Will Middlebrooks continued his explosive season, but the Express fell to the Nashville Sounds 9-3 on the road on Thursday night.
The slugging third baseman hit his 23rd home run of the year, good for second on the team. Round Rock has been out of the playoff race for a week but has shown signs of finishing strong with four wins in its last six games.
Express starter Dario Alvarez (1-0, 2.25) lasted four innings, allowing three runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Tyler Wagner (3-11, 6.34 ERA) took the loss after giving up two runs on three hits in two innings of work.
Round Rock totaled seven hits and stranded 12 runners. Willie Calhoun extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 1-for-4 performance. Middlebrooks moved into second on the team with two RBIs, bringing his season total to 62.
Middlebrooks got the game going in the first inning with a two-run bomb, but the Sounds tied the game with a two-run shot of their own in the bottom of the second off Wagner. He has given up a team-high 20 home runs this season.
Nashville tripled with one on and one out to take the lead in the third, but the Express fought back when Doug Bernier sent the first pitch saw to left field to drive in Preston Beck and tie the game.
The Sounds put the game away, scoring two runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. R.J. Alvarez and Adam Loewen each pitched one inning and gave up two runs apiece.
Round Rock and Nashville continue the four-games series on Friday at 7:05 p.m. David Ledbetter (3-3, 4.18) will take the mound for the Express. They return home for the final homestead of the season Monday when the Colorado Springs Sky Sox come to town.