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OKC Dodgers Game Notes - April 20, 2018

April 20, 2018 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Oklahoma City Dodgers News Release

Oklahoma City Dodgers (11-2) vs. Round Rock Express (4-11)

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers

Game #14 of 140/Road #7 of 70 (4-2)

Pitching Probables: OKC-RHP Tyler Pill (0-0, 15.75) vs. RR-RHP Yovani Gallardo (NR, -.--)

Friday, April 20, 2018 | Dell Diamond | Round Rock, Texas | 7:05 p.m. CT

Radio: KGHM AM-1340 The Game,, iHeartRadio - Alex Freedman

Today's Game: The Oklahoma City Dodgers picked up another win Thursday night and look to start another winning streak when they close out their road series against the Round Rock Express at 7:05 p.m. at Dell Diamond. The Dodgers have won 10 of their last 11 games and 11 of their first 13 games of 2018.

Last Game: The Dodgers were held to season lows at the plate with two runs and four hits, but it was enough for the pitching staff to get by Round Rock at Dell Diamond Thursday night in a 2-1 victory. Making his team debut, starting pitcher Justin DeFratus delivered 5.2 strong innings. He allowed one run and six hits, with no walks and one strikeout while inducing eight groundouts. DeFratus (1-0) held the Express 0-for-6 with runners on base and 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. The bullpen followed DeFratus with 3.1 hitless innings, retiring 10 of 11 batters, including the final eight. DeFratus' only misstep was in the fourth inning when Willie Calhoun led off with a solo home run past the grass seating in right field to give the Express a 1-0 lead. The Dodgers were hitless until Travis Taijeron sent a single to shallow center field with one out in the fifth inning. Taijeron then advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Breyvic Valera to tie the game, 1-1. Tim Locastro led off the sixth with a triple and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Alex Verdugo. Round Rock starting pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0-2) tied up the Dodgers for most of his six innings but ended up with the loss.

Today's Probable Pitcher: Tyler Pill is set to make his team and organizational debut...Pill began the season in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization with Triple-A Reno and was acquired by the Dodgers in a trade for cash considerations April 17...Pill made two appearances out of the bullpen for Reno April 7 and April 9 against Fresno, allowing a combined seven runs and eight hits, including three home runs, over 4.0 innings with three strikeouts and three walks...He signed with the Diamondbacks in January and prior to that spent his entire career in the New York Mets organization...Pill made his MLB debut last season with the Mets May 27, 2017 against Pittsburgh and ended up making seven appearances (three starts) in the Majors. He went 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA over 22.0 innings, with 16 strikeouts and 10 walks...He started the 2017 season with Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas, not allowing an earned run over his first 29.1 innings. While in the Minors last year, he made 15 starts and went 5-3 with a 3.08 ERA...Pill was selected by the Mets in the fourth round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Cal State Fullerton...Although Pill has made 39 career appearances (36 starts) in the PCL, tonight is the first time he has faced Round Rock.

Against the Express: 2018: 5-1 2017: 9-6 All-time: 119-93 At RR: 61-45

The Dodgers swept Round Rock, 3-0, at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark April 10-12 to open the home portion of their schedule. The Dodgers outscored the Express, 30-9, and outhit Round Rock, 38-18. The Dodgers batted .358, while holding the Express to a .188 average...Andrew Toles paced OKC with six hits and five RBI in the three-game set. Tim Locastro and Breyvic Valera each scored five runs for the Dodgers...OKC went 20-for-39 (.513) with runners in scoring position...The Dodgers won the 2017 head-to-head series, 9-6, and have won three straight season series against Round Rock...The Dodgers went 4-4 at Dell Diamond last year, but the Express won the last three meetings in September 2017, handing OKC its first series loss in Round Rock since June 25-28, 2011.

Winning Ways: The Dodgers have won 10 of their last 11 games and with an 11-2 record have the team's best start through 13 games since Oklahoma City rejoined the PCL in 1998...OKC won nine straight games April 7-17, marking the team's fifth winning streak of at least nine games since rejoining the PCL in 1998...Both of their losses this season have come on the road in extra innings.

Teach Me How to Dougie: Alex Verdugo drove in another run Thursday night, marking his career-best sixth straight game with at least one RBI. During the last six games, Verdugo is 9-for-21 with three homers, two doubles and 10 RBI...Verdugo has hit safely in 11 of his first 13 games of 2018, picking up 17 hits and 12 RBI. His 17 hits and three home runs are both tied with Henry Ramos for the team lead...Ten of his 12 RBI have either tied the game or given the Dodgers the lead, with seven of those RBI coming in the eighth inning or later.

Timmay!!: Tim Locastro scored another run Thursday, giving him five straight games with at least one run scored. He's crossed the plate in eight of his last 10 games, and his 16 runs total lead the PCL...Locastro is now batting .381 (16x42) and leads the team with six multi-hit games and is tied with Henry Ramos for the team lead with three stolen bases. He's also is riding a five-game hitting streak during which he has gone 9-for-20 with nine runs scored...In 43 career games with OKC, Locastro has slashed .386/.451/.559 with 17 multi-hit games and 15 stolen bases. He's notched two or more hits in 15 of his last 29 games with OKC going back to last season.

Offensive Line: Last night the Dodgers' offense was held to a season-low four hits and tied their season low with two runs scored. Prior to Thursday, the Dodgers scored at least six runs in four straight games and in eight of the last 10 games...The Dodgers have tallied at least 10 hits in seven games so far this season, and their .310 batting average leads all of Triple-A...The team is also batting a league-best .352 with runners in scoring position.

It IS How You Start: Justin DeFratus' solid outing last night was the latest in a long line of good performances by the starting rotation. Though 13 games, OKC starting pitchers have combined to go 5-0 with a 2.38 ERA (17 ER/64.1 IP) while holding opponents to a .210 batting average (49x233). The rotation has also totaled 55 strikeouts against 14 walks, resulting in a 3.93/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Only once all season has a starting pitcher allowed more than two runs in a game, and the lone exception was when Brock Stewart surrendered three runs over 5.2 innings against New Orleans April 13.

Close Calls: Thursday night's 2-1 victory marked the Dodgers' seventh game of the season that was decided by one run and fourth road game in six contests decided by one run. The Dodgers are 6-1 in one-run games this season...Nine of 13 games overall have been decided by one or two runs...The Dodgers lead all of Minor League Baseball with five extra-inning games played.

Around the Horn: Rob Segedin doubled Thursday night and is now on a six-game hitting streak, going 8-for-25 with two home runs and five RBI...Donovan Solano's six-game hitting streak came to an end Thursday as he went 0-for-4 on the night. He was 14-for-26 with four RBI and five runs scored during the six-game streak...Travis Taijeron singled Thursday night, as now he's reached base safely at least once in all nine starts as well as 11 of his first 13 games overall. He paces OKC with a .512 on-base percentage, which also ranks fourth-best in the PCL.

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