The top three batters are meant to produce runs. And much like the weather, the top of the Round Rock lineup is best described in Spanish.
Drew Stubbs, Travis Snider, and Jurickson Profar combined to go 6-for-13 with eight RBIs, five runs scored and two home runs, helping the Express beat the El Paso Chihuahuas 9-1 on Saturday night to earn their second straight win.
“We kind of fed off each other,” Stubbs said. “We got it going early. Up and down the lineup we put together some good at-bats and got the pitchers pitching and just let them cruise.”
Making his second rehab start of the year with Round Rock, A.J. Griffin (0-1, 10.80 ERA) pitched two innings, allowing no runs on two hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Jimmy Reyes (3-5, 4.42 ERA) picked up the win thanks to four solid innings in relief.
The Express returned to Dell Diamond after an eight-day, eight-game California road trip. They lost three of four against Fresno before avoiding a sweep with a 7-2 win at Sacramento on Friday night.
“We had a tough travel day and this league is one of the tougher for travel,” Stubbs said. “I felt like we were kind of zombies out there. It’s good to be home after a little over a week and we put together a good effort out there all the way around.”
Snider got the game going for Round Rock, smashing his seventh home run of the season over the left field wall. Profar reached on an error and Ronald Guzman reached base for the fourth straight game and drove in Profar to double the Round Rock lead.
After the Chihuahuas singled and drew a one-out walk in the fourth inning, a wild pitch by Jimmy Reyes allowed the runner at third base to come home.
But the Express answered right back in the bottom half of the inning. Stubbs sent a 3-2 pitch to center field to bring home Jared Hoying and Profar reached on an infield single that saw Doug Bernier cross home plate.
Stubbs tripled for the second time this season in the sixth, driving the ball to right center field and scoring two runs. Profar followed that up with a three-run bomb that almost splashed down in the pool in right field to give the Express a 9-1 lead.
“Right as I was rounding second, he kind of fumbled the ball a little bit,” Stubbs said. “For me, as long as he doesn’t have it and is throwing into the infield, I feel I can get to third. You just have tome a split second decision.”
El Paso added one run in the ninth inning thanks to a two-out single with a man on second.
Round Rock continues its four-game series against El Paso on Sunday night at 6:05 p.m. with the starter is yet to be announced due to Griffin’s spot rehab start on Saturday. The Express then play host to the Albuquerque Isotopes beginning Aug. 3 at 7:05 p.m.
On top of the nine games in nine days and returning to Round Rock after eight days on the West Coast, it was one of the hottest days of the year with temperatures climbing as high as 105 degrees.
“They gave us a break and we got to do batting practice in air conditioned cages,” Stubbs said. “That allowed us to conserve a little energy and we went from there.”