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 Oklahoma City Baseball Club

OKC Baseball Club Game Notes - April 20, 2024

April 20, 2024 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Oklahoma City Baseball Club News Release

Sacramento River Cats (13-6) at Oklahoma City Baseball Club (11-8)

Game #20 of 150/First Half #20 of 75/Home #11 of 75

Pitching Probables: SAC-RHP Spencer Howard (0-0, 6.94) vs. OKC-RHP Elieser Hernández (1-0, 3.38)

Saturday, April 20, 2024 | Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark | Oklahoma City, Okla. | 6:05 p.m. CT

Radio: KGHM-AM 1340 The Game,, iHeartRadio; Video:, Bally Live

Today's Game: The Oklahoma City Baseball Club continues its series against the Sacramento River Cats at 6:05 p.m. at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Sacramento leads the series, 3-1, and has won the last two games. OKC is trying to avoid three consecutive losses for the first time this season...Tonight is Marvel's Defenders of the Diamond Night and OKC will wear special edition Marvel-inspired jerseys and hats on the field. The game-worn jerseys will be available for purchase through an online auction with proceeds benefitting the Rookie League Foundation of Oklahoma.

Last Game: The Oklahoma City Baseball Club scored five runs over the seventh and eighth innings but was unable to complete a comeback in a 7-5 loss to the Sacramento River Cats Friday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Sacramento took a 4-0 lead in the third inning on home runs by Yusniel Díaz and David Villar. The River Cats went on to build a 7-0 advantage with a run in the fifth inning and two more runs in the seventh inning. Ryan Ward ended the shutout for Oklahoma City when he hit a two-run home run out to right-center field in the seventh inning. In the eighth inning, Trey Sweeney hit a RBI double. Kevin Padlo followed and hit a fly ball down the right field line that went over the tall outfield wall near the foul pole. The ball was initially ruled foul, but after further review was changed to a home run to cut Sacramento's lead to two runs. OKC started the ninth inning with the tying runs on base with no outs, but a double play and strikeout followed, ending the game.

Today's Probable Pitcher: Tonight is the third start of the season for Elieser Hernández (1-0)...He last pitched April 13 in Round Rock and allowed one run and three hits over five innings to earn his first win of the season. He also racked up seven strikeouts - the most by an Oklahoma City pitcher so far this season...He made his team and Dodgers organization debut April 7 against Albuquerque in OKC, allowing two runs and two hits, along with three walks and five strikeouts over three-plus innings (ND)...He signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers Jan. 12, 2024 and made four appearances during Spring Training after making eight appearances in the Mets organization last season...He spent much of the 2023 season on the Injured List, making his season debut May 28 on a rehab assignment and did not pitch after July 9. He appeared with Single-A St. Lucie, High-A Brooklyn and Triple-A Syracuse, making two appearances with Syracuse totaling 2.0 IP...He spent the majority of the 2022 season with the Miami Marlins, compiling a 3-6 record in 20 games (10 starts) with a 6.35 ERA and 60 strikeouts. He didn't allow a run in seven of his 10 relief outings and tied a career-high with 6.0 IP April 17 against Philadelphia...He was traded to New York (NL) Nov. 18, 2022 alongside Jeff Brigham in exchange for Franklin Sanchez and Jake Mangum...Hernández was originally signed by Houston as an international free agent May 31, 2012 and was later selected by the Marlins in the Major League phase of the 2017 Rule 5 Draft...He made his ML debut with Miami May 10, 2018 against Atlanta and is entering his 13th professional season. The 28-year-old Venezuelan has made 90 career ML appearances, all with Miami between 2018-22...Tonight is his first career appearance against Sacramento.

Against the River Cats: 2024: 1-3 2023: 12-3 All-time: 61-58 At OKC: 30-31 Oklahoma City and Sacramento are meeting for their first of two series this season and lone series at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark...OKC won last season's series, 12-3, and won the final four meetings between the teams, including a three-game series sweep in Sacramento July 14-16...During a May 23-28 series, which OKC won, 4-2, five of the six games in the set were decided in the eighth inning or later, including three wins by a team trailing in the eighth inning...The teams met for a six-game series at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Sacramento April 25-30 that included two doubleheaders due to weather-related postponements. OKC won the series, 5-1, winning the first five games before losing the finale, which was Game 2 of a doubleheader...OKC outscored the River Cats, 81-49, last season overall. Devin Mann collected 14 hits, including six doubles, 12 RBI and 10 runs scored against Sacramento in 14 games last season...OKC has now won back-to-back season series against the River Cats for the first time since 2017-18...Since OKC became affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the River Cats with the San Francisco Giants in 2015, OKC has a 29-22 advantage in the Triple-A version of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry, including a 16-6 mark over the last 22 games. However, after OKC went 15-3 over the previous 18 meetings, including 8-1 at home, they are 1-3 to begin this series.

The Runaround: Oklahoma City has allowed at least seven runs in back-to-back games for the second time this season and first time at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark since the last two regular-season home games of the 2023 season against Tacoma Sept. 16-17 (11-10 and 11-6 losses). Sacramento has scored a combined 15 runs the last two nights after Oklahoma City held opponents to 17 runs over the previous six games combined...The eight runs and 14 hits allowed by OKC Thursday were season highs, with seven runs and 12 more hits last night...Prior to Thursday, Oklahoma City pitchers held Sacramento to six total runs and scoreless in 15 of the first 18 innings of the series. OKC also held all opponents to three runs or less in five of the previous six games (17 runs total)...After opponents were held 4-for-36 (.111) with runners in scoring position over the previous six games, Sacramento is 9-for-28 the last two nights with RISP...Going back to Wednesday's game, Sacramento has collected at least one hit in 17 of the last 20 innings, going 31-for-86 (.360) during that time. OKC has retired the side in order just twice in that span, and Sacramento has had at least two batters reach base in 12 of 20 innings...Prior to Thursday, OKC owned a .221 opponent batting average and 1.22 WHIP through 17 games. Over the last two nights, Sacramento has batted .342 (26x76) and had 39 batters reach base via hit or walk (2.12 WHIP)...Sacramento tallied another big inning Friday, scoring four runs in the third. OKC has been susceptible to crooked numbers, with 28 of the 84 total runs allowed so far this season across six big innings of four or more runs. That's 33.3 percent of runs allowed in just 3.6 percent of the innings pitched (166).

Close Calls: Including last night, 13 of OKC's first 19 games have been decided by two runs or less, including each of the team's first eight games of the season, and OKC is now 7-6 in those close games. At home, eight of the 10 games have been decided by one or two runs and OKC is now 5-3 in those games...Last season, 68 of OKC's 148 games (46 percent) were decided by one or two runs and OKC went 40-28 in those close contests.

Dinger Details: Ryan Ward and Kevin Padlo each hit home runs for Oklahoma City Friday night, giving the team three straight multi-homer games (7 HR). Eleven of the team's 13 runs over the last three games have scored via home runs...OKC's 16 homers since April 12 are most in Triple-A, and they have hit at least two homers in six of those seven games...OKC's 28 home runs overall to start 2024 are second-most in the PCL behind Sugar Land's 29 home runs and 10 different players have homered for OKC so far this season...On the other hand, Sacramento hit two home runs Friday and OKC has allowed nine home runs over the last six games after giving up just three in the previous seven games. Opponents have hit at least one home run in six straight games after going deep in just four of the first 13 games of the season. However, OKC's 15 home runs allowed overall this season are still fewest in the PCL.

The Warden: Ryan Ward went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and two RBI in last night's game. He has now hit safely in five of the last six games, going 8-for-22 (.364). His 10 extra-base hits since April 7 (10 G) are most in the PCL and his 16 RBI during the stretch are second-most in the league...Eleven of his 15 total hits this season have gone for extra bases...Last night, Ward moved into a tie for the team lead with his fifth home run of the season and now has 17 total RBI so far in 2024 - also tied for most among OKC players...His five homers are tied for third-most in the PCL and his 11 extra-base hits are tied for fifth overall in the league.

Ho Ho Hoese: Kody Hoese picked up a hit and drew a walk last night and has now hit safely in six consecutive games, batting 8-for-20 with two homers and five RBI. He has also hit safely in 11 of his first 12 Triple-A games, going 15-for-41 (.366) with four multi-hit outings...Hoese hit his first two home runs of the season between Wednesday and Thursday's games. It was the second time in his career he's gone deep in consecutive games, previous accomplished last season with Double-A Tulsa July 16 at Midland and July 18 at Northwest Arkansas.

Launch Pad: Kevin Padlo hit his third home run of 2024 last night. His fly ball down the right field line went over the tall outfield wall and was initially ruled foul, but after further review was changed to a home run. Video replay showed the ball hit off the foul pole...He has hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 8-for-26 (.308) with three home runs, a double, seven runs scored and eight RBI...His single in the seventh inning was the hardest hit ball of the night for OKC (108.5 mph EV), and Padlo is the owner of the three highest exit velocities produced by all OKC hitters this season.

Trey Bien: Trey Sweeney connected on a RBI double in the eighth inning and scored a run Friday and has now reached base safely in each of his first 18 career Triple-A games for the longest on-base streak in the PCL to start the season...Sweeney's 18 walks in 17 games pace the PCL and five of his first 15 hits this season have gone for extra bases.

Road to the Show: An Oklahoma City player made his Major League debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on three straight days earlier this week: Ricky Vanasco (Monday), Andy Pages (Tuesday) and Landon Knack (Wednesday). The trio are the first Los Angeles Dodgers to make their Major League debuts over three consecutive days since Greg Hansell, Todd Williams and Noe Muñoz from April 28-30, 1995 (note provided by Eric Stephen/True Blue LA).

Around the Horn: Drew Avans has moved into a tie for second place on OKC's all-time career leaders list for walks during the Bricktown era (since 1998). At 188 walks, he is tied with Jason Botts (2005-08) and is six walks shy of first place (194 - Esteban German, 2005; 2009-10)...Jonathan Araúz did not play Friday, but is riding a nine-game hitting streak, going 10-for-36 (.278) during the stretch with four doubles, a home run, five RBI and five runs scored...Miguel Vargas went 0-for-4 Friday to snap his on-base streak as he had reached base in each of his first 16 games to start the season.

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