Choo hits two in Rainiers win Tuesday

ROUND ROCK, Texas – New surroundings can sometimes be tough to get used to – especially when you arrive just a few hours before first pitch. The Tacoma Rainiers adjusted to the new digs well as they pounded the Round Rock Express 9-4 on the strength of four home runs, two off the bat of left fielder Shin-soo Choo.

Choo, five games removed from his stint with the Seattle Mariners, started the scoring for the Rainiers with a solo home run to left field in the top of the first and added a two-run shot to the same spot on the grassy berm in the left field of the Dell Diamond.

"I just saw the ball really well tonight," Choo said. "Both of them were right over the plate and I just hit it well."

The Rainiers scored their nine runs on eight hits. The key to Tuesday's victory was the nine walks allowed by the Express. Choo went 3-for-4 with five RBI and 1B Aaron Rifkin hit a two-run homer in the top of the fourth, his Pacific Coast League-leading 10th of the year.

"We were hitting singles and doubles while they were hitting doubles and home runs," Express manager Jackie Moore said.

A number of current Rainiers are no stranger to the friendly winds of the Express' home. Prior to this season, the Express were the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros and were the I-35 rivals of the San Antonio Missions.

Former Mission and current DH Jamal Strong led off the top of the third with a home run to left center and finished the night 3-for-4.

"I think it's just a matter that we had a lot of balls over the plate and we took advantage of the winds," Rainiers manager Dan Rohn said. "Fortunately, we (also) pitched a little bit better than they did."

Lefty Damian Moss pitched five innings to earn his first win of the season and struck out five on four hits and two earned runs allowed.

"(Moss) was outstanding tonight, he did a great job for five innings," Rohn said.

Express starter Carlos Hernandez (2-2) tied a Round Rock season-high by allowing seven walks in his five innings of work. All four hits Hernandez allowed to the Rainiers were home runs.

Left-hander Rich Dorman takes the bump for the Rainiers in a 12:05 CST start on Wednesday and righty Felix Hernandez gets the call on Thursday evening.

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