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McKinstry's Walk off Blast Wins it for Dodgers

September 19, 2021 - Triple-A West League (AAA West) - Oklahoma City Dodgers News Release

Zach McKinstry hit a solo homer out to center field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Oklahoma City Dodgers to an 8-7 walk-off win Sunday afternoon against the Round Rock Express at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. After the Dodgers led, 5-0, in the second inning and, 7-4, in the sixth inning, the Express (60-57) would come back to tie the game, 7-7. Round Rock pitcher Ryder Ryan got Luke Raley to strike out and Steven Souza Jr. to fly out for the first two outs of the bottom of the ninth inning before McKinstry knocked a fly ball to center field for his sixth homer of the season with OKC to snap the team's three-game losing skid. The Dodgers (60-57) loaded the bases in the second inning before Anthony Bemboom brought in a run on a sacrifice fly. Drew Avans later connected on OKC's eighth grand slam of the season, sending a fly ball to center field to give OKC a 5-0 advantage. The Express scored one run in the third inning and three more in the fifth inning, all with two outs, to cut OKC's lead to one run. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Bemboom and Elliot Soto then extended OKC's lead to 7-4 in the sixth inning. A two-run homer by Round Rock's Yohel Pozo in the seventh inning and Jason Martin's RBI single in the eighth inning tied the game, 7-7.

Of Note:

-Sunday marked the Dodgers' third walk-off win of the season and first since July 26 against Sugar Land in OKC. Zach McKinstry's walk-off homer Sunday was the Dodgers' first walk-off home run since Aug. 17, 2018 against Iowa. Andrew Toles' walk-off two-run homer in that game gave OKC a 6-4 win in 11 innings.

-Drew Avans hit the Dodgers' eighth grand slam of the season in the second inning Sunday. It was the second grand slam of the month for OKC and the team's fifth grand slam since Aug. 2. It was also Drew Avans' first career grand slam.

-Elliot Soto led OKC with two hits Sunday, going 2-for-3 with a RBI double and a run scored. It was his eighth multi-hit game of the season.

-Sunday's win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Dodgers, who improved to 1-3 in the current series against the Express. The Dodgers and Express are now tied for second place in the Triple-A West East Division.

-The Dodgers hit two homers Sunday as six of the team's eight runs scored via homer. OKC has now hit at least one home run in a season-high 12 straight games. They have hit 25 homers during the streak, with multiple homers in nine of the 12 games, including eight of the last 10 and six of the last seven.

-Sunday marked the fifth straight game the Dodgers allowed six or more runs and the sixth time in the last seven games. Opponents have scored 35 runs in the last five games and are batting .377 (20x53) with runners in scoring position.

-OKC and Round Rock took the field with their MiLB "Es Divertido Ser Un Fan™" ("It's Fun to Be a Fan™") identities - Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City vs. Los Chupacabras de Round Rock. In addition to players and coaches wearing Cielo Azul jerseys and hats during the series, the gameday environment during ¡Celebración Cielo Azul! includes Latin music, colorful and festive concourse decorations, specialty concessions, unique entertainment, live performances and a Spanish-speaking public address announcer for select games. The name Cielo Azul - translated to "Blue Sky" - was established in 2018 and derived from three key factors: Incorporating the color blue, which is a key component of the Dodgers organization; the vibrancy of Oklahoma's blue skies, and the breadth of the diversity of Hispanic and Latino culture that resides under those skies; and as a tribute to Dodgers legendary pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, who looked up at the sky during his windup.

What's Next: The OKC Dodgers continue their Red Dirt Rumble rivalry series against the Round Rock Express at 7:05 p.m. Monday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark during ¡Celebración Cielo Azul!, presented by OG&E. Live radio coverage begins 15 minutes before first pitch on 1340 AM "The Game," and through the free iHeartRadio or MiLB First Pitch apps. All OKC Dodgers games are also available streamed live on MiLB.TV with a subscription.

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