ROUND ROCK, Texas - A grand slam by 3B Will Middlebrooks powered the Round Rock Express (2-2) to a 7-1 victory over the Nashville Sounds (2-2) Sunday afternoon at Dell Diamond. The infielder finished 3-4 at the plate with four RBI.
E-Train RHP Nick Martinez (1-0, 0.00) silenced the Sounds to the tune of five shutout innings. The righty surrendered just one hit while walking two and striking out five. Nashville starter RHP Paul Blackburn (0-1, 1.50) suffered the loss despite allowing only one earned run on five hits and two walks in six innings.
Martinez escaped minor jams in the first and second innings, then retired 10 straight to complete his dominant outing. The E-Train offense picked up their starter in the third with a two-out rally. Two of the team's hottest hitters, RF Preston Beck and Middlebrooks collected back-to-back singles before DH Jared Hoying drove home both runners with a single of his own.
The Express broke the game wide open in the 7th. CF Cesar Puello and 1B Ronald Guzman kick-started the big inning with back-to-back singles. Newly acquired C Brett Hayes then lined a double to left-center, scoring Puello. After Beck was intentionally walked to load the bases, Middlebrooks stepped to the plate and launched a grand slam that crashed into the left field berm, giving Round Rock a 7-0 lead.
Nashville scored their lone run of the game in the top of the 9th inning. 1B Matt Olson reached on a throwing error by Express RHP R.J. Alvarez. RF Andrew Lambo followed up with a single, then SS Franklin Barreto worked a walk to load the bases. A one-out Jaff Decker single scored Olson, but Alvarez recovered to strike out 3B Renato Nunez and LF Chris Parmelee to slam the door on the win, evening the series at two.
Round Rock and Nashville are scheduled to conclude their five-game Opening Weekened series on Monday night. Express RHP Eddie Gamboa (0-0, 0.00) is slated to take the mound against Sounds RHP Chris Smith (0-0, 0.00). First pitch on Bark in the Park Night at Dell Diamond is set for 7:05 p.m. Thanks to Action Pack Dog Center, fans can bring their four-legged friend to the ballpark by using the promo code "BARK" at checkout. Special dog ticket pricing also includes an Express-branded PrideBites chew tow.
Single game tickets, season memberships, Flex Plans and Kids Club packages are on sale now. For more information on the Express, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.