The Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express had an up and down week that was shortened by inclement weather.
After posting a solid 5-2 record last week, the Round Rock Express encountered some ups and downs this week, including some washouts. Thursday’s series finale against Nashville was suspended in the bottom of the second inning and will be completed on May 27. Friday’s opener against Memphis was postponed, resulting in a doubleheader on Saturday.
Overall, the Express posted a 3-3 record in the games they finished, with Thursday’s suspended game left scoreless.
Splitting in Memphis
Round Rock dropped the series finale to Memphis on April 15 by a 10-2 margin, settling for a split of the four-game series. Top prospect Forrest Whitley recorded only four outs and allowed five runs on four hits and two walks. Garrett Stubbs reached base three times, including a solo homer, and Jack Mayfield also added a solo shot.
Sounds Like a Winner
The Express opened a three-game series at Nashville by thumping the Sounds 11-2 on Tuesday. Brady Rodgers earned his first win of the season by tossing seven strong innings, allowing two runs on just three hits. Yordan Alvarez hit a grand slam and drove in five runs total. Alex De Goti totaled four hits, including a solo blast, and Myles Straw notched three hits and an RBI.
Round Rock took game two of the series with an 8-2 win on Wednesday. Starter Akeem Bostick lasted just three innings, but Ryan Hartman earned the win by providing five innings of scoreless relief. Mayfield, Alvarez, Nick Tanielu and Taylor Jones drove in two runs apiece.
Back from Mini-Vacation
After most of the next two games were rained out, the Express took the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Memphis by an 11-6 score in seven innings. Starter Cionel Perez took a no-decision, giving up four runs in four innings. Alvarez and Kyle Tucker hit back-to-back homers in a nine-run top of the seventh. Jones and Drew Ferguson also added solo homers in the game.
Memphis shut the Express down in game two in a 3-0 affair in seven innings. Rogelio Armenteros lasted just 1.2 innings, though only surrendered one run. The Round Rock offense managed just three hits and one walk against opposing starter Austin Gomber, who tossed a complete game shutout.
Round Rock lost its second straight game on Sunday, a 5-3 loss in 10 innings. Whitley started the game and completed 4.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits. Alvarez hit a two-run homer and Stubbs added a solo bomb to account for all the Express offense in this one.
Co-Players of the Week: Yordan Alvarez and Brady Rodgers
Tough choice this week, so I’ll recognize both of these standouts. Alvarez continued his tear, totaling three homers (giving him nine for the year) and 11 RBIs in his last five games. He totaled 20 homers last season and just 12 the year before, so the 21-year-old is really growing into his power now.
Rodgers has undoubtedly been the team’s best starter, owning a 1.50 ERA through his first three starts and pitching at least five innings each time out. The 28-year-old looks to be back to full strength following his 2017 Tommy John surgery and could find himself in the majors should the Astros need rotation help.
The Express are trying to salvage a split of the series in Memphis in today’s finale. Following a day off on Tuesday, they will open a five-game home series against New Orleans on Wednesday. The Express sit at 10-7 on the year, holding a one-game lead in their division.
***Statistics courtesy of MiLB.com***