-0 against the Dodgers this season.
Express LHP Ryan Hartman (5-0, 3.82) collected his Pacific Coast League-leading fifth win of the year after holding the Dodgers to only two runs on four hits while striking out four in his 5.0 inning start. E-Train RHP Ralph Garza worked in a 3.0 inning relief appearance, allowing only one hit to four punchouts. In the ninth, RHP Brendan McCurry notched his third save, securing the Round Rock win with a shutout inning.
Oklahoma City entered the game with high hopes of grabbing a win over the Express as 3B Matt Beaty sent a solo homer into right field on only the second Dodgers plate appearance. In the third, 2B Errol Robinson blasted the second Dodgers home run, giving the visitors a 2-0 advantage.
In the home half of the third inning, the Express quickly loaded the bases as SS Alex De Goti walked before a Derek Fisher single and a Myles Straw walk. Two outs later, Tanielu worked another walk to plate De Goti and cut the Dodgers' lead in half.
To lead off the fifth inning, Fisher smoked a line drive into deep left field, racing to third base with a triple. The next at-bat, Straw fired off a base hit and stole second to advance into scoring position. Tanielu played hero after lining a single up the middle of the field that scored both Fisher and Straw to eventually give the Express the 3-2 win.
Garza and McCurry combined to shut out the Dodgers in 4.0 strong innings out of the Round Rock bullpen. The duo allowed just one hit while striking out five to preserve the win.
The Express look to stay hot on Sunday afternoon as they take on the revenge-seeking Dodgers in game two. Round Rock RHP Akeem Bostick (2-1, 7.52) is slated to start opposite Oklahoma City RHP Denis Santana (0-1, 4.63). First pitch in Sunday's matinee game is set for 1:05 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.