Middlebrooks hits two bombs as Round Rock tops New Orleans


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Will Middlebrooks once again powered the Express to a win. 

The powerful third baseman clubbed his eighth and ninth home runs of the year, leading Round Rock to a 5-4 win against the New Orleans Baby Cakes Saturday night. The Express won three of four games on the road against the Baby Cakes in the series. 

Clayton Blackburn (1-0, 5.70 ERA) lasted 5.1 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with a pair of strikeouts. Sam Wolff (1-0, 0.00), who began the year with AA Frisco, earned his first career AAA win, striking out three in 1.2 innings of work. Preston Claiborne picked up his 13th save of the year. 

Middlebrooks finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Brett Nicholas also drove in a run and went 2-for-5 while Jason Martinson drove in a run for the second straight game and finished 1-for-4 on the night. 

Martinson’s only hit of the game came in the first inning when he singled to left field to drive in Drew Stubbs. New Orleans responded quickly, picking up three hits and scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. 

Nicholas hit a line drive up the third base line in the fifth to cut the lead to one run before Middlebrooks sent the first pitch he saw in the at-bat over the left field wall to give the Express a one-run lead. 

Again, the Baby Cakes responded quickly, tying the game with a no-out double in the bottom half of the inning. 

Round Rock had juts one baserunner in the next two frames before Middlebrooks parked his second homer of the night in his second straight at-bat to seal the win and series for the Express. 

The win ends an 11-game, 12-day road trip for Round Rock, which finished the trip 6-5 to move with nine games of the PCL American Southern Division lead. 

The Express host the division-leading Memphis Redbirds in a four-game series beginning Saturday at 6 p.m. They then host the Iowa Cubs for the second time this season, playing a four-game series beginning Thursday at 7 p.m.