Express use long ball to take series from ‘Cakes
METAIRIE – Kyle Tucker and Myles Straw hit two-run homers, and Jack Mayfield added a solo shot which proved to be the difference as the Round Rock Express defeated the New Orleans Baby Cakes, 5-4 on Monday afternoon.
After rallying back from a five-run deficit to come within one entering the ninth, the Baby Cakes had the tying and go-ahead runs on base with no outs after Gabriel Guerrero reached on a throwing error and Bryan Holaday was hit by a pitch. Jon Berti was tasked with advancing the runners on a bunt, but was unable to do so before bounding into a double play. Isaac Galloway then popped up behind the plate for the final out.
The Express walked away with three wins in the season-opening five-game set, thanks to a continued power surge which accounted for all five runs. Each of the Baby Cakes’ three runs were also courtesy of the home run, on solo blasts by Berti, Isan Diaz and Yadiel Rivera.
The teams combined for 20 home runs in the series, 14 of which were hit by the Express.
Round Rock starter Rogelio Armenteros (1-0) stifled the Baby Cakes’ bats through his 5 1/3 innings of work, allowing only three hits. He struck out five and did not issue a walk.
Ben Meyer’s (0-1) eight strikeouts in his season debut were one shy of his career high, but he also walked three, two of which came before the home runs by Tucker and Straw. All four of the hits Meyer allowed in his 4 1/3 innings went for extra bases.
The New Orleans bullpen, much maligned through the first four games, kept the Baby Cakes close on Monday. Jarlin Garcia and R.J. Alvarez each chipped in 2 1/3 innings and combined to allow only one run and four baserunners.
The Baby Cakes’ struggles with runners in scoring position continued, as they went for 0-for-6 on the afternoon and are hitting .119 on the season.
New Orleans begins a seven-game road trip on Tuesday in Des Moines. Righties Elieser Hernandez and Duncan Robinson will face off in the opener of a three-game series against the Iowa Cubs, with first pitch slated for 6:38 p.m.
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