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OKC Dodgers Rally in Eighth to Pass Round Rock

September 21, 2021 - Triple-A West League (AAA West) - Oklahoma City Dodgers News Release

The Oklahoma City Dodgers scored three runs in the eighth inning to come back and defeat the Round Rock Express, 3-1, Tuesday afternoon at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. In the regular-season finale for both teams, Round Rock (61-58) held the Dodgers without a hit through six innings and took the lead in the fifth inning. The Express loaded the bases before Trace Loehr drew a bases-loaded walk for a 1-0 Express lead in the fifth inning. Sheldon Neuse drew a walk and Zach Reks was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning for the Dodgers' lone base runners until Matt Davidson led off the bottom of the seventh inning by lining a single into right-center field. The Dodgers (61-58) went on to load the bases, but were unable to bring in a run until the eighth inning. Sheldon Neuse led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a triple and scored on a RBI single by Zach McKinstry to tie the game, 1-1. Cristian Santana lined a go-ahead RBI double to the wall in left field for a 2-1 lead before the Dodgers brought in another run on a Round Rock fielding error for a 3-1 advantage.

Of Note:

-Tuesday closed out a six-game series between the Express and Dodgers as well as the 29-game season series between the Triple-A West East Division teams in the inaugural Red Dirt Rumble rivalry series. The Express won the six-game series, 4-2, while the Dodgers won the overall season series, 16-13...The Dodgers and Express closed out the regular season in a tie for second place in the division standings with identical 61-58 records.

-The Dodgers held the Express to one run Tuesday for the lowest run total by an OKC opponent since an 8-0 shutout win Sept. 11 at Salt Lake - a stretch of nine games. Tuesday was also just the second time since Aug. 13 the Dodgers held an opponent to one run or less (a span of 23 games)...Entering Tuesday, the Dodgers had allowed six or more runs in six straight games and allowed 45 total runs during the span. After allowing double-digit hit totals in each of the last six games, OKC held the Express to eight hits Tuesday.

-Cristian Santana lined a go-ahead RBI double to the wall in left field in the eighth inning. He has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games and is 19-for-50 (.380) with two homers, five doubles, 12 RBI and eight runs scored. He leads the Dodgers with 95 hits overall this season and has 64 hits since July 23.

-Sheldon Neuse hit OKC's 19th triple of the season Tuesday and is tied for the team lead with three triples this season. Twelve of OKC's triples this season have come since Aug. 1, including six in September.

-Dodgers starting pitcher Yefry Ramírez allowed one run and six hits over 5.2 innings with three walks and three strikeouts. OKC's bullpen held the Express to two hits over the final 3.1 innings with five strikeouts and did not issue a walk. Darien Núñez (7-0) was credited with the win, while Kevin Quackenbush recorded his 20th save of the season.

-Tuesday marked the 13th time this season (119 games) in which neither team hit a home run. That happened just nine times during the 2019 season for Oklahoma City (139 games).

-Matt Davidson accounted for two of OKC's five total hits Tuesday afternoon, finishing with OKC's lone multi-hit outing. He also scored a run. In the six-game series against the Express, Davidson went 7-for-23 with three multi-hit games, two homers, four RBI and five runs scored.

-The Dodgers improved to 5-5 in day games this season, including 3-2 in September...OKC also boosted its record to 13-7 in series finales, including 6-4 at home.

-Zach McKinstry drove in OKC's first run Tuesday with a game-tying RBI single in the eighth inning. Over his last seven games, McKinstry is 8-for-30 with two doubles, three homers, four RBI and seven runs scored.

-OKC and Round Rock took the field with their MiLB "Es Divertido Ser Un Fan™" ("It's Fun to Be a Fan™") identities - Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City vs. 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! includes 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.

-On Thursday, OKC opens the Triple-A Final Stretch in Las Vegas. In July, Major League Baseball announced the rescheduling of 10 games postponed at the start of the 2021 Triple-A season and added to the end the season. All 30 Triple-A teams will play five road games and five away games during the Triple-A Final Stretch - a new postseason tournament format. A champion was named for both the Triple-A West (Tacoma) and Triple-A East (Durham) leagues for the 2021 regular season based on overall winning percentage through the originally scheduled 120-game championship season. A single 2021 Triple-A Final Stretch Winner will be crowned based on the highest overall winning percentage among all 30 teams during the final 10 games. During the Final Stretch, the OKC Dodgers are set to play five games in Las Vegas starting Thursday and will then host El Paso for five games Sept. 29-Oct. 3 to wrap up the season at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

What's Next: Following a league-wide day off Wednesday, the OKC Dodgers open the Triple-A Final Stretch with a five-game road series against the Las Vegas Aviators at 9:05 p.m. CT Thursday at Las Vegas Ballpark. Live radio coverage begins 15 minutes before first pitch on 1340 AM "The Game," and through the free iHeartRadio or MiLB First Pitch apps. All OKC Dodgers games are also available streamed live on MiLB.TV with a subscription.

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