Pair of Sunday Wins Keep Dodgers' Playoff Hopes Alive
Colorado Springs, Colo. - The Oklahoma City Dodgers picked up two crucial wins Sunday night, hitting four home runs in an 11-8 win in their regularly scheduled game against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox after defeating the Sky Sox, 6-4, in the completion of a suspended game earlier in the evening at Security Service Field.
With the two wins, the Dodgers (73-65) kept their playoff hopes alive. The Dodgers now trail first-place Colorado Springs by a half-game in the American Northern Division standings and forced a decisive potential doubleheader of two seven-inning games for Monday on the final day of the regular season.
The teams will have a fast turnaround and play at 1:30 p.m. Central time Monday at Security Service Field. If the Dodgers win, the teams will then play a second game, as Oklahoma City needs two wins Monday to clinch the division title and a playoff berth. Colorado Springs (73-64) can win the division title and continue into the postseason with one victory.
Oklahoma City's two wins Sunday started with the conclusion of a suspended game from Saturday night.
The teams played to a 4-4 tie through six innings Saturday at Security Service Field before the game was delayed due to rain and eventually suspended due to unplayable field conditions.
Play resumed Sunday evening at the top of the seventh inning, however neither team scored in the frame, sending the scheduled seven-inning game into extra innings.
Oklahoma City's Travis Taijeron started the eighth inning on second base per the new extra-inning rules in Minor League Baseball this season. After a sacrifice bunt by Henry Ramos advanced Taijeron to third base, Will Smith connected on his first Triple-A home run out to right-center field to push the Dodgers to a 6-4 lead.
The Sky Sox went on to load the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning. Nate Orf starting the inning on second base and two Sky Sox batters were later hit by pitch by Dodgers reliever Brian Schlitter. With the bases loaded and two outs, Schlitter got Andres Blanco to ground out to end the game and keep Oklahoma City's playoff hopes alive.
Schlitter (7-2) was credited with the win and Sky Sox reliever Tristan Archer (4-4) was hit with the loss, allowing Smith's homer in the eighth inning. Dodgers Edwin RÃ-os, Taijeron and Ramos each finished the game with two hits apiece, while Ramos racked up three RBI.
In Sunday's regularly scheduled nine-inning game, the Dodgers hit four home runs through seven innings and scored five runs in the fourth inning. Ramos finished the game with a career-high five hits and his second five-RBI outing of the season, which he last achieved April 13 against New Orleans.
The Dodgers took a quick lead when Connor Joe led off the game with a single before RÃ-os later hit a two-run homer to right-center field with two outs for a 2-0 edge.
The Sky Sox cut the Oklahoma City lead in half in the bottom of the second inning when Christian Bethancourt hit a solo homer to center field, making the score, 2-1.
Rymer Liriano led off the bottom of the third inning with a double for the Sky Sox. Later with two outs, Dylan Moore hit a two-run homer to center field to give Colorado Springs the lead, 3-2.
The Dodgers regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning, scoring five runs with two outs as six straight Oklahoma City players reached base.
Taijeron drew a two-out walk before Jake Peter followed with a two-run homer out to right field to put Oklahoma City in front once again, 4-3. Dodgers starting pitcher Logan Bawcom came up to bat next and hit a single before Joe walked to put two runners on for Ramos who hit a three-run homer to right field to extend to a 7-3 lead.
The first 10 runs of the game for the two teams combined all came on home runs.
The Sky Sox cut into the Dodgers' lead in the fifth inning on back-to-back RBI doubles by Tyrone Taylor and Bethancourt with two outs to make the score, 7-5.
A RBI double by Ramos in the sixth inning extended the Dodgers' lead to 8-5. Later with the bases loaded and one out, Kyle Garlick hit a RBI double into left field for a four-run Oklahoma City advantage. With the bases loaded again, Sky Sox pitcher Mike Zagurski struck out Smith and got pitcher Josh Sborz to fly out to keep the Oklahoma City lead, 9-5.
Joe's homer out to left field in the seventh inning extended the Dodgers' lead to 10-5. It was the fourth homer of the day for Oklahoma City - their highest home run total in a single game since also hitting four homers May 20 against Nashville.
With two runners on in the bottom of the seventh inning and one out, Colorado Springs' Taylor connected on a three-run homer to right-center field to cut the Dodgers' lead to 10-8.
A RBI single by Ramos in the ninth inning extended the Dodgers' lead to 11-8 and gave Ramos his fifth hit and fifth RBI of the game. He became the first Oklahoma City player with a five-hit game this season and the first since Bobby Wilson collected five hits, also in Colorado Springs, Aug. 21, 2017.
Dodgers reliever Sborz (1-1) picked up the win, retiring all four batters he faced in the fifth and sixth inning. Joe Broussard was credited with his 10th save of the season, retiring all three Colorado Springs batters in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Colorado Springs starting pitcher Alec Asher (6-4) allowed seven runs on eight hits over 3.2 innings, with two walks and three strikeouts in the loss.
The Dodgers racked up 17 hits in the game, as they held the Sky Sox to seven hits.
Live radio coverage of the Dodgers' final day of the regular season begins at 1:15 p.m. CT Monday on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.
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