Round Rock Express looking for a strong May finish

Antonio Morales

The Express won consecutive road games against the Nashville Sounds Sunday and Monday for the first time since April, and split a four-game series against the Sounds. It took Round Rock extra innings to fight off the Sounds a day after Express bats exploded to set franchise records in hits and runs scored in a 19-3 win.

Luis Hernandez ended a 117-at-bat homerless period to ignite a three-run 10th inning rally to help the Express (23-30) defeat the Sounds 8-5 in Monday’s series finale. Mike Bianucci added a couple of insurance runs with a one-out line drive double to left field. Bianucci has been a solid hitter this year, leading the team with 35 RBIs and 10 homeruns.

Tanner Scheppers pitched a perfect bottom of the 10th to earn his eighth save. Aaron Heilman was credited with his first win of the season (1-0) after recording the final two outs of the ninth inning. Derek Hankins worked two scoreless innings in a spot start, allowing one hit with one strikeout. Ben Snyder pitched the next two innings and surrendered four runs on five hits in a shaky outing.

Mark Hamburger contributed two scoreless innings and was followed by Johan Yan, who allowed the game-tying run in the eighth. John Gaub tossed two-thirds of a scoreless inning before giving way to Heilman.

Matt Kata led off the game with his fifth homer of the year and the first of three solo-shots for the Express on the day. Kata added a ground-rule double in the seventh as he went 3-5 holding down the lead-off spot.

Former Rangers call-up Julio Borbon was given the day off after extending his hitting streak to 15 games with a lead-off single in Sunday’s 19-3 victory. The defending American South division champion, the Express, currently sit in last place and seven games behind first place, held by the Albuquerque Isotopes (30-23). At 13-15 for the month of May, the Express are hoping to build off this recent road success and finish the month with a winning record.

Round Rock wraps up their eight-game road trip with a four-game series at AutoZone Park against the Memphis Redbirds. The Express return home on Saturday for a four-game set against the Albuquerque Isotopes.