EL PASO, Texas- The Round Rock Express (70-47) dropped their series opener against the Albuquerque Isotopes (50-68) by a final score of 13-3 on Saturday night at Isotopes Park. The Isotopes piled on 15 hits, including a pair of home runs to fuel the victory.
Express RHP Brandon Bielak (6-4, 5.40) suffered the loss after surrendering nine runs on 10 hits in a 4.0-inning start. On the winning side, Isotopes RHP Rico Garcia held Round Rock to only two runs on four hits in a strong 6.0-inning start.
The Isotopes opened scoring in grand fashion as SS Elliot Soto and CF Sam Hillard hit back-to-back singles before RF Roberto Ramos leaded the bases with a walk. One batter later, 1B Drew Weeks stepped up to the plate and blasted a grand slam to give Albuquerque an early 4-0 lead.
Round Rock answered back in the second inning as RF Drew Ferguson worked a walk and quickly swiped second base. Moments later, DH Nick Tanielu doubled Ferguson home to cut the deficit to 4-1.
However, the Isotopes kept scoring in the third as Ramos drew a walk and shifted from first to third on a Josh Fuentes single. Weeks and LF Brian Mundell then used back-to-back RBI singles to plate the runners and widen the gap to 7-1. The next inning, the home team didn't let up, in fact, 3B Pat Valaika blasted a two-run homer to further extend their lead.
In the fifth, C Lorenzo Qunitana smoked a leadoff homer to tack on Round Rock's second run of the night. Albuquerque kept rolling in the home half as 2B Peter Mooney tripled prior to racing home on a Drew Butera single. Soto then notched another single and Hillard followed with a two-run RBI triple. Before the end of the fifth, Valaika hit a sacrifice fly into deep right field that allowed Hillard to score the Isotopes 13th run.
Later, SS Myles Straw led off the eighth inning with a single and moved to third when 3B Abraham Toro collected a base hit. 1B Kyle Tucker then knocked in Straw via a single to cut Round Rock's deficit to 13-3. However, the team could not find the necessary hits to spark a rally and ultimately dropped the 10-run decision.
Round Rock hopes to snap a two-game losing streak in tomorrow's game two. Express RHP Rogelio Armenteros (5-6, 5.54) is scheduled to start opposite Isotopes RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-1, 5.92). First pitch at Isotopes Park is scheduled for 6:35 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
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