Express roll past ‘Cakes in one-hitter

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METAIRIE – Round Rock starter Brandon Bielak carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and the Express used four home runs to overpower the New Orleans Baby Cakes, 13-0 on Saturday night.

Chas McCormick had two of Round Rock’s four homers and drove in six runs to pace the largest margin of victory for the Express in 235 all-time meetings against New Orleans.

The first four hitters in the top of the second reached base against ‘Cakes starter Mike Kickham (3-4) on a walk, a hit batter and two singles, capped by McCormick’s to drive in the first run of the game.

Jack Mayfield launched his second home run in as many days in the fifth inning, a two-run shot to double Round Rock’s lead to 4-0, and the Express took control an inning later with a four-run outburst off reliever Jeff Kinley. The big blow was provided by Kyle Tucker’s three-run homer, his 25th of the year.

McCormick added a two-run homer in the seventh to push the Express advantage to 10-0, but by then the attention had turned to Bielak, who had held the Baby Cakes without a hit through the first six innings.

Isan Diaz ended the no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the seventh, his 34th extra-base hit in the last 60 games, but Bielak (4-3) still finished with seven strikeouts in seven shutout innings. The only baserunners he allowed were walks to Eddy Alvarez in the first and fourth innings.

McCormick belted his second home run of the night in the ninth, and Dean Deetz worked the final two innings to finish off the shutout and hand the ‘Cakes their most lopsided loss of the season. New Orleans was held to one hit for the first time since May 16, 2017 against Salt Lake.

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa went 1-for-5 with a double and three strikeouts in the fourth game of his rehab assignment with Round Rock.

The teams play the rubber match of the three-game set on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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