The reimagined I-35 rivalry between the Express and San Antonio Missions got off to an even start.
Round Rock and San Antonio split the four-game series, with the Express winning the final game 6-5 on Monday afternoon. The Express is still one and a half games ahead of the Missions in the PCL American Southern Division.
The Express started their 12-game road trip with their first series sweep of the season, beating the Oklahoma City Dodgers in three games in a row on Wednesday and Thursday.
As has been the case for much of the season, Round Rock outfielder Yordan Alvarez has been one of the hottest hitters, and earned PCL Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday afternoon.
He had a .591 average with one home run while driving in a league-best nine runs in six games from April 29-May 5. He finished the doubleheader against the Dodgers 6-for-8 with two doubles, a home run, six RBIs and four runs scored on May 1.
Alvarez leads the Express in batting average (.406), doubles (11) doubles, home runs and RBIs (38) this season.
The series opener between the Express and Mission started on Friday but had to be pushed back.
In the first full game of the series on Saturday, seven Round Rock starters had a hit and the team combined for 15 hits and three home runs in an 11-4 win, its first over San Antonio since the two were part of the Texas League in 2004.
The doubleheader on Sunday wasn’t as kind to Round Rock.
San Antonio made up five runs to beat the Express 10-9 in the conclusion of Friday’s game before a pair of three-run innings propelled them to their second win of the day over Round Rock.
Express shortstop Jack Mayfield hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning to salvage the split and give Round Rock a 6-5 win on Monday. Express starter Ryan Hartman (4-0, 3.86) earned his Pacific Coast League-leading fourth win of the season after holding San Antonio to a pair of runs on five hits in 6.0 innings of work.
Round Rock concludes the road trip at the Omaha Storm Chaser before coming home for the longest homestand of the year, beginning a 13-game streak at Dell Diamond on May 11 against Oklahoma City.