Every time the Express looked like they had a burst of energy Wednesday night, the Sacramento River Cats had a response.
Round Rock returned home after a wildly successful road trip but fell to the San Fransisco Giants Triple-A team 7-5 in the first of a three-game series.
Willie Calhoun finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Tommy Joseph had a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs. Drew Robinson hit his first home run since being activated from the disabled list on Saturday.
Deolis Guerra (2-2, 6.75 ERA) made his second spot start of the season for Express, but exited after less than two innings of work, allowing three runs on two hits with one strikeout.
Five other Round Rock pitchers combined to allow four runs on three hits with seven strikeouts the rest of the game.
The Express are returning from a 12-day, 10-game road trip during which they outscored opponents 84-54 and won seven of the 10 games, the best mark of any team in the PCL over that span.
Infielder Christian Lopes has been the catalyst of the offense and was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week, boasting multi-hit games in six straight games and combining to hit 12-20 with three doubles, a triple, three home runs, nine RBI and nine runs scored.
Joseph drove in Calhoun with an RBI double in the first inning, but Sacramento responded in the second inning, blasting a pair of home runs and scoring on a double to right field to take a 6-1 lead.
Calhoun started to claw the Express back in the third inning when he doubled to deep right field and Robinson hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Joseph picked up his second RBI of the game with a double in the fifth to cut the lead to 6-4.
The River Cats scored on a fielder’s choice in the seventh to restore their three-run lead but Calhoun singled in the bottom half of the inning to score Nick Noonan to again cut the deficit to a pair of runs with one out left in the inning.
But the Express couldn’t get anything else going, generating just one hit and one baserunner the rest of the game.
Round Rock continues its series against Sacramento Thursday at 7:05 p.m. before welcoming in the Fresno Grizzlies — the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros — for a quartet of games beginning Saturday at 6:05 p.m.