Second baseman Matt Kata hit a sacrifice fly off Carlos Rosa (1-1) in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the Round Rock Express a 1-0 victory over the Omaha Royals in the series’ opener.
A day after the Royals set a season-high in runs and hits, their offense was shut down by former O-Royal and Round Rock starter Andy Van Hekken, who pitched seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts.
Omaha starter Bruce Chen, who has received zero run support in his last two starts, did not receive a decision despite eight shutout innings with eight strikeouts. Chen has pitched fifteen scoreless innings, spanning those two outings.
Rosa, who pitched a scoreless ninth, allowed two hits and a walk in the tenth to fill the bases before Kata’s game-winning fly ball score Drew Lock from third.
The Royals and Express play the second of the four-game series on Wednesday night at 6:05. Omaha right-hander Brad Thompson (0-1), pitches against a Round Rock lefty Polin Trinidad (0-0).