Scott Heineman was trying for home run No. 3.
After hitting home runs in two of the first four innings, the Express outfielder came to the plate with the bases loaded in the fifth inning but popped out. His pair of long balls was still enough to propel Round Rock to a 3-2 win over the New Orleans Baby Cakes on Sunday night.
“I wish I would’ve saved one of those homers for the bigger situation,” Heineman said. “I came up with the bases loaded looking for a ball up in the zone and he threw a changeup and I missed it and popped out to first.”
Making his sixth appearance for Round Rock since being claimed off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays in July, Chris Rowley allowed one run on two hits with seven strikeouts over six innings.
“It gives the team confidence when the starter is moving quickly and pounding the zone,” Heineman said. “It just boosts morale. As an offense, when your pitcher is in the zone, you know you’re free to swing. It opens up a lot of things.”
The righty has allowed just three runs and 14 hits over his last 26 innings of work.
Both Rowley and Express manager Jason Wood were ejected for arguing with an umpire after the sixth inning on Sunday.
Heineman hit his first home run in the first inning, sending a 0-2 pitch into the right-field bleachers. He went long again in the fourth inning, his 11th dinger of the season with the Express.
“I’ve seen (New Orleans pitcher Zac Gallen) before,” Heineman said. “He’s got a good arm. I was sitting off-speed and he threw a couple heaters in there. Then he tried to sneak one in on the hands and I was able to get it.”
Cliff Pennington scored on a passed ball to give Round Rock a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning, but New Orleans answered with a run in the sixth and seventh innings to cut the lead to one.
The win gives the Express 60 wins on the season, but they’re still on the bottom of the American Southern division with eight games left in the regular season.
The Express finish up the four-game series Monday at 7:05 p.m. before wrapping up their season at home against the division-winning Memphis Redbirds from Tuesday to Thursday. They finish off the regular season with four games at the Iowa Cubs.
“I just want to have fun and enjoy each other’s company,” Heineman said. “We’ve got some new guys recently, but for the most part, we’ve played together all year. So we need to build off each other and enjoy the last bit of the ride.”