OKC Dodgers Game Notes - September 20, 2021
Round Rock Express (60-57) at Oklahoma City Dodgers (60-57)
Game #118 of 129/Home #58 of 64
Pitching Probables: RR-RHP Tyson Miller (3-3, 3.13) vs. OKC-RHP Andre Jackson (2-1, 5.40)/RHP Nick Tropeano (1-0, 4.03)
Monday, September 20, 2021 | Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark | Oklahoma City, Okla. | 7:05 p.m. CT
Radio: KGHM AM-1340 The Game, 1340thegame.com, iHeartRadio; Video: MiLB.tv
Today's Game: The Oklahoma City Dodgers and Round Rock Express continue their series at 7:05 p.m. at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. After the Dodgers' walk-off win yesterday, Round Rock has a 3-1 lead in the series...The Dodgers will take the field this series as Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City and Round Rock will play as Los Chupacabras de Round Rock throughout ¡Celebración Cielo Azul!, presented by OG&E.-
Last Game: 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. After the Dodgers led, 5-0, in the second inning and, 7-4, in the sixth inning, the Express would come back to tie the game, 7-7. Round Rock pitcher Ryder Ryan retired the first two batters of the bottom of the ninth inning before McKinstry knocked a fly ball to center field to snap the team's three-game losing skid. The Dodgers 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 and following errors, 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 Yohel Pozo in the seventh inning and RBI single by Jason Martin in the eighth inning tied the game, 7-7.
Today's Probable Pitchers: Andre Jackson (2-1) is set to make his fifth appearance and fourth start with OKC...He last pitched Sept. 14 in Salt Lake, making the start and allowing three runs and four hits, including two homers, over 4.0 innings with one walk and six strikeouts in a no decision. The six K's were his highest total since being promoted from Double-A Tulsa...Jackson has been recalled by Los Angeles three times since mid-August and has appeared in two games with LAD, allowing just one run and six hits over 8.2 innings. He made his ML debut Aug. 16 against Pittsburgh, pitching 4.0 scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits and four walks with five strikeouts at Dodger Stadium...Jackson was promoted to OKC from Double-A Tulsa July 31. Prior to his promotion, Jackson pitched a team-leading 63.1 innings for the Drillers, making 15 appearances (13 starts). He posted 75 strikeouts (second-most on the team) against 20 walks - fewest among Drillers starting pitchers. He went 3-2 with a 3.27 ERA - third-lowest in Double-A Central, while his .201 opponent average and 1.04 WHIP both led the league...Jackson was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of the University of Utah, where he primarily played as an outfielder...Tonight is Jackson's second career appearance against the Express. He made his Triple-A debut Aug. 3 in Round Rock, picking up the win after pitching 5.0 innings and allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Nick Tropeano (1-0) is scheduled to piggyback Jackson and make his eighth appearance of the season with OKC...Tropeano last pitched Sept. 14 in Salt Lake, also working in a tandem with Jackson. He picked up the win with 2.0 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks with four K's...He signed as a free agent Aug. 6 and has played in the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets organizations this season...Tropeano played for the OKC RedHawks in 2014, pacing the Pacific Coast League with a 3.03 ERA.
Against the Express: 2021: 15-12 2019: 6-10 All-time: 145-120 At OKC: 68-60 The Oklahoma City Dodgers and Round Rock Express are in the midst of closing out their 29-game season series. With yesterday's victory, the Dodgers clinched a win in the inaugural Red Dirt Rumble rivalry series...The teams last met for a rain-shortened five-game series in OKC Aug. 12-17, with OKC winning the set, 4-1...The first 18 games of the season between the teams were played at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, with the Dodgers going 10-8...OKC has won 15 of the last 23 meetings after opening the season with four consecutive losses to the Express in May, as well as 14 of the last 21 games. However, Round Rock has won three of the last four games against OKC...The Dodgers have outscored the Express 143-135 this season, while Round Rock has outhit OKC, 237-216, with OKC hitting 39 homers and Round Rock 38. The Express have homered at least once in 24 of the first 27 games...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.
Es Divertido Ser Un Fan: Throughout this series, OKC and Round Rock will take the field with their MiLB "Es Divertido Ser Un Fan™" ("It's Fun to Be a Fan™") identities - Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City and 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! will include 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.
Sunday Funday: Zach McKinstry's walk-off homer Sunday afternoon was the Dodgers' first walk-off home run since Aug. 17, 2018 against Iowa, when Andrew Toles hit a two-run homer to give OKC a 6-4 win in 11 innings...Sunday also marked the Dodgers' third walk-off win of the season and first since July 26 against Sugar Land.
Down to the Wire: Three of the first four games of the series have been decided in one team's final at-bat. The Express won, 6-5, Thursday in 10 innings and rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth inning Saturday to win, 8-5, before the Dodgers' walk-off win yesterday...Going back to the previous series in Salt Lake, three of OKC's last nine games have been tied after eight innings, with the Dodgers going 2-1 in that trio of games. They're now 4-7 when tied after eight innings this season...Although the Dodgers are 12-22 in one-run games overall this season, they have won four of the last six one-run games they've been involved in...The Dodgers and Express have now split their six one-run games this season...Yesterday was OKC's sixth last at-bat win of 2021, but opponents have tallied 13 of them this season.
Stumbling Block: The Dodgers entered this series having won seven of their last eight games and nine of their last 11 games, but they've started their series against the Express, 1-3. OKC was 9-3 to start August and had not lost consecutive games prior to Thursday's series opener...With three straight wins, the Express leapt the Dodgers in the Triple-A West East Division, but with Sunday's win, the Dodgers moved into a tie with Round Rock for second place in the division standings...For the seventh time this season, the Dodgers have started a series in a 1-3 hole. They lost the first three games of a series for the second time in the last three home series and for the third time in the last five series overall. The Dodgers are 0-6 in their first six series of the season when they begin a series, 1-3.
Feeling Grand: Drew Avans hit the Dodgers' eighth grand slam of the season in the second inning Sunday - and the first grand slam of his career. It was the second grand slam of the month for OKC and the team's fifth grand slam since Aug. 2. For comparison, the Dodgers hit five total grand slams in the 2019 season, four total grand slams in 2018 and two grand slams in 2017...The eight grand slams are tied for most in Triple-A West with Las Vegas, and it's the most OKC has hit in one season since recording nine in 2005...The Dodgers have had the most at-bats in the league with the bases loaded this season (139) and have scored the second-most runs (132) while tallying the most extra-base hits (19). They are batting .281 with the bags full and have drawn a league-high 16 walks.
Dinger Details: The Dodgers hit two homers Sunday, as five of the team's eight runs scored via homer. In the last two games, 10 of their 13 runs have come courtesy of the long ball (5 HR)...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 (20 HR) and six of the last seven (15 HR)...On the other hand, the Dodgers have now surrendered 41 homers over the last 28 games - second-most in the league since Aug. 19. Opponents have hit at least one homer in 23 of the 28 games, including the last seven straight (8 HR).
RISPy Business: After being held 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position over the first three games of the series, the Dodgers went 3-for-6 with RISP Sunday. During the current series they are .179 (5-for-28) with runners in scoring position after entering the home series batting .381 with runners in scoring position over the previous eight games...The Dodgers are 10-6 in September. In their 10 wins, they've batted .417 (43x103) with RISP, but in the five losses they've batted just .133 (6x45).
The Runaround: Sunday marked the fifth straight game the Dodgers allowed six or more runs and the sixth time in the last seven games. It the team's longest streak allowing six-plus runs since it occurred in each of the first six games of the season. Opponents have scored 35 runs in the last five games and have also racked up double-digit hit totals in each of the five games, batting .286 (56x196) overall. Opponents are also batting .377 (20x53) with runners in scoring position during the stretch...Eleven of the Express' last 13 runs have scored with two outs, including five of their seven runs Sunday and each of their last six runs Saturday night. Over the first four games of the current series, Round Rock is batting .382 (21x55) and has scored 17 runs with two outs.
Around the Horn: 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...Dodgers pitchers racked up 11 strikeouts Sunday for their seventh double-digit strikeout game in the last eight games and 60th double-digit strikeout game of the season. They rank second in Triple-A West with 1,131 K's...The Dodgers have committed seven errors over the last four games, leading to 10 unearned runs allowed...Zach McKinstry has homered in each of his last two games as well as in three of his last five...Over his last nine appearances, Andrew Schwaab has thrown 7.1 scoreless innings with just two hits.
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