The Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express enjoyed a strong first homestand of the season.
After splitting the first four games of the season, the Round Rock Express roared to a 5-2 record in the first full week. Led by a potent offense and some solid pitching, the team looks to be in the chase for a playoff spot as the season continues.
Winning the Rubber Match
In the finale of the five-game opening road series at New Orleans, Round Rock claimed the series with a 5-4 victory on April 8. Rogelio Armenteros earned the win, allowing one run in 5.1 innings. Myles Straw and Jack Mayfield each contributed a homer and a double. Kyle Tucker added a two-run homer as well.
What’s That Sound?
The Express dropped the home opener to the Nashville Sounds by a score of 3-1 on Tuesday. Forrest Whitley took the loss in his Triple-A debut, surrendering two runs on four hits in five innings with seven strikeouts. Derek Fisher doubled and hit a solo homer, and Yordan Alvarez showed off the plate discipline with three walks in the game.
Round Rock bounced back to take the second game of the three-game series with a dramatic 9-5 win in 10 innings on Wednesday. Nick Tanielu hit a walk-off grand slam after the bullpen blew a three-run lead in the ninth. Alvarez doubled twice and homered, driving in four. Brady Rodgers turned in a strong start, giving up one run in six innings.
The Express won the series finale with an 8-6 victory on Thursday. Straw doubled, tripled and stole two bases. Mayfield had two hits and two RBIs, and Fisher and Taylor Jones each added a pair of RBIs. The win was an impressive comeback after starter Ryan Hartman surrendered six runs in three innings.
I’ve Been to Memphis
Round Rock opened a four-game series against the Memphis Redbirds with a 4-2 win on Friday. Corbin Martin settled for a no-decision despite giving up just one run in 5.2 innings with nine strikeouts. Fisher had two hits, including the go-ahead two-run bomb in the eighth inning. A. J. Reed and Garrett Stubbs each notched a multi-hit game as well.
The Express dropped the second game of the series 9-4 on Saturday. Starter Cionel Perez lasted just two scoreless innings, and Brendan McCurry gave up five runs in 2.1 innings to take the loss. Mayfield had two hits and two RBIs, while Stubbs reached base three times and drove in a run. Alvarez added a solo homer, his sixth of the season.
The third game of the series went to Round Rock, as they won 7-6 on Sunday. Armenteros started the game but went only four innings, surrendering two runs on four hits and three walks. Jones hit a three-run homer, while Alvarez reached base three times and drove in a run. Straw and Reed added two hits apiece.
Player of the Week: Yordan Alvarez
Who else? Alvarez has reached base safely in nine straight games and has drawn a total of eight walks across his last five games. He added two homers and six RBIs this week and is slashing .344/.488/.969 this season.
With Tyler White slashing .259/.333/.296 for the Astros thus far, Alvarez could push to become the big league club’s primary DH if White’s numbers don’t improve. He would bring a left-handed bat with both power and plate discipline if he can continue to dominate Triple-A pitching.
Round Rock closes the homestand on Monday with the series finale against Memphis. They then hit the road for three games at Nashville and four at Memphis. The Express sit at 7-4 on the young season, tied atop the division with San Antonio.
***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com and Baseball-Reference***