MEMPHIS, Tennessee – An eighth inning three-run home run off the bat of former E-Train DH Carlos Peguero gave the Memphis Redbirds a 6-4 victory over the Round Rock Express Sunday afternoon. RHP Chad Smith (2-2, 10.80) was charged with the loss after allowing the ill-fated long-ball. The righty was pulled from the game after giving up three runs on three hits and a walk without recording an out.
The late bullpen mishap spoiled what was RHP Nick Tepesch’s first quality start of the season. The righty went 7.0 innings deep, giving up just three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out four. Memphis RHP Juan Gonzalez (2-0, 3.86) picked up the win after holding the Express scoreless in one inning of relief. RHP Sam Tuivailala was awarded the save.
The Redbirds (8-8) quickly buried any lingering thoughts about last night’s 3-0 Express victory with a pair of runs in the first inning. CF Charlie Tilson and SS Greg Garcia started the frame with back-to-back singles. Three batters later, RF Nick Martini collected a two-out RBI single that scored Tilson from third. The fourth single of the inning, this one courtesy of 1B Jonathan Rodriguez, scored Garcia to give Memphis an early 2-0 lead.
Round Rock responded with a bizarre sequence of events in the fourth inning that ultimately gave the road team a 4-2 lead. In the first at-bat of the inning, 1B Ike Davis lined a shot deep into center field that was misplayed by CF Charlie Tilson. Davis reached second safely as Tilson was charged with an error on the play. After a Michael McKenry walk, 2B Pedro Ciriaco singled to load the bases.
On the first pitch of RF Drew Robinson’s at-bat, Sulbaran skipped a throw through the batter’s box and past a diving Adam Rosario. Davis raced home from third on the wild pitch, scoring the first Round Rock run of the day. In the next at-bat, LF James Jones grounded into a force out at second that scored McKenry and moved Ciriaco to third. As SS Jurickson Profar settled into his at-bat, Jones took off for second base. Rosario successfully gunned down Jones on the throw to second, but Ciriaco came flying home on the play to give the E-Train their first lead of the day.
After back-to-back two-out singles from Profar and CF Jared Hoying, 3B Joey Gallo stepped to the plate with runners on the corners. In the blink of an eye, Hoying and Profar both left their posts, fooling Rosario into throwing to second. Hoying slid safely past the tag as Profar scored easily from third to increase the lead to 4-2. Gallo would strike out in his at-bat, but the damage was done. After the dust had settled, it was four runs on three hits with no RBI for the E-Train in the inning.
Memphis answered the rally with a solo shot off the bat of LF Anthony Garcia on the second pitch of the sixth inning, however Tepesch would quickly recover to end the frame with no further damage done.
Express manager Jason Wood then called on Smith to pitch the eighth inning. Greg Garcia and Anthony Garcia both recorded singles before Peguero launched his game-winning shot over the wall in left field. Smith would walk Martini on five pitches before being removed from the contest.
RHP Jimmy Reyes came on to relieve Smith, retiring the side in order to keep the deficit at two. Round Rock would attempt some late magic of their own as Hoying and Gallo both drew one-out walks to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. However, DH Patrick Kivlehan struck out then Davis grounded out to end the threat.
RHP Jose Monegro (0-0, 0.00) will make his first start of the season for the E-Train tomorrow night while the Redbirds plan to send RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-0, 2.30) to the mound. First pitch at AutoZone Park is set for 6:35 p.m.
Single game tickets are available along with season ticket packages and group discounts. For more information on the Express, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter!