OKC Dodgers Game Notes - September 21, 2021
Round Rock Express (61-57) at Oklahoma City Dodgers (60-58)
Game #119 of 129/Home #59 of 64
Pitching Probables: RR-LHP Brock Burke (1-5, 5.99) vs. OKC-RHP Yefry Ramírez (5-3, 4.95)
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 | Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark | Oklahoma City, Okla. | 12:05 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 conclude their six-game series as well as their season-long Red Dirt Rumble rivalry series with a 12:05 p.m. matinee at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Express lead the current series, 4-1, while the Dodgers lead and have clinched the season series, 15-13...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.-..Today's game concludes the 2021 regular season for OKC before Triple-A teams embark on the Final Stretch later this week.
Last Game: The Round Rock Express piled up 10 runs and 16 hits, sending the Oklahoma City Dodgers to a 10-1 loss Monday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Express took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on three hits, including a key missed pop up in right-center field. Zach Reks got the Dodgers on the board with a RBI double to left-center field in the fourth inning, cutting the deficit to 2-1. The Express loaded the bases with none out in the fifth inning, but Dodgers pitcher Andre Jackson escaped with two strikeouts and a flyout to keep the Dodgers down by one run. The Dodgers weren't as fortunate in the sixth inning when Round Rock loaded the bases again with none out and scored four runs in the frame to make it 6-1. Curtis Terry hit a solo homer in the seventh inning, and John Hicks added a three-run dinger in the eighth inning for the Express.
Today's Probable Pitcher: Yefry Ramírez (5-3) makes his team-leading 20th start of the season and second start of the current series...Ramírez last pitched in Thursday's series opener, allowing three runs - all unearned - and five hits over 5.0 innings. He did not issue a walk, recorded three strikeouts and did not factor into the decision of OKC's loss...Ramírez's 98 strikeouts are fourth-most in Triple-A West, while his .258 AVG is fourth, his 19 starts are tied for fourth, his 4.95 ERA is fifth, his 1.46 WHIP is sixth his 96.1 innings pitched are ninth...Entering tonight, the Dodgers have won seven of his last nine starts overall and eight of his last 10 home starts...Ramírez made his Los Angeles Dodgers debut Aug. 1 at Arizona and pitched 2.0 scoreless and hitless innings with two K's and one walk to close out a 13-0 win. Ramírez was optioned to OKC Aug. 2, designated for assignment and subsequently outrighted to OKC Aug. 7...Ramírez was named Triple-A West Pitcher of the Month for June after going 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in five starts. He allowed 20 hits and struck out 27 over 26.0 IP while holding opponents to a .213 average. Ramírez led the league in ERA and opponent average while he tied for the best WHIP (1.12). He also ranked third in strikeouts and innings...Ramírez signed with the Dodgers as a free agent March 25. He is in his 10th pro season, originally signing with Arizona as an international free agent in 2011...Over five starts against the Express this season, Ramírez is 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA, allowing a total of 18 runs (13 ER) and 20 hits over 24.0 innings with 12 walks and 22 strikeouts.
Against the Express: 2021: 15-13 2019: 6-10 All-time: 145-121 At OKC: 68-61 The Dodgers and Express are in the midst of closing out their 29-game season series. With Sunday'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...Round Rock started the season series by going 5-1, but the Dodgers responded by winning 13 of the next 17 games. Now the Express has taken four of the last five meetings...The Express have outscored the Dodgers, 145-144, this season and outhit OKC, 253-220, hitting 40 homers compared to OKC's 39. The Express have homered at least once in 25 of the first 28 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.
Do You Remember...: 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, 1-4. OKC was 9-3 to start August and had not lost consecutive games prior to Thursday's series opener...With four wins this series, Round Rock has taken sole possession of second place in the East Division...For the fifth time this season, the Dodgers have started a series in a 1-4 hole. They've rebounded to win the series finale just once in the first four instances...Regardless of today's result, the Dodgers will have lost or split six of their last eight home series (2-4-2).
The 21st Night Day of September: After the Dodgers and Express concluded their last series Aug. 17, the Dodgers stood a season-best seven games above .500 at 48-41 and were six games ahead of the Express for second place in the East Division. But since then, they've gone just 12-17. Meanwhile, the Express left OKC with a 42-47 record, but have gone 19-10 since, overtaking the Dodgers for sole possession of second place.
Changing the Minds of Pretenders: Monday's loss snapped OKC's season-high stretch of 12 consecutive games with a homer as OKC was held without a home run for the first time since Sept. 5 against Albuquerque. The Dodgers hit 25 homers during the streak, with multiple homers in nine of the 12 games. Monday marked just the third time this month OKC was held without a homer (17 games)...On the other hand, the Express hit two homers Monday, as OKC has now surrendered 43 homers over the last 29 games - second-most in the league since Aug. 19. Opponents have hit at least one homer in 24 of the 29 games, including the last eight straight (10 HR). Six of the last seven homers allowed by the Dodgers have occurred with at least one runner on base.
Chasing the Clouds Away: Last night's nine-run margin of defeat was the Dodgers' largest since a 12-2 loss July 3 against Salt Lake, and the 10 runs allowed by the Dodgers Monday were the most runs scored by an OKC opponent since a 10-9 loss against Las Vegas in OKC Aug. 28...Monday marked the sixth straight game OKC allowed six or more runs and the seventh time in the last eight games. It the team's longest streak allowing six-plus runs since it occurred in each of the first six games of the season, also against Round Rock. Opponents have scored 45 runs in the last six games and have also racked up double-digit hit totals in each of the six games, batting .305 (72x236) overall. Opponents are also batting .382 (26x68) with runners in scoring position during the stretch...Round Rock's 16 hits Monday tied the season-high mark for an OKC opponent, initially set by Sacramento May 15...Over the first five games of the current series, with two outs Round Rock is batting .379 (25x66) and has scored 20 runs.
The Key That Souls Were Singing: Dodgers pitchers racked up 11 more strikeouts Monday for their eighth double-digit strikeout game in the last nine games and 61st double-digit strikeout game of the season. They rank second in Triple-A West with 1,142 K's...However, the Express went an incredible 16-for-29 (.552) when they did not strike out last night and are batting .445 (49x110) over the last four games when making contact.
Stars Stole the Night Away: Zach Reks drove in the Dodgers' lone run last night and picked up the only extra-base hit with a ground-rule RBI double in the fourth inning. It was his team-leading 22nd double of the season...Reks' 66 runs scored are sixth-most in Triple-A West, while his .915 OPS and .536 SLG both rank ninth. His 43 walks pace the Dodgers, while his 60 RBI are third-most on the team.
Holding Hands with Your Heart: Cristian Santana has hit safely 10 of his last 11 games and is 18-for-46 (.391) with two homers, four doubles, 11 RBI and eight runs scored...Since July 23, Santana ranks third in Triple-A West with both 63 hits and a .350 batting average...He leads OKC with 93 hits overall and 28 multi-hit games this season.
Only Blue Talk and Love: OKC was limited to one run and four hits Monday night, with one extra-base hit. The Dodgers entered the game having scored at least five runs in seven of their last eight games and 13 of their 16 games in September. They had also collected at least four extra-base hits in nine of the previous 10 games...The Dodgers were held 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position Monday and are batting .158 (6-for-38) with runners in scoring position this series. They entered the home series batting .381 with runners in scoring position over the previous eight games...The Dodgers are 10-7 in September. In their 10 wins, they've batted .417 (43x103) with RISP, but in the seven losses they've batted just .127 (7x55).
Never Was a Cloudy Day: OKC is 4-5 in day games this season, including 2-2 in day games during the month of September. They have won two of their last three games under the sun...Today's 12:05 p.m. scheduled first pitch will match the team's earliest start time this season.
Golden Dreams: The Dodgers 12-7 in series finales this season, including 5-4 at home and 3-1 against the Express. The Dodgers have won their last two series finales...Steven Souza Jr. has hit safely in five of his last six games with OKC, going 8-for-24 with four doubles, a homer, five RBI and five runs scored....Over his last nine appearances, Andrew Schwaab has thrown 7.1 scoreless innings while holding opponents 2-for-24 with eight strikeouts.
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