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OKC Dodgers Game Notes - June 18, 2021

June 18, 2021 - Triple-A West League (AAA West) - Oklahoma City Dodgers News Release

Oklahoma City Dodgers (17-20) at Round Rock Express (23-14)

Game #38 of 120/Road #20 of 60

Pitching Probables: OKC-RHP Aaron Wilkerson (3-3, 3.97) vs. RR-RHP Jharel Cotton (4-0, 1.53)

Friday, June 18, 2021 | Dell Diamond | Round Rock, Texas | 7:05 p.m. CT

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

Today's Game: The Oklahoma City Dodgers try for a third straight win when they meet the Round Rock Express for the second time in their road series at 7:05 p.m. at Dell Diamond. OKC is also looking to start a third consecutive series with a 2-0 lead.

Last Game: A key four-run sixth inning with two-out clutch hits by Cristian Santana and Elliot Soto proved to be the difference in a 6-2 victory for the Oklahoma City Dodgers Thursday night over the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond. Round Rock took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a leadoff homer by Delino DeShields, but the Dodgers answered in the second inning with a two-run homer by Zach Reks. Round Rock tied the game in the bottom of the inning when four straight batters reached base with two outs, even though the ball never left the infield. The game remained even at 2-2 until the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Santana ripped a two-run double to left field, and Soto followed with a two-run single to make it 6-2. The score stayed the same into the bottom of the ninth inning when the Express got the tying run to the plate with two outs, but Elier Hernandez popped out to end the game.

Today's Probable Pitcher: Aaron Wilkerson (3-3) makes his seventh start of the season for the OKC Dodgers...He has allowed a combined four earned runs over his last four appearances (22.2 IP), with 15 hits, six walks and 27 strikeouts...During his last start June 12 against El Paso in OKC, Wilkerson allowed two runs and seven hits over 6.0 innings, and although the hit total was a season high, all hits were singles. He issued one walk and notched a season-high eight strikeouts. Wilkerson left the game with the Dodgers trailing, 2-0, but he ultimately did not factor into the decision of a 4-3 loss in 10 innings...Since May 25, Wilkerson leads Triple-A West pitchers with a 1.59 ERA, .192 BAA and 0.93 WHIP, while his 27 strikeouts are tied for third. He is also one of three starting pitches to accumulate three wins during that span, with the other two being teammates Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Yefry Ramírez...Overall this season, Wilkerson ranks fourth in Triple-A West with both a 3.97 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, and his .244 BAA is sixth...Wilkerson signed with the Dodgers as a free agent May 1. He originally signed with Rakuten of the Chinese Professional Baseball League during the 2020-21 offseason, but opted out of his contract due to family reasons...Wilkerson was under contract with the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2020 season, but was not part of the team's player pool and did not play due to the canceled Minor League season...In 2019, Wilkerson spent most of the year with Triple-A San Antonio but also made eight relief appearances over three stints with Milwaukee. While with San Antonio, he made 17 starts and went 8-2 with a 3.42 ERA over 76.1 IP with 81 strikeouts...In his previous meeting with Round Rock May 9 at Dell Diamond, Wilkerson allowed four runs on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks, and was charged with the loss in his season debut as OKC lost the game, 6-3.

Against the Express: 2021: 2-5 2019: 6-10 All-time: 132-113 At RR: 64-56 The Red Dirt Rumble is back in action as the Dodgers and Express are meeting for their second of five series this season, including their second series in Round Rock...The Express won the first series between the teams May 6-11 as the teams opened the 2021 season against one another. Round Rock outscored OKC, 49-24, in the series and outhit the Dodgers, 70-48. The Dodgers had trouble slowing down the E-Train, who slashed .335/.404/.617 over the six-game set with 14 homers. Round Rock scored at least six runs each game and reached double digits twice. For OKC, Zach Reks collected a team-leading five RBI and tied for the team lead with seven hits, including a double and home run. Omar Estévez scored a team-high five runs...Only 371 miles separate Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark from Dell Diamond, making it the shortest distance between the Dodgers and any of their Triple-A opponents, as well as a perfect set-up for a rivalry as the teams meet 30 times this season...In 2019, the Express won the season series for the first time since 2014. The Dodgers went 2-6 at Dell Diamond, posting a losing record there for the first time since 2009 and taking their most losses ever in one season at the stadium...OKC is 4-11 at Dell Diamond over the last two seasons after going 22-10 at the venue between 2015-18.

Reks in Effect: Zach Reks hit his fifth home run of the season last night to put the Dodgers ahead on the scoreboard, 2-1, in the second inning. He finished with two hits as he collected his third straight multi-hit game (6x15, HR, 2 2B) and is now tied for the team lead with 11 multi-hit games this season...Through 13 games (12 starts) in June, Reks has collected 10 extra-base hits and has tallied seven multi-hit games...Overall this season, he leads the Dodgers with 39 hits, 12 doubles and 30 runs scored and is tied for the team lead with 18 walks. He has reached base in 29 of his 30 starts...In Triple-A West, Reks ranks tied for second in the league with 30 runs scored, fourth with 12 doubles, fifth with a .441 OBP, sixth with a .339 AVG and 10th with a 1.015 OPS...His 21 runs scored and 10 doubles since May 29 are both tied for most among Triple-A players.

Getting Neuse: Sheldon Neuse went 4-for-4 with a walk Thursday night, tying his career high in hits. It marked the sixth four-hit game of Neuse's career and first since Sept. 13, 2019 with the Oakland A's against the Texas Rangers. Between his final three at-bats Tuesday and first four at-bats Thursday, Neuse collected hits in seven consecutive plate appearances, and he has now reached base in eight straight plate appearances after walking in the ninth inning Thursday...Neuse has hit safely in a season-high five straight games, going 11-for-21 with a homer, four RBI and five runs scored. Prior to the recent hot streak, Neuse was 4-for-29 with 12 strikeouts to begin his time with OKC.

Dinger Details: The Dodgers have now homered at least once in nine of the last 10 games (14 HR total) and have hit 38 homers in their last 25 games, including 12 homers in the last eight games. In contrast, the Dodgers hit just 11 homers over the first 12 games of 2021...Including Zach Reks' two-run homer Thursday, each of the team's last six homers have occurred with at least one runner on base...Meanwhile, the Dodgers pitching staff allowed a home run last night, snapping a season-high stretch of six straight games without allowing a homer. They had allowed just four homers over their recent 12-game homestand, and none in their recently completed six-game series against El Paso, after surrendering 42 over the first 24 games of the season. Opponents have been kept inside the park in nine of the last 13 games after they had gone deep at least once in 22 of the first 24 games...Delino DeShields' leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning last night was the second leadoff homer allowed by OKC this season (Wynton Bernard, May 22 at Albuquerque).

Mound Turnaround: The Dodgers held an opponent to four runs or less for the sixth time in the last seven games and for the 11th time in the last 15 games last night. Including last night, it was the seventh time in the last 15 games they allowed two or fewer runs...During the team's current 13-7 stretch, the pitching staff has posted a 3.86 ERA - lowest in Triple-A West since May 25 - and opponents are batting .239. Prior to May 25, the team had a 7.44 ERA, 1.72 WHIP and .293 BAA over the first 17 games...Over the last 13 games, OKC has allowed 45 runs and opponents are batting .239 (102x426) overall and .257 (29x113) with runners in scoring position...OKC leads Triple-A West with a 3.84 ERA in June after placing eighth in the 10-team league with a 6.53 ERA in May. The Dodgers' 54 runs allowed in June, as well as six homers allowed so far this month, are both fewest along all 30 Triple-A teams.

Rehab Report: Outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo played in the first game of his Major League Rehab Assignment Thursday in Round Rock and went hitless in five plate appearances, going 0-for-4 with a walk. He also played eight innings in left field. Tsutsugo was acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade with Tampa Bay May 15 and has appeared in 12 games with LAD, going 3-for-25. He was placed on the Injured List June 9 with a right calf strain...Tsutsugo is the sixth player to join OKC on rehab assignment this season.

On Strike: Dodgers pitchers racked up 11 strikeouts in a second straight game last night, led by a season-high six K's by starting pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Last night was OKC's 20th game of the season with at least 10 strikeouts as well as the team's sixth 10-plus strikeout game in June. The OKC pitching staff's 130 strikeouts so far in June are second-most in Triple-A West (Round Rock, 137), while their 363 total strikeouts this season are third-most in Triple-A West...On the other hand, the 360 strikeouts by the Dodgers' offense so far this season are tied for most in Triple-A West along with Sacramento.

Rolling Relievers: Ryan Moseley turned in a seventh consecutive scoreless appearance last night with a 1-2-3 sixth inning. During that time he's allowed no runs and four hits over 7.0 innings, with two walks and four strikeouts. Over his first six appearances this season, Moseley allowed 14 runs, 19 hits and nine walks over 9.0 innings...Kevin Quackenbush also kept his streak alive last night with a 12th straight scoreless appearance. He's allowed just six hits over 13.1 innings and is 5-for-5 in save opportunities.

Time Warp: Yesterday's game clocked in at 3 hours, 33 minutes. Of the team's 34 nine-inning games this season, it was the 12th to last at least 3:30, including three of the last five nine-inning games and four of the last seven nine-inning games...The team's average nine-inning game currently stands at 3 hours, 20 minutes.

Around the Horn: Including last night, opponents have scored first in nine of the last 11 games, and OKC is 4-5 in those games...After posting a -49 run differential over the first 13 games (3-10), the Dodgers have a +64 run differential over their last 24 games (14-10). They are the only team in Triple-A to have a losing record but a positive run differential for the season (+15)...OKC has notched 10 or more hits in three straight games, batting .321 (35x109) during that time. It's the team's third streak this season of three straight games with 10-plus hits, but they have yet to do so in four straight games...The bullpen has allowed only 3 of 18 inherited runners to score this month...The Dodgers have drawn 120 walks in the last 24 games - the most in Triple-A West and second-most in Triple-A (Nashville, 125)...After hitting five homers in the last series against the El Paso Chihuahuas, Keibert Ruiz was held 0-for-5 last night, but did not strike out. He has struck out just 12 times in 22 games with OKC this season (94 plate appearances)...Dodgers manager Travis Barbary was ejected in first inning last night. Both of his ejections this season have been courtesy of umpire Justin Robinson, who is also responsible for three of OKC's four total ejections of 2021.

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