Nick Martinez pitched seven strong innings, and Nomar Mazara went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs to lead the Round Rock Express to a 4-1 win over the 51s in a Pacific Coast League game Friday in Round Rock, Texas.
With the loss, coupled with El Paso’s 7-1 win over Oklahoma City, Las Vegas (74-60) had its lead over the Chihuahuas atop the Pacific South Division cut to 2½ games.
Martinez (1-1), who has gone 7-7 with a 4.09 ERA in 21 starts with the Texas Rangers this season, held the 51s to one run on seven hits and two walks and struck out two. The 25-year-old right-hander threw 61 of his 99 pitches for strikes.
The 20-year-old Mazara, in his 11th game with Round Rock since being promoted from Double-A Frisco, hit a leadoff home run in the fourth inning, and his RBI single in the seventh capped the scoring.
Round Rock (72-62) scored twice in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk to Thomas Field and a sacrifice fly by Bishop Gorman product Joey Gallo.
Kevin Plawecki led off the seventh with a home run for Las Vegas, which had a 7-6 edge in hits but went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
51s starter Seth Lugo (2-1) gave up three runs on five hits and one walk and struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings.
Darrell Ceciliani had two doubles for Las Vegas, but was picked off second base in the third inning and thrown out at third base trying for a triple in the sixth.