Pitching led the way again on Friday night as starter Josh Lindblom’s quality start led the Express past Albuquerque, 4-3, at Dell Diamond.
The Express pitching staff leads the Pacific Coast League with a 3.49 ERA and 78 runs allowed through 22 games.
Neil Cotts and Cory Burns came out of the bullpen for 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Eli Whiteside and Jim Adducie each hit solo homers and two-out RBIs from Yangervis Solarte and Robinson Chirinos in the third inning led the offensive attack.
Lindblom – who was part of the Michael Young trade in the offseason – earned the victory allowing three runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander (3-0, 1.9 ERA) struck out six batters wielding a mid-90s fastball while yielding one walk.
With sustained success at the major the league level in mind, that trend continues at Double-A Frisco where the staff holds a 2.54 ERA entering Friday night’s contest.
“I’ve been with other organizations, and when you come to Texas you can see the size of the bodies (of the pitchers), the strengths of the arms and it definitely trumps a lot of other organizations,” said first-year Express pitching coach Brad Holman, who guided the Rangers’ High-A Myrtle Beach to the lowest ERA in the league the past two seasons.
The young arms – along with the dazzling arm of Yu Darvish – allow the flexibility of moving offensive parts like Young and Josh Hamilton. The young arms are in the spotlight’ with 24-year-old Justin Grimm tossing seven scoreless innings in the Rangers’ win on Friday night.
“It creates a healthy competition within the organization,” Holman said. “The guys we have here are tapping on the door of the major leagues. When you can get a group of pitchers going that’s a lot more meaningful than one or two guys. It provides a lot of options within the organization.”
Round Rock continues the third game of the four-game series on Saturday night.