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Sky Sox Surge Past Dodgers in Late Innings

August 31, 2018 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Oklahoma City Dodgers News Release

Colorado Springs, Colo. - After being held scoreless through six innings, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox scored eight runs between the seventh and eighth innings to send the Oklahoma City Dodgers to an 8-2 loss Friday night at Security Service Field.

With the win, the Sky Sox (73-62) moved to 2.5 games ahead of the Dodgers (71-65) for first place in the American Northern Division with four games to play in the final series of the regular season. The Dodgers now must win all four games in order to advance to the postseason.

Thanks to a strong performance by starting pitcher Kyle Lobstein and some early offense, the Dodgers carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. But the game completely turned after the Seventh Inning Stretch.

The Sky Sox scored four times in the seventh inning, despite collecting one hit. Pitching in his first game with OKC, Julio UrÃ-as walked each of the first two batters he faced. After a force out was made at third base, UrÃ-as left the game and was replaced by Zach McAllister.

McAllister hit Nate Orf with a pitch to load the bases. With the count 0-2 on Dylan Moore, Moore hit a fly ball to shallow center field for a base hit, and two runs scored to tie the game.

Tyrone Taylor followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly, and a wild pitch by McAllister allowed another run to score and make it 4-2.

The Sky Sox batted around in the eighth inning en route to scoring four more runs. Each of the first three batters reached base to load the bases with none out. Rymer Liriano then hit a fly ball to shallow left-center field, but Dodgers left fielder Edwin RÃ-os got a late break on the ball and it fell for a RBI single. With the bases still loaded and the infield drawn in, Emilio Bonifacio hit a ground ball right at second baseman Jake Peter. But before Peter could throw the ball to home plate for a force out, he bobbled the ball and could only get an out at first base instead, giving Colorado Springs a 6-2 advantage.

Orf then sent a two-run single up the middle to make it 8-2.

Four Dodgers relievers combined to allow all eight runs and five hits over just two innings, with four additional walks. It marked the fifth time in the last 16 games the bullpen surrendered a lead in the seventh inning or later. McAllister (0-1) was charged with two of the runs and took the loss.

The bullpen's struggles also spoiled a tremendous performance by Lobstein, who delivered six scoreless innings against the Sky Sox for a second consecutive start. The lefty allowed five hits with two walks and registered seven strikeouts. He held the Sky Sox 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and retired 13 of the final 16 batters he faced.

The Dodgers struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Will Smith worked a two-out walk, and Lobstein followed with an opposite-field RBI double to deep left field for his first career RBI.

After the Sky Sox stranded runners at second and third base in the bottom of the second inning, OKC added to the lead in the third inning. Donovan Solano led off with a double, and Edwin RÃ-os followed with a RBI single to make it 2-0.

As has been the case all too often lately, the Dodgers bats went silent thereafter. Following RÃ-os' single, the Dodgers went 2-for-23 for the remainder of the game and did not score again. During one stretch between the third and ninth innings, the Sky Sox pitching staff retired 19 of 20 Dodgers batters, including 15 straight at one point.

Colorado Springs starting pitcher Aaron Wilkerson lasted a season-high seven innings, holding the Dodgers to two runs and four hits, with two walks and five strikeouts. Wilkerson (4-5) got stronger as the game went on, retiring 15 of the last 16 hitters he faced, including the last 11 in a row.

The Dodgers must sweep a doubleheader Saturday to keep their playoff hopes alive. Both games will be seven innings, and first pitch is set for 5 p.m. Central time. Live radio coverage begins 15 minutes before first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game,", or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.

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