The Oklahoma City RedHawks posted their highest run total of the season and the RedHawks pitching staff held Round Rock to three hits in a 9-1 win Sunday afternoon at Dell Diamond.
RedHawks starting pitcher David Martinez pitched five perfect innings and secured the win, retiring all 15 batters he faced as Oklahoma City left Round Rock with a split in the season-opening series between the teams.
Second baseman Ronny Torreyes led Oklahoma City (2-2) with three hits, including a double and two RBI, while first baseman Jon Singleton had three RBI.
Outfielder Austin Wates kick-started the RedHawks' offense, opening the game with a triple down the right field line in his first at-bat. The triple was Oklahoma City's first of the season.
After Gregorio Petit struck out, George Springer reached on a fielder's choice. He advanced to second, and Wates scored on a throwing error by Express third baseman Adam Rosales. Springer went on to steal third base with Singleton batting for the RedHawks' first swipe of the season. Springer then scored on a RBI groundout by Singleton to give Oklahoma City a 2-0 edge.
Jonathan Meyer and Carlos Perez opened the fifth inning with back-to-back singles. Torreyes followed with a double to score both Meyer and Perez and open up a 4-0 RedHawks lead. Later in the inning, Springer was hit by a pitch and Singleton walked to load the bases, but Japhet Amador flew out to center to end the top of the frame.
Petit hit a solo homer to left field to lead off the seventh inning. Springer followed with a double to center field, and two batters later, Amador's RBI single scored Springer for a 6-0 lead.
Oklahoma City added three more runs in the top of the eighth. Torreyes and Wates hit singles and Springer walked to load the bases for Singleton, who knocked a two-RBI single to right field. Designated hitter Amador followed with a double to score the RedHawks' ninth run of the day.
The RedHawks finished the day with 13 hits.
Martinez (1-0) retired the first 15 Express batters of the day, striking out five, but his outing ended after five innings because of the RedHawks tandem pitching rotation.
All of the full-season minor league affiliates of the Houston Astros are beginning their year with a modified eight-man, four-day tandem pitching rotation. Each game has two designated "starters," with the first throwing five innings or 75 pitches and the piggyback pitcher allotted four innings or 60 pitches.
Piggyback starter Bobby Doran entered the game in the sixth inning, striking out three and allowing two hits over three shutout innings.
Raul Valdes pitched the bottom of the ninth inning for Oklahoma City and Round Rock's Brent Lillibridge broke up the shutout with a two-out, two-strike double that scored Andy Parrino. Valdes then struck out Brad Snyder to end the game as the Express fell to 2-2.
Express starting pitcher Colby Lewis (0-1) was charged with the loss, allowing four hits and four runs, walking three and striking out two over 5.0 innings.
With Sunday's win, the RedHawks have now earned at least a split in each of their last nine series in Round Rock. They have not lost a series at Dell Diamond since May 8-11, 2009.
The RedHawks continue their season-opening road trip and travel to New Orleans to open a four-game series at 7 p.m. Monday at Zephyr Field.