Express roll past Iowa in series finale


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Cesar Puello and theExpress wrapped up their eight-game homestand in a big way.

Puello hit a home run and had four RBIs as Round Rock beat the Cubs 10-6 Tuesday night at Dell Diamond in the series-finale. Texas football head coach Tom Herman was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

“It’s always nice getting any kind of hits and have the team click like we did tonight,” Robinson said. “We’ve been swinging the bat really well and got some more timely hits. It’s good to see and it’s good for the team.

Round Rock won two of the first three in the home series against the Cubs. After falling 8-3 in the opener on Saturday, they rebounded with an 8-7 win on Sunday afternoon and a dominant 9-2 win Monday night.

“To win a series at home is probably the best thing you can ask for,” Express manager Jason Wood said. “These guys are starting to come together. I can’t say the at-bats in the middle and bottom of the order tonight and Gamboa giving us the outing we needed.”

Puello finished 2-for-5 with four RBIs, two runs scored and a home run. Travis Snider went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Eddie Gamboa (2-1, 5.47 ERA) picked up the win, lasting 5.1 innings and allowing five runs on eight hits with two strikeouts.

The Express roster has been shuffled with signing and call-ups and other transactions. Round Rock most recently saw Sam Dyson and Brett Nicholas join the club on rehab assignments from the Rangers and sent pitcher Nick Martinez to the big leagues.

“That’s part of minor league baseball and player development,” Wood said. “You ask any one of those guys out there and they don’t care where they’re hitting as long as they’re hitting. I’m making it work and we did some good things this series off of left-handed pitchers and I’m happy to see that.”

The Express had 15 hits in the win against the Cubs on Tuesday and have had double-digit hits in three of the last four games and 11 of 20 games on the season.

“As an offense, you’ve always got to believe (hitting the ball consistently) is what you’re capable of and I know this team is capable of it,” Robinson said. “It’s shown recently. That’s the kind of team we are and that will kind of be our identity going forward.”

Iowa led off the game with back-to-back singles and then took an early lead with a two-run double to deep center field by Victor Caratini. Round Rock stranded a pair of runners in the bottom half of the inning.

Snider singled to lead off the next inning and advanced to second on a throwing error. Ronald Guzman singled on the very next pitch, sending it into left field to cut the score in half.

Guzman and Doug Bernier hit back-to-back singles in the fourth inning to tie the game at two runs apiece and Drew Robinson gave Round Rock its first lead of the night with a bases-clearing, two-run double to make it 4-2.

The Express followed up another perfect inning by Gamboa with a single by Brett Nicholas and a no-out walk by Jared Hoying. Puello cranked his second home run of the year to stretch the lead to 7-2.

Iowa added three runs in the sixth, scoring on a sacrifice fly and a two-run home run. But Puello continued his big game with a RBI single up the middle and nicer drove in another run with a single in the very next at-bat to make ti a five-run lead.

The Cubs scored one run in the bottom of the ninth, but Dyson, got a ground ball to end the game.

Round Rock has its first off day on Wednesday before heading to Tennessee for a five-game series with the Memphis Redbirds beginning on Thursday afternoon. The Express return home Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. to start a four-game set with the Nashville Sounds.

“We’re in a good spot,” Robinson said. “At the beginning of the year, we’re trying to work things out and get back into the timing of meaningful games and making adjustments. The season starts and all of a sudden you have to tighten things up right away.”