ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Round Rock Express (25-14) kicked off a five-game series against the Nashville Sounds (13-26) on Thursday night at Dell Diamond by storming past the visitors by a 10-4 final score. The Express bats came to life as eight Round Rock batters collected at least one hit. Houston Astros #3 prospect, LF Yordan Alvarez, shined just a little brighter, leading the E-Train to victory with two home runs, a double and a career-high six RBI.
Round Rock RHP Jose Urquidy (1-0, 5.40) spun a gem in his Triple-A debut after getting called up from the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks on Thursday afternoon. The righty allowed just five hits and three runs while striking out eight opposing batters in a 5.0 inning start. RHP Kent Emanuel notched a hold after surrendering only one hit in a 2.0 inning relief appearance. Nashville RHP Phillips Valdez (0-5, 5.23) suffered the loss after allowing four runs on six hits in a 4.2 inning start.
Alvarez silenced the Sounds from the very start, launching a no-doubter home run into the left field berm in the bottom of the first inning for his 16th homer of the young season. The longball sent home 2B Alex De Goti and SS Myles Straw , who each singled in prior at-bats.
In the fourth, the Sounds answered back with a pair of homers to tie the contest at three. Former Express and current Sounds DH Andy Ibanez recorded the first Nashville hit in the fourth before touching home plate thanks to a Matt Davidson home run. SS Eli White kept the ball rolling for Nashville with a game-tying homer in the next at-bat.
Not to be outdone, Alvarez stepped up to the plate in the fifth and worked Valdez for 12 pitches before converting for his second homer of the game. The outfielder's 17th blast of the season put him atop all of Minor League Baseball in the respective category.
The next inning, C Garrett Stubbs launched a fly ball into deep center field, sending him to second base. The catcher then hustled home on a Derek Fisher single to widen the gap to 5-3. The homers kept coming for Round Rock as 1B AJ Reed blasted a two-run rocket over the Dell Diamond fences in the sixth, plating 3B Jack Mayfield , who had previously walked.
Alvarez' lights out night continued in the home half of the eighth with a two-run RBI double that came just inches away from clearing the left field fence. The outfielder then hustled to home plate from second base on a Mayfield sacrifice fly, taking advantage of a sleeping Sounds defense to extend the lead to 10-3.
As a last-ditch effort, Nashville C Jett Bandy homered into the Express bullpen in the ninth inning, but a comeback was already far out of reach for the visitors.
The Express take on the Sounds in game two on Friday night at Dell Diamond. Round Rock RHP Cy Sneed (1-4, 5.72) is set to start opposite Sounds RHP Tim Dillard. First pitch 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.