Round Rock shortstop Jurickson Profar, the top-rated player in the minors according to Baseball America, was a double shy of hitting for the cycle Tuesday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark as the Express beat the RedHawks 8-6.
Sidelined four of the previous five games with sore ribs, Profar slammed his first Triple-A home run, a three-run shot, in the Express' five-run third that erased the RedHawks' four-run second.
Profar went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .281. On the radar since age 11 when he led Curacao to the Little League World Series championship in 2004, Profar tripled in the fifth and singled in the seventh but grounded out in the ninth in his attempt at the cycle.
The Express scored three runs in the seventh, the key hit a Robinson Chirinos two-run double, to go up 8-4. The RedHawks answered with Marc Krauss' two-run double in the eighth, but Cory Burns pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his third save for Round Rock.
RedHawks left-hander Brett Oberholtzer had his third consecutive rough outing. Oberholtzer (0-2) has a 9.51 ERA and has allowed 18 hits and 18 runs (13 earned) in 12 1/3 innings.
All the damage against Oberholtzer came in Round Rock's five-run third. In addition to Profar's homer, Joey Butler slammed a two-run homer.
RedHawks second baseman Jake Elmore, hitting .447, singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Elmore reached base safely four times to increase his on-base percentage to .519. Elmore also stole two bases. ... Left fielder Trevor Crowe went hitless the first two games of the season, but had a single Tuesday night to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Outfielder Fernando Martinez, in Oklahoma City on a rehabilitation assignment for a strained oblique, was 0-for-10 before collecting his first hit, an opposite-field single in the eighth. ... Eric Berger, who the Astros obtained in a trade on Monday with Cleveland, pitched a shutout eighth inning in his RedHawks debut. ... Reserve infielder Ruben Sosa was sent to extended spring training and has been replaced on the roster by Andy Simunic, who hit .297 last year in Double-A.
The second game of a four-game series with Round Rock, the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate, is Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at the Brick. RedHawks left-hander Rudy Owens (0-1, 0.00) faces Round Rock right-hander Randy Wells (0-2, 6.30).