Gonzalez, Gallo lead Express past 51s

Chi Chi Gonzalez pitched six strong innings, and Bishop Gorman product Joey Gallo went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer as the Round Rock Express downed the 51s 4-1 in a Pacific Coast League game Saturday in Round Rock, Texas.

Despite the loss, Las Vegas (74-61) remained 2½ games ahead of El Paso atop the Pacific South Division, after the Chihuahuas lost to Oklahoma City 4-1.

Gonzalez (7-7) gave up one unearned run on five hits and two walks and struck out three.

The Express (73-62) opened the scoring in the second inning on Nomar Mazara’s two-out, two-run single. Gallo hit his 14th home run of the season an inning later.

The 51s scored in the fourth when Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a one-out single, advanced to second on an error, got to third on a groundout and came home on a wild pitch.

Gallo, Ed Lucas and Ryan Rua had two hits apiece for Round Rock, which had a 10-7 edge in hits.

Nieuwenhuis and Brandon Nimmo each went 2-for-3 for Las Vegas, which had no extra-base hits. Nimmo was caught stealing twice by catcher Carlos Corporan, who also nabbed Eric Young Jr.

The 51s’ best chance to break through came in the ninth against reliever Tanner Scheppers. Eric Campbell and Nieuwenhuis opened the inning with singles and moved up on a groundout.

Scheppers then hit Brooks Conrad with a pitch to load the bases before getting Travis Taijeron to ground into a game-ending double play.

Las Vegas starter Matt Bowman (7-16) gave up four runs on eight hits and four walks and struck out none in six innings.

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