MEMPHIS, Tennessee - The Round Rock Express (76-52) dropped their third consecutive decision to the Memphis Redbirds (62-67), this time by a lopsided 14-2 count on Thursday night at AutoZone Park. Round Rock drew nine walks but could not produce the needed hits to spark a rally.
Round Rock LHP Ryan Hartman (6-6, 5.33) suffered the loss after surrendering six runs, only four of which were earned, on nine hits in a 5.0 inning start. Hartman piled five strikeouts onto his team-leading count in the outing. Memphis RHP Seth Elledge (3-1, 5.93) held Round Rock to only one run on three hits to run away with the victory.
Memphis struck early as LF Randy Arozarenza hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning. Round Rock responded the third as LF Taylor Jones was hit by a pitch that ultimately resulted in the ejection of Redbirds starter RHP Chris Ellis. With Elledge on the mound, 1B Kyle Tucker smoked a double that shifted Jones from first to third. DH Lorenzo Quintana then grounded out, but Jones hustled home on the play to level the score at one. The next at-bat, 3B Nick Tanielu doubled in Tucker to push Round Rock ahead 2-1.
The E-Train lead was short-lived as CF Dylan Carlson notched a game-tying homer in the bottom half of the third to reignite the 'Birds offense. In the fourth, C Andrew Knizner hit a two-run homer, a shot that scored DH Adolis Garcia after he led off the frame with a single, to put Memphis back on top 4-2.
After SS Edmundo Sosa notched a fifth-inning single, 1B John Nogowski further extended the home team's lead with another two-run longball.
A high-scoring seventh inning for the Redbirds ultimately sealed the E-Train's defeat. After a strikeout to leadoff the frame, Round Rock's pitching staff allowed eight Memphis hitters to step to the plate, combining for a pair of RBI doubles, a single, a walk and a stolen base. With two wild pitches tossed in the mix, the Redbirds plated four runs to widen the gap to 10-2.
As salt in the wound, Memphis tacked on four more in the eighth inning. Carlson singled prior to a Nogowski walk. Garcia then hit an RBI double to score Carlson before Williams homered for the second time to plate a pair and extend the final score to 14-2.
The Express return to Dell Diamond on Friday night to open their final series ever against the New Orleans Baby Cakes (Miami Marlins affiliate). Round Rock RHP Brandon Bielak (7-4, 4.95) is expected to start opposite New Orleans RHP Robert Duggar (2-4, 8.35). First pitch at Dell Dimond is set for 7:05 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.