ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico - The Round Rock Express (71-48) soared past the Albuquerque Isotopes (51-69) by a final score of 11-6 on Monday night at Isotopes Park. Express LHP Framber Valdez (4-2, 2.92) set a new all-time Round Rock Express Triple-A franchise record with 13 strikeouts in the winning performance.
Valdez allowed four runs on six hits while walking just one in the win. On the losing side, Isotopes LHP Pat Dean (3-11, 7.39) surrendered four runs on seven hits and a walk in a 4.2-inning start.
RF Kyle Tucker gave Round Rock an early lead as he blasted his 31st home run of the year in the top of the first inning. The two-run shot also scored 2B Myles Straw , who led off the game with a single. After a trio of scoreless innings, E-Train C Garrett Stubbs smoked a leadoff shot to extend the lead to 3-0. Shortly thereafter, Straw hit a double prior to scoring on a single off the bat of SS Jack Mayfield.
The Isotopes broke through in the sixth inning when a Drew Butera double was eventually plated via a two-run homer off the bat of 2B Pat Valaika to bring the home team within 4-2.
However, Round Rock answered with another pair of runs in the seventh. LF Alex De Goti reached base after being hit by a pitch to begin the inning and was quickly plated when 2B Nick Tanielu notched a double. After the runner advanced to third on an Abraham Toro groundout, Mayfield sent a sacrifice fly into right field that allowed the sixth run to score.
Albuquerque inched back in the home half as DH Noel Cuevas hit a two-run home run, scoring RF Drew Weeks , who jumped aboard on a single. In the eighth, SS Elliot Soto notched a triple and eventually scored on a passed ball, cutting the Isotopes deficit to 6-5.
However, Round Rock dropped a five-spot in the final inning to take a comfortable 11-5 lead. All nine E-Train batters stepped up to the plate in the frame and combined for two doubles, two singles and two walks. The big inning was highlighted by Tucker's second home run of the evening, another two-run shot.
Round Rock hopes for a series split in Tuesday night's series finale. Express RHP Jose Urquidy (3-2, 5.57) is set to start against Isotopes LHP Chris Rusin (1-3, 5.93). First pitch at Isotopes Park is scheduled for 7:35 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.