Start Hampers Dodgers
The Round Rock Express scored six runs over the first two innings then held the Oklahoma City Dodgers to their lowest run total in 10 games in the Express' 7-3 win Friday night during ¡Celebración Cielo Azul! at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Josh Jung connected on a two-run homer in the top of the first inning for Round Rock (59-56) and Zach McKinstry answered with a solo homer for OKC in the bottom of the inning. The Express scored four runs on six hits in the second inning to extend to an early 6-1 lead and brought in another run on an OKC error in the fourth inning for a 7-1 advantage. The Dodgers (59-56) scored a run on a RBI groundout by Sheldon Neuse in the sixth inning and Cristian Santana added a RBI double in the ninth inning to trim the Express lead to four runs.
-Friday marked the third straight game the Dodgers allowed six or more runs by an opponent and fourth time in the last five games. It is the first time OKC has allowed at least six runs in three straight games since Aug. 23-26.
-Cristian Santana extended his hitting streak to nine games Friday, going 2-for-4 with a double and RBI. During the streak, he is 17-for-38 with two homers, four doubles, 11 RBI and eight runs scored. He leads OKC with 93 hits and 28 multi-hit games this season.
-The Oklahoma City offense was held to three runs and six hits Friday night. The run and hit totals were the team's lowest in 10 games. The Dodgers had compiled 44 hits and 29 runs over the previous three games combined.
-Logan Salow and Aaron Wilkerson combined to hold the Express scoreless over the final 5.2 innings Friday night with Wilkerson pitching 5.0 scoreless frames and allowing just one hit with six strikeouts. Wilkerson retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced, including the last 14 in a row.
-The Dodgers pitching staff did not issue a walk Friday for the third time in September and sixth time this season. They also racked up 11 strikeouts for their fifth double-digit strikeout game in the last six games and 58th double-digit strikeout game of the season.
-Zach McKinstry homered Friday night and has hit safely in his last four games with OKC, going 6-for-19 with two doubles, two homers, five runs and two RBI. He has also hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games with OKC.
-OKC has suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since losing three in a row Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in OKC and has opened a series 0-2 for the first time since Aug. 26-28 against Las Vegas when the Dodgers opened their series, 0-3, at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Express and Dodgers are now tied for second place in the Triple-A West East Division.
-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.
What's Next: The OKC Dodgers continue their Red Dirt Rumble rivalry series against the Round Rock Express at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark during ¡Celebración Cielo Azul!, presented by OG&E. Live radio coverage begins 15 minutes before first pitch on 94.7 FM "The Ref," 947theref.com 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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