By Jon Garrett
Killeen Daily Herald
ROUND ROCK Jared Gothreaux got in his six innings and Round Rock got the win as the Express' most consistent option on the mound managed to keep the bats of the visiting Portland Beavers cool long enough for his team to eke out a 3-1 win Saturday at Dell Diamond.
Gothreaux (3-2) boasted a 2.00 ERA going into the game and has gone at least six innings in all nine of his starts this season.
"He struggled throughout the game with location," manager Jackie Moore said of the Gothreaux, who gave up one run (earned) on five hits and threw five strikeouts.
"It's a perfect example of a pitcher getting his job done without his good stuff."
Gothreaux had some help from his teammates as well.
Carlos Rivera, who came into the game leading the team with a .330 batting average, continued his hot streak, doubling in his first appearance at the plate to drive in Mike Coolbaugh, who doubled earlier in the inning.
Barry Wesson followed with a bunt single to move him to third, but was sent back to the dugout the next at-bat when Chris Tremie hit a double play.
A Tommy Whiteman single to center brought in Rivera before Clay Hensley got leadoff hitter Chris Burke to ground out to retire the side, and the Express took a 2-0 lead into the third.
Portland's Jon Knott managed to break Gothreaux's no-hitter with a double in the top of the fourth, but the Beavers still weren't able to sink their teeth in at the plate and get anything going offensively until the fifth inning, when Hensley scored on a double off the center field wall by Kerry Robinson after reaching base on a single.
Coolbaugh's ninth home run of the year, a 410-foot solo affair in the bottom of the sixth, gave the Express all the insurance it would need.
"That was a big home run by Coolbaugh," Moore said. "... It's always good to win the first game of a series."
Hensley (0-1) took the loss for the Beavers (21-16), striking out six and allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits in six innings of work.
Travis Driskill picked up the save for Round Rock (16-18).
The teams continue the four-game series today at 2:05 p.m. Lefty Carlos Hernandez (2-2) gets the starting nod for Round Rock. Chris Oxspring (1-2) will go for Portland.
EXPRESS NOTES Express outfielder Todd Self made his major-league debut on May 12 against the San Francisco Giants. He pinch hit in the ninth and flew out to centerfield off Giants closer Tyler Walker... Express closer Mike Burns made his majors debut Friday night against the Giants, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings and allowing only one hit.
Contact Jon Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org