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OKC Dodgers Game Notes - September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Oklahoma City Dodgers News Release

Oklahoma City Dodgers (80-63) at El Paso Chihuahuas (81-62)

Game #144 of 150/Road #72 of 75

Pitching Probables: OKC-RHP Jon Duplantier (5-3, 5.00) vs. ELP-LHP Jay Groome (2-2, 3.48)

Thursday, September 22, 2022 | Southwest University Park | El Paso, Texas | 7:35 p.m. CT

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

Today's Game: The Oklahoma City Dodgers and El Paso Chihuahuas continue their pivotal series at 7:35 p.m. CT at Southwest University Park. With seven games remaining in the season, including four more head-to-head meetings between the teams, the first-place Chihuahuas have a 1.0-game lead ahead of the second-place Dodgers in the PCL East Division standings. The current series between the teams could determine the division champion and is tied, 1-1.

Last Game: The El Paso Chihuahuas scored eight runs between the fourth and fifth innings to come back and beat the OKC Dodgers, 9-8, Wednesday afternoon at Southwest University Park, regaining sole possession of first place in the PCL's East Division. The Chihuahuas took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a solo homer by Brandon Dixon. The Dodgers ripped off six runs in the third inning before recording an out. Drew Avans tied the game with a RBI single, and Kevin Pillar gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead with a two-run single. Edwin Ríos stepped up next and hammered a three-run homer off the scoreboard in right-center field to make it 6-1. The Dodgers added a run in the fourth inning with a RBI groundout by Ryan Noda before things turned south. The Chihuahuas scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, including a three-run homer by Matthew Batten. Four more runs scored in the fifth inning as El Paso collected four extra-base hits during the rally to go-ahead, 9-7. Avans provided his second RBI single of the day in the sixth inning to cut the lead to one run. Even though the OKC pitching staff kept the team within one run for the remainder of the game, the Dodgers could not advance the potential tying run any closer than second base.

Today's Probable Pitcher: Jon Duplantier (5-3) makes his 13th start and sixth appearance of the season against the Chihuahuas...Duplantier last pitched and started Sept. 16 in Albuquerque, tossing a season-high 6.0 innings. He allowed four runs - his highest total since Aug. 4 - and seven hits, along with two walks and eight strikeouts to earn the win during OKC's 12-9 road victory...Prior to his last start in Albuquerque, Duplantier had allowed four runs and 14 hits across his previous 19.2 innings, including two scoreless starts of 5.0 innings each. The stretch began Aug. 21 at Sugar Land when he notched nine strikeouts over five scoreless innings, tying his career high in strikeouts...Duplantier moved into the starting rotation in mid-June. He is 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA as a starter (50.2 IP) with 27 walks and 62 strikeouts. As a reliever, he is 4-1 with a 6.35 ERA (34.0 IP) with 23 walks and 33 strikeouts...Right-handed batters are hitting .203, but lefties are hitting .305...Duplantier was selected by the Dodgers from the Giants in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft Dec. 8, 2021 after he had signed with the Giants just four days prior as a minor league free agent...He was selected in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft by Arizona out of Rice University...Tonight is Duplantier's third start and sixth appearance against El Paso in 2022. Over his first 13.0 IP against the Chihuahuas he owns a 2.77 ERA, allowing four runs and 10 hits, with nine walks and 13 strikeouts.

Against the Chihuahuas: 2022: 12-11 2021: 14-9 All-time: 40-30 At ELP: 21-17 The top two teams in the PCL East Division meet for the fifth and final series this season and for the third time at Southwest University Park...The teams most recently met for six games at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark Aug. 23-28, with the Dodgers winning the series, 4-2, including the final three games. The Dodgers scored at least seven runs in each of their four victories...The teams met in El Paso June 28-July 3 with the Chihuahuas winning the series, 4-2. The Dodgers won two of the first three games before the Chihuahuas won the final three of the set while scoring 41 runs. In each of El Paso's four wins during the series, the Chihuahuas scored at least 11 runs (55 runs total)...After the teams split their first series of the season, the home team has gone 11-6 since (14-9 over the season series)...Miguel Vargas leads OKC with 26 hits and 20 RBI in the season series, while Jason Martin has nine homers...Outside of 2018, OKC has won or split each season series against the Chihuahuas since Tucson's franchise relocated to El Paso for the 2014 season...The Dodgers are 6-8 in El Paso this season. In the six wins, they've allowed a total of 12 runs, but in the eight losses they've allowed a total of 88 runs, with at least seven runs in seven of the eight games.

The Final Week: With seven games remaining in the season, El Paso owns sole possession of first place in the PCL East Division and a 1.0-game lead ahead of the second-place Dodgers. El Paso can clinch the East Division title with three wins over the next four games, while the Dodgers would need to win each of the next four games to clinch the division in El Paso. The Dodgers need to win two of the next four games to own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chihuahuas...The Dodgers had a 5.0-game lead ahead of Round Rock and 5.5-game lead ahead of El Paso in the East Division standings entering Aug. 31, but have seen that advantage evaporate after going 8-11 while the Chihuahuas have gone 15-5 during the same period. Following a loss Sept. 9, the Dodgers dropped into a tie for first place, marking the first time since July 17 they did not have sole possession of first place. After a loss Sept. 10, the Dodgers fell out of first place entirely - the first time since June 1 the Dodgers had not held at least a share of first place.

Slippery Six: The Dodgers' five-game winning streak, which matched OKC's season-high, came to an end yesterday. It was the team's longest winning streak since five consecutive wins July 22-27 in OKC and the first time OKC won five consecutive road games since April 15-20. The Dodgers are now 0-3 when trying to extend a winning streak to six games this season. The team has not won six games in a row since July 18-24, 2019, falling short in each of the last five attempts between 2021-22.

In High Gear: Although the Dodgers' streak of four straight games scoring at least 11 runs came to an end yesterday, the Dodgers still scored eight runs for a fifth straight game (58 runs) and at least six runs for a sixth straight game (64 runs). Entering Wednesday, the Dodgers scored at least 11 runs in four consecutive games (50 R) for the first time in the team's Bricktown era (since 1998) and scored at least 10 runs in four straight games for the first time since June 27-30, 2007 (43 runs)...OKC's current stretch of five straight games with at least eight runs is the team's longest since a six-game stretch of scoring at least nine runs July 18-24, 2019 (76 runs)...The Dodgers have also collected at least 11 hits in six straight games (79 H) for the first time since a nine-game stretch June 8-17, 2017 (109 H). During the current stretch, they are batting .341 (79x232) with 34 extra-base hits, including 17 home runs...However, Wednesday marked the fourth time this season the Dodgers scored at least eight runs but lost. Three of those four defeats have occurred in El Paso, including the two most recent instances. Before Wednesday, the Dodgers last lost when scoring at least eight runs during an 11-8 defeat July 1.

Loose Grip: Yesterday the Dodgers lost for the second time this season in a game they led by six runs. During a game July 28 at home - with the Dodgers also aiming to extend a winning streak to six games - OKC led 6-0 against Sugar Land before the Space Cowboys won, 12-7. In both cases, the Dodgers scored six runs in the third inning...Since Aug. 6 (40 games), the Dodgers have 15 blown saves - the most among all times in the Minors. Yesterday marked the ninth loss during the 40-game stretch when after the Dodgers led by at least two runs.

Dinger Details: The Dodgers have homered in seven straight games (18 HR), although their streak of five straight games with two or more homers ended Wednesday. They have 23 homers over the last nine games - second-most in Triple-A - after hitting just two homers through the first nine games of September. Prior to last Thursday (Sept. 15), OKC had been held without a home run in eight of their first 12 games this month, and from Sept. 4-10, the Dodgers were held without a homer in six consecutive games for the team's longest stretch since a six-game streak in 2014...For the fifth time this season, the Dodgers hit at least five homers in one game Tuesday night and it was the second time it happened in a span of eight games (Sept. 11 vs. Tacoma)...On the other hand, the Dodgers have allowed at least one home run in a season-high 11 straight games (16 HR), as El Paso hit two homers yesterday afternoon...This marks the second time the team has had three players with 20-plus homers in one season (MIchael Busch, Ryan Noda, Jason Martin) along the with 2019 team (Kyle Garlick, Edwin Ríos, Will Smith).

Phys. Ed: Edwin Ríos went 2-for-5 Wednesday with a team-high three RBI, hitting a three-run homer in the third inning. Over the first eight games of the current road trip, Ríos is 9-for-32 with two homers, three doubles and nine RBI. He has collected an extra-base hit in each of the last three games...The home run was the 58th of Ríos' Oklahoma City career, breaking a tie with Scott Sheldon for second place on the career home runs list during OKC's Bricktown era (since 1998). He is now two home runs away from tying Jason Hart's team record of 60 career home runs...Ríos' 17 RBI pace the Dodgers in September and are tied for fourth-most in the league this month, while his four home runs are tied for the OKC team lead in September.

Walking Into a Record: Ryan Noda drew three walks yesterday to bring his season total up to 87 and set a new team single-season walks record during the Bricktown era, surpassing Cliff Brumbaugh's 85 walks in 2000. It was the second time in four games Noda drew three walks, and he has drawn nine walks in his last five games...Over the last three games, Noda is 5-for-10 with two homers, a double, five RBI, five walks and one HBP, reaching base in 11 of 16 plate appearances...Noda has homered in four of the last six games and is up to 24 total homers this season. He also has 19 steals, putting him one stolen base away from recording OKC's first 20/20 season since Nelson Cruz tallied 37 homers and 24 steals in 2008.

Drew Point: Drew Avans recorded his third straight multi-hit game Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with a walk, two RBI, two runs and two stolen bases. Over the last three games, Avans is 8-for-15 with two extra-base hits and seven RBI, and he has hit safely in four straight games (9x19)...Avans leads Triple-A with 11 triples this season and his 36 stolen bases rank fifth in the PCL. The 36 steals rank fifth all-time in OKC's Bricktown era (since 1998) and are the most since Jimmy Paredes' 37 steals in 2012.

The Take on Jake: Jake Amaya went 1-for-5 with a double yesterday to extend his hitting streak to six games, as he has gone 10-for-27 (.370) with two home runs, two doubles and eight RBI. He has hit safely in 19 of his last 21 games, going 31-for-79 (.392) with six doubles, a triple, five homers, 19 RBI and 23 runs scored. He leads OKC with 25 hits so far in September and his .391 AVG is fourth in the PCL this month...Between June 18-Aug. 19, Amaya did not hit a home run over 50 games, but since Aug. 20, he has gone deep six times in 27 games.

Buschwacked: On Wednesday, Michael Busch hit his 30th double with OKC this season and his 67th overall extra-base hit this season between OKC and Double-A Tulsa. He's hit safely in seven straight games, going 11-for-33 with four doubles, three homers, nine RBI and 11 runs scored. He leads the team in runs (17) and doubles (7) this month, while ranking tied for first with four homers...Between OKC and Double-A Tulsa, Busch ranks second overall in the Minors with 116 runs scored, fourth with 277 total bases and tied for sixth with 67 extra-base hits. He leads the Dodgers farm system with 148 total hits, 106 RBI, 277 total bases, 67 extra-base hits and 36 doubles, while he is tied for first with 31 homers.

Around the Horn: The Dodger have won six of their last nine games after going 2-8 over the previous 10...OKC has reached 80 wins for the seventh time in 24 seasons during the Bricktown era and for the first time since 2016...Kevin Pillar opened a rehab assignment Wednesday, going 1-for-4 with a two-run single, and he played seven innings in left field during his first game action since June 1. Pillar underwent surgery to repair a fractured left shoulder June 7...Tomás Telis did not play Wednesday, but is currently on a six-game hitting streak during which he is 11-for-27...Although Devin Mann popped out as pinch hitter Wednesday, over his last six starts he is 10-for-21 (.476) with three homers, a triple, nine RBI and 10 runs scored...Including yesterday, eight of the Dodgers' last eight road defeats have been by one or two runs, with six one-run losses...Seven of El Paso's eight hits yesterday went for extra bases, marking the most extra-base hits allowed by the Dodgers since Aug. 7 at Salt Lake. The team is now 0-7 when allowing at least seven XBH in a game.

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