ROUND ROCK EXPRESS

Red hot Express return home after successful road trip

Round Rock infielder Christian Lopes with Pacific Coast League player of the week

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The Express bats have come alive over the last two weeks as the team wraps up a 12-day, 10-game road trip. 

Round Rock outscored its opponents 84-54 on the road trip and won seven of the last 10 games, the best record in the Pacific Coast League in that span. The Express won series over the Nashville Sounds, Salt Lake Bees and Las Vegas 51s. 

The Express are still eight and a half games behind the Memphis Redbirds for first place in the American Southern division but are now just two games out of second place.

They won back-to-back series for the first time since 2014. 

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.

He hit two home runs to help Round Rock beat the 51s 12-5 on June 8 and followed that up with another dinger in the 18-7 demolition of Las Vegas the following day. It was the first time in his seven-year career he went long in back-to-back games. 

The honor is also the first PCL award of the season for Round Rock. 

The Express set season-highs in hits and runs while on the road. They racked up 20 hits in their 16-4 win against Salt Lake on June 6 and exploded for 18 runs in a win against Las Vegas on June 9. 

Michael Roth (3-2, 3.11 ERA) was arguably the best Round Rock pitcher, winning both starts. He allowed five runs on nine hits with a pair of strikeouts June 5 against the Bees and went six innings, allowing one run on four hits with seven strikeouts against the 51s. 

He’s back with the Rangers organization after being acquired from the Cubs late last month. Roth made 28 appearances in Round Rock in 2016, going 11-5 with a 2.97 ERA, and was called up to the big leagues for one game.  

Round Rock returns home on Wednesday, hosting the Sacramento River Cats for three games. The Express then welcome the Fresno Grizzlies — the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros — for a quartet of games beginning Saturday at 6:05 p.m. 

Follow @ByZachSmith and @HCNSports on Twitter for the latest news on all local sports. 

Email: sports@hillcountrynews.com

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