The Round Rock Express scored twice in the top of the ninth inning to break a tied game in an 11-9 win Monday against the Oklahoma City RedHawks in front of 3,844 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The Express (50-50) compiled leads of 5-1 and 9-6 before the RedHawks battled back twice to tie the series opener between the teams. A grand slam by Austin Wates knotted the score, 5-5, in the second inning and the RedHawks scored three runs between the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game again, 9-9.
In the top of the ninth, a sacrifice fly by Ryan Rua and a RBI single by Brett Nicholas put the Express ahead, 11-9.
The eleven runs allowed by the RedHawks (52-52) Monday were the most since a 14-8 loss against New Orleans April 14 in Oklahoma City. Round Rock finished the game with a 16-13 advantage in hits.
Rua paced the Express with two home runs and five RBI in the win. Wates finished with three hits, four RBI and scored two runs for the RedHawks.
The Express took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Luis Sardinas led off the game with a single, then scored when Tomas Telis doubled on a line drive to right-center field. With one out later in the inning, Rua belted a three-run homer to left field to put the Express in front by four runs.
Jonathan Villar singled in the bottom of the first inning and a RBI double by Marc Krauss followed to cut the Express lead to 4-1.
The Express extended to a four-run lead once again in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Tomas Telis.
The RedHawks loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning and Wates hit his first career grand slam into the left-field bleachers to tie the game, 5-5. The grand slam was the second of the season for the RedHawks.
RBI triples by both Josh Wilson and Telis in the top of the fourth inning put Round Rock in front, 7-5.
Wates then made a spectacular over-the-shoulder, diving grab in center field, fully extending toward the warning track to snag a sacrifice fly by Michael Choice, as the Express scored their eighth run of the night.
A RBI single by Villar cut the Express lead to 8-6 in the fourth inning.
The teams exchanged runs in the seventh inning. Rua hit his second homer of the night to put Round Rock ahead, 9-6. A RBI double by Oklahoma City’s Preston Tucker with two outs in the bottom of the frame cut the Express lead to two runs.
The RedHawks scored twice on four hits to tie up the game, 9-9, in the bottom of the eighth.
Jio Mier belted hit first Triple-A home run, a solo shot to left field, to cut the Round Rock lead to 9-8 with one out. A RBI single on a line drive to center field by Marc Krauss tied the game, 9-9.
Round Rock pitcher Ben Rowen (2-0) was charged with a blown save and earned the win.
RedHawks reliever Jorge De Leon (2-2) took the loss.
The RedHawks continue their series against Round Rock with a 7:05 p.m. game Tuesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.