OKC Dodgers Game Notes - May 1, 2017
Today's Game: The OKC Dodgers have won four straight games and look to match their longest winning streak of the season when they play the Omaha Storm Chasers in a doubleheader at 11:05 a.m. at Werner Park. The teams will play two seven-inning games today with the second game starting 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The Dodgers have won nine consecutive games against the Storm Chasers.
Last Game: Saturday's game and Sunday's doubleheader were both postponed due to inclement weather. On Friday, the Dodgers pitching staff continued its recent roll and the team took control with an impressive two-out rally in the seventh inning, defeating Omaha, 6-1. The pitching duo of Wilmer Font and Adam Bray held Omaha to one run and six hits, while tallying nine strikeouts and no walks. OKC opened the scoring in the third inning with a pair of runs. Charlie Culberson hit a RBI double, and two batters later, O'Koyea Dickson hit a sac fly. Omaha gained some traction in the sixth and a RBI single by Jorge Soler cut the Dodgers' lead to 2-1. OKC broke the game open with an impressive two-out rally in the top of the seventh. The Dodgers tallied four straight hits with two outs, including three straight run-scoring hits. Culberson sent a two-run single down the left field line to make it a 4-1 game. Willie Calhoun knocked a RBI single, and Dickson finished things off with a RBI double. In his Triple-A debut, Bray earned the save with 3.1 scoreless innings. Font (2-2) turned in a season-high 5.2 innings and allowed one run with seven strikeouts.
Today's Probable Pitchers: Justin Masterson (2-1) takes the mound for OKC in the first game looking to build off a strong start in his last outing...Masterson pitched seven shutout innings last Monday, holding visiting Memphis to one hit and one walk while recording five strikeouts in OKC's 3-0 win. He retired 21 of the 24 batters he faced and combined with Steve Geltz on a two-hit shutout...The outing was Masterson's longest scoreless start since Aug. 13, 2014 against the Miami Marlins while pitching for St. Louis...Over his first four outings, Masterson has racked up 22 strikeouts over 19.0 IP. He's held opponents to a league-leading .149 batting average, while lefties have gone just 3-for-22...
Masterson's 0.89 WHIP ranks third-lowest in the PCL...Masterson signed with the Dodgers as a free agent March 27 after spending 2016 in the Pittsburgh organization...In eight Major League seasons, Masterson has a 64-74 record with a 4.31 ERA in 258 appearances (184 starts) and was Cleveland's Opening Day starter for three seasons (2012-14)...Today is his first career appearance against Omaha.
Jair Jurrjens (2-0) takes the mound in game two...Jurrjens pitched six shutout innings Tuesday, holding Memphis to four hits and one walk while recording four strikeouts in OKC's 6-0 victory. He combined with Patrick Schuster and Layne Somsen as the Dodgers posted back-to-back shutout wins...His 0.97 WHIP is fourth-lowest in the PCL...His 8.74 ratio for fewest baserunners per nine innings is second-lowest among PCL starters and his .193 opponent average is third-lowest among starters...Jurrjens signed with the Dodgers as a free agent March 29...Jurrjens spent 2016 with the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League...In eight MLB seasons with Detroit (2007), Atlanta (2008-12), Baltimore (2013) and Colorado (2014), Jurrjens posted a 53-38 record with a 3.72 ERA, 514 K's and 264 walks in 130 games...He was selected as a 2011 NL All-Star...He was originally signed by Detroit as an amateur free agent in 2003 and is the first MLB pitcher from Curacao...He previously made two starts against Omaha in 2014 while with Colorado Springs (0-1, 8.18 ERA).
Against the Storm Chasers: 2017: 2-0 2016: 11-3 All-time: 144-128 At OMA: 72-65 With Friday's win, the Dodgers have won the last nine meetings against the Storm Chasers, 10 of the last 11 meetings overall, and seven straight at Werner Park...The Dodgers won the 2016 series, 11-3, marking their first season series win against Omaha since 2010 when Omaha was known as the Royals and had current Dodgers pitching coach Matt Herges on the roster. It also matched their all-time high for wins in a season against Omaha (2003 and 2004)...Oklahoma City finished 2016 with a winning record (5-1) at Omaha for the first time since 2010 and posted a winning record in OKC against the Storm Chasers (6-2) for the first time since 2013...The Dodgers won the last seven meetings against the Storm Chasers and eight of the last nine meetings between the teams...OKC outscored Omaha, 90-66, last season and had 23 homers over the 14-game series.
Can We Please Play Now?: The Dodgers and Storm Chasers have not been able to play the last two days due to temperatures in the low 40s and constant rain. In addition to today's doubleheader, the teams will play two on Aug. 16 when the Dodgers are back in town...Almost exactly one year ago the teams were also postponed on consecutive days at Werner Park due to uncooperative weather (April 30-May 1, 2016).
Road Warriors: The Dodgers are now 7-2 on the road following Friday's victory. They are tied for the second-most road wins in the league, but their .778 road winning percentage is tops in the PCL...Going back to the end of 2016, they've now won 13 of their last 15 road contests.
Fantastic Four: During the current four-game winning streak, the Dodgers have outscored their opponents, 18-3. The pitching staff has posted a 0.69 ERA (3 ER/39.0 IP), while holding opponents to .154 average overall (21x136) and 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position...
The bullpen has produced 18.0 scoreless innings while allowing just seven hits (7x58, .121), with three walks and 16 strikeouts. Wheeling and Dealing: The Dodgers' pitching staff has allowed just three runs over the last 43 innings, while holding the opponent scoreless in 41 of 43 frames. OKC pitchers have also allowed just two extra-base hits during the stretch...Ramon Torres' bloop double in the bottom of the first inning last night broke a streak of 29 consecutive innings without a allowing an extra-base hit. Klimbing to the Top: The Dodgers' 2.96 ERA and 209 strikeouts pace the PCL, while their 1.08 WHIP, 3.73 strikeout-to-walk ratio and .216 opponent average each lead all Triple-A teams...The team has not allowed a home run in a season-high six straight games, and the 12 dingers surrendered overall this season are tied for fewest in the league...The Dodgers have allowed three or fewer runs in 13 of their 21 games this season, with 11 games allowing two or fewer runs.
Charles in Charge: Charlie Culberson went 2-for-5 Friday night with two runs scored and a season-high three RBI --- doubling his season total entering the game. Through the first two games of the current series against the Storm Chasers, Culberson is 6-for-11 with three doubles and three runs...Culberson has now hit safely a season-best five straight games, going 9-for-22 (.409) with four RBI. Another Awesome April: By compiling a 12-9 record, OKC has now recorded a winning record in April in six consecutive seasons. Today's Starting Pitcher Justin Masterson (2-1, 2.37) Bats/Throws: Right/Right Height/Weight: 6-6/260 Born: 3/22/1985 in Kingston, Jamaica Acquired by Dodgers: Signed as a free agent, March 27, 2017 Last Game: Turned in 7.0 scoreless innings Monday night at home against Memphis, combining with Steve Geltz on a two-hit shutout in OKC's 3-0 win...allowed just one hit, with one walk and five strikeouts...overall, retired 21 of 24 batters faced (hit, walk, error)...was longest scoreless outing since Aug. 13, 2014 at Miami while pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals (also 7.0 IP)...fewest hits allowed in a start of at least 7.0 innings since July 21, 2013 against the Minnesota Twins while pitching for Cleveland (7.0 IP)...
gave up a one-out double to Chad Huffman in the first inning, but did not allow a hit thereafter...following Huffman's double, retired 10 straight batters and 17 of the next 18 Redbirds, with the only man not retired reaching on an error...walked Tommy Pham to lead off the seventh, but retired the next three batters to finish his outing...held Memphis 0-for-6 with runners on base and 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position...retired the side on 10 or fewer pitches three times; never threw more than 15 pitches in an inning...
threw 81 pitches (60 strikes).
Against Omaha: Tonight marks his first career meeting against the Storm Chasers.
2017: - Currently ranks first in the PCL with a .149 opponent average and third with a 0.89 WHIP...lefties batting just .136 (3x22)...opponents 2-for-11 with RISP.
- Racked up 22 strikeouts over his first 19.0 innings.
- Made first start of the season April 13 in Nashville and earned the win after turning in 5.0 scoreless innings...allowed just two singles and one walk with five strikeouts...did not have a runner reach scoring position...retired the final 10 batters faced...held Nashville 2-for-16 overall and 0-for-4 with runners on base...threw 69 pitches (45 strikes).
- Made season debut April 8 at home against Iowa and pitched 3.0 innings of relief...allowed two runs on two hits while striking out six and walking two on 54 pitches (31 strikes)...gave up both runs within the first four batters faced...held his final 10 batters faced 0-for-8 with two walks...struck out four of five batters between the sixth and seventh innings...kept Iowa 1-for-7 with runners on base.
- Signed with the Dodgers as a minor league free agent on March 27.
2016: - Signed with Pittsburgh on April 15 and spent a majority of the season with Triple-A Indianapolis, going 2-2 with a 4.97 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 25 appearances (5 starts).
- Went 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 20 relief appearances (34.1 IP)...in five starts, went 0-2 with a 7.65 ERA with 15 strikeouts.
- Allowed three home runs over 54.1 IP, but all occurred within the same start on June 21 at Gwinnett...did not allow a run home run in 24 remaining appearances, totaling 49.2 IP. - Induced 11 ground ball double plays.
Career: - Enters his 12th professional season after spending time with the Boston (2006-09, 2015), Cleveland (2009-14), St. Louis (2014) and Pittsburgh (2016) organizations.
- In eight Major League seasons, has a 64-74 record with a 4.31 ERA and 1,004 strikeouts in 258 appearances (184 starts)...is 5-4 with a 3.17 ERA with 108 strikeouts against 35 walks in 74 relief appearances.
- Spent the entire 2015 season with the Boston Red Sox, posting a 5.61 ERA with 49 strikeouts against 27 walks in 18 appearances (nine starts)...missed over a month of the season due to right shoulder tendinitis...had a 6.37 ERA leading up to the injury, but a 4.50 ERA after his return...designated for assignment Aug. 10 and released Aug. 19...underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery following the season. - Named Cleveland's Opening Day starter for three consecutive seasons (2012-14).
- Made his first All-Star team in 2013 with Cleveland after going 10-7 with a 3.72 ERA with 137 strikeouts before the All-Star Break...finished the season going 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA with 195 strikeouts against 76 walks and limited opposing batters to a .222 average in 32 games (29 starts) and three complete games.
- Traded from Boston to Cleveland on July 31, 2009 along with Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price in exchange for Victor Martinez. - Made his ML debut April 24, 2008 for the Boston Red Sox vs. the Los Angeles Angels in a spot start...picked up his first career win May 20, 2008 vs. Kansas City.
- Is the first Jamaican-born pitcher in Major League History...at the time of his birth, his father was the Dean of Students at the Jamaica Theological Seminary...primarily grew up in the midwest and attended high school in Beavercreek, Ohio.
- Selected by Boston in the second round of the 2006 Draft out of San Diego State University...began his collegiate career at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind.
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