Bryan Petersen’s RBI single in the fifth broke a 2-2 tie and the Express bullpen shut down the Iowa offense as the Round Rock Express (22-21) took a 4-2 victory over the Iowa Cubs (22-19) on Monday night at Dell Diamond.
Iowa managed just six hits off Express pitching on the evening, only one coming after the sixth. Chris Schwinden (1-0) picked up the victory for Round Rock pitching six innings, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out six and walking none. Ben Rowen, Randy Henry, and Lisalverto Bonilla each pitched a scoreless inning in relief with Bonilla picking up his first save of the season.
Iowa jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first. After Justin Ruggiano singled, Javier Baez doubled to put runners in second and third with one out. Chris Valaika’s RBI groundout was followed by an RBI single from Josh Vitters for the only two runs of the game for Iowa.
Round Rock got one run back in the bottom of the inning on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Brad Snyder.
Jared Hoying tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth, crushing his ninth home run of the season off Iowa starter Chris Rusin (2-6).
What turned out to be the decisive fifth inning saw Iowa throw Ryan Strausborger out at the plate trying to score on an Adam Rosales double. After Petersen drove in Rosales with the third run, the Express would score an unearned run on a throwing error by Arismendy Alcantara giving the Express a 4-2 lead.
Rusin pitched seven innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits while walking one and striking out five.
Ruggiano and Vitters had two hits each for Iowa while Logan Watkins extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an infield single in the seventh.
NOTES: Justin Ruggiano joins Iowa on a rehab assignment from the Chicago Cubs. Ruggiano is making his way back from a left hamstring strain. Casper Wells was added to the Iowa roster from extended spring training on Monday. Wells signed a minor league deal with the Cubs last November and has appeared in 277 major league games with five teams in his career. Marcos Mateo went on the disabled list with a lower back strain.