ROUND ROCK, Texas – Second baseman Jurickson Profar put on a power display, slugging two home runs as the Round Rock Express (22-20) knocked off the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (24-16) by a final score of 6-5 Saturday night at Dell Diamond.
In a back-and-forth affair, the E-Train was able to throw the last punch as a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh off the bat of Profar, the second of two on the night, put Round Rock in the driver’s seat for the final time.
The speedy second baseman ignited the E-Train offense in the bottom of the first, singling in his first at-bat to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Two batters later, left fielder Aaron Cunningham doubled to plate Profar all the way from first, giving the Express a 1-0 lead. It was Cunningham’s fourth two-bagger over his last three games as he and first baseman Chris McGuiness lead the team with 13 apiece.
The Sky Sox evened the score in the top of the second when designated hitter Matt McBride scored on a wild pitch after doubling to begin the frame.
Profar untied the game one inning later with a two-run blast in the bottom half of the third. With one out, center fielder Engel Beltre singled to set the table for baseball’s top prospect who took a 2-0 pitch from Sky Sox starter Drew Carpenter over the right field wall for his third long ball of the season.
Express starter Scott Richmond shut down a powerful Colorado Springs lineup, allowing just one run on two hits over his 4.0 innings of work in his Round Rock debut. Right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama entered the game in relief and held the Sky Sox scoreless until the sixth when the middle of Colorado Springs’ order touched up the E-Train reliever for three runs.
Trailing for the first time, Round Rock loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the frame for designated hitter Alex Buchholz. In just his eighth game at the Triple-A level, Buchholz delivered with a two-run double as the E-Train retook the lead, 5-4. That would be all for Carpenter as the starter left with two outs and runners on second and third with right-hander Manny Corpas entering out of the bullpen. Corpas was able to strand the bases loaded with a strikeout, but the damage was done as the Express took a one-run lead into the final third of the game.
The lead would be short-lived as three batters into the top of the seventh, left fielder Corey Dickerson took the first pitch he saw from Round Rock reliever Lisalverto Bonilla over the right field wall for a solo shot to even the game at five.
With one swing of the bat, Profar untied the game for the second time on the evening when he took a 2-1 pitch from Corpas onto the left field berm for an opposite field shot in the bottom of the seventh. It was his second homer of the evening and first multi-home run game of his career.
In the top of the eighth, the Sky Sox loaded the bases with one out but Bonilla was able to retire right fielder Greg Golson on strikes before giving way to southpaw Nate Robertson. The left-hander was able to finish off the frame, forcing an inning-ending ground out and stranding all three base runners.
Left-handed reliever Neal Cotts entered the game in the ninth to close out the E-Train’s second straight win, earning his second save in as many chances with a 1-2-3 frame. Bonilla earned the victory improving to 3-2 while Corpas (2-2) suffered the loss.