Dodgers Hang On During Wild Ride in Round Rock
Round Rock, Texas - The Oklahoma City Dodgers hit four home runs and Zach McKinstry collected a game-high four RBI as the Dodgers built two separate eight-run leads before hanging on late for a 14-11 win against the Round Rock Express Sunday night at Dell Diamond.
After being held to six runs and 15 hits through the first three games of the series, Oklahoma City's offense came to life in the series finale, racking up 14 runs and 12 hits.
The Dodgers scored each of their first nine runs Sunday via home runs to build a 9-1 lead. The teams combined for nine runs in the sixth inning as the Express cut the OKC advantage to three runs before the Dodgers responded with five runs in the top of the eighth inning for a 14-6 lead. But the Express went on to close the game with five unanswered runs over the final two innings as the teams combined for 19 runs over the final four innings.
With Sunday's win, the Dodgers (58-66) avoided their first four-game series sweep of the season as the Express won the final series of the season between the teams, 3-1.
Five Dodgers finished the night with multi-hit games and four Dodgers had multi-RBI games, led by McKinstry's four RBI and Zach Reks' three hits and three RBI.
The Dodgers jumped out to the game's first lead. Connor Joe led off the game with a single. Reks came up to bat next and hit a fly ball out center field for his 18th home run of the season to put the Dodgers in a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
With two outs in the third inning, McKinstry connected on a three-run homer out to right-center field to boost Oklahoma City's lead to 5-0. The home run was McKinstry's fifth in 13 games with the Dodgers, as he finished the night with at least four RBI for the third time since joining OKC Aug. 4.
The American Southern Division-leading Express (75-49) got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning. Alex De Goti led off with a single for Round Rock and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Jack Mayfield to cut Oklahoma City's lead to 5-1.
The Dodgers added to their lead in the sixth inning. McKinstry drew a one-out walk, and after an Express pitching change, Jon Kemmer belted a two-run homer out to right-center field on the first pitch he saw for a 7-1 Oklahoma City lead. The home run was Kemmer's sixth with OKC.
Later in the inning with two outs, Jake Peter drew a walk before Drew Jackson homered out to left field to extend the Dodgers' lead to 9-1 on the two-run shot. It was Oklahoma City's fourth homer in six innings and Jackson's sixth homer of the season.
The Express answered with a five-run bottom of the sixth inning.
Nick Tanielu hit a one-out double and Chas McCormick followed with a walk. Then with two outs, Lorenzo Quintana lined a RBI double into left field to bring home Round Rock's second run of the night.
Dylan Floro then entered the game to pitch and replace OKC starting pitcher Justin DeFratus. He issued back-to-back two-out walks to De Goti and then to Myles Straw with the bases loaded to make the score, 9-3.
With the bases loaded again, Abraham Toro hit a grounder toward first base that was misplayed by Connor Joe and went into right field, allowing three runs to score on the fielding error and cut the Dodgers' lead to 9-6.
After a scoreless seventh inning for both teams, the Dodgers put up five runs in the eighth inning to take a 14-6 lead.
They opened the frame with back-to-back walks, then rallied with two outs.
Joe hit a single into right field that brought home a run and was coupled with a throwing error by Round Rock's catcher to allow another run to score for an 11-6 lead.
Reks added a RBI double before a RBI single by Cameron Perkins. Later in the inning, McKinstry hit a RBI single to match Oklahoma City's largest lead of the night at eight runs.
Once again, Round Rock's offense responded. Quintana led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a solo homer and Taylor Jones later hit a double with two outs that was coupled with a fielding error by Reks in left field to cut the Dodgers' lead to 14-8.
The Express continued to roll in their final at-bat, scoring three more runs.
Quintana hit a RBI ground-rule double with one out before De Goti connected on a sacrifice fly and Myles Straw hit a two-out RBI double.
DeFratus (2-4) picked up the win for the Dodgers, allowing four runs (three earned) and seven hits over 5.2 innings. He issued two walks and recorded six strikeouts.
Round Rock starting pitcher Carson LaRue (0-4) was charged with the loss, allowing six runs on five hits, including two home runs, three walks and four strikeouts.
The 14 runs scored by the Dodgers Sunday marked the fourth time this season the Dodgers scored 14 or more runs in a game and was Oklahoma City's highest single-game run total since a 16-1 victory July 23 at Nashville.
Despite Sunday's defeat, the Express won the overall season series, 10-6.
The Dodgers next return home to open a five-game series against the Nashville Sounds with a 7:05 p.m. game Monday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Tickets are available through the OKC Dodgers ticket office located on South Mickey Mantle Drive, by phone at (405) 218-2182, or by visiting okcdodgers.com.
Live radio coverage of each game begins 15 minutes before first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com and through the free iHeartRadio or MiLB First Pitch apps.
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Pacific Coast League Stories from August 18, 2019
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