Red-Hot Zawadzki Helps Beavers Beat RedHawks
PORTLAND, Ore. - Lance Zawadzki continued his recent tear by going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs and Aaron Cunningham drove in a pair of runs to lead the Portland Beavers past the Oklahoma City RedHawks 6-5 in the opener of their four-game series at PGE Park Thursday night.
Sean Kazmar and Craig Cooper both added two hits and an RBI for the Beavers (18-22), who won their first series opener since April 30.
Radhames Liz (4-1) earned the win, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out five.
Brandon Boggs hit one of three RedHawks RBI doubles in the seventh inning and scored two runs while Craig Gentry collected a pair of hits for Oklahoma City (21-19), who dropped their fifth straight game and fell to 6-12 in May.
Tommy Hunter (1-1) gave up all six runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings to take the loss. He struck out four and walked two.
The Beavers scored their first two runs in the second inning as Cooper singled and Zawadzki hit a double, putting runners in scoring position with one out. Cunningham hit a grounder to short and Esteban German threw a one-hopper to first as both runners came around to score.
Portland doubled its lead in the following frame, which started with Kazmar's double to left. Two batters later, Cooper hit his second single of the night to score him. After Zawadzki picked up his second hit of the game to load the bases, Cunningham lifted a ball deep to left that came 10 feet shy of becoming the Beavers' first grand slam of the season, but nevertheless scored Cooper from third.
A hard rain began to fall in the top of the fifth, contributing to Liz loading the bases on two walks and a hit batter after retiring the first two batters of the frame. He would escape the jam with a grounder to second but ran into trouble in the sixth. After again setting down the first two RedHawks, Liz walked Boggs and Mitch Moreland and allowed RBI singles to Chad Tracy to Hernan Iribarren.
The Beavers plated two runs in the bottom of the sixth, ignited by singles from Zawadzki and Cunningham. Dusty Ryan drew a walk to load the bases and Luis Durango bounced into an RBI forceout that chased Hunter before Kazmar's RBI single made it 6-2.
Oklahoma City roared back with three runs in the seventh inning on three RBI doubles. German led off with a walk and scored on Chris Davis's double to left-center. Three batters later, Boggs and Moreland hit consecutive run-scoring doubles to pull the RedHawks within one.
Ernesto Frieri pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save of the season.
The Beavers and RedHawks continue their four-game series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. (Pacific).
NOTES: Before the game, right-hander Adam Russell was recalled from Portland by San Diego after the Padres placed former Beaver Kyle Blanks on the disabled list with a right elbow strain ... Zawadzki is 7-for-14 in four games since being optioned from San Diego on Saturday ... the Beavers were swept in a four-game series at Oklahoma City last May 12-15.
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