By Oklahoma City Dodgers
OKLAHOMA CITY– The Round Rock Express took an early lead then were able to stay in front of the Oklahoma City Dodgers who continued to chip away on the scoreboard throughout the night in the Express’ eventual 8-5 win Wednesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The Dodgers are now 2-9 in their last 11 games and have lost seven straight home games for the first time since losing seven in a row July 29-Aug. 13, 2012.
The loss also marked just the second loss for Oklahoma City on the Fourth of July in the last eight years as the Dodgers and Express opened a five-game series in Bricktown in front of a sellout crowd of 10,851.
Round Rock took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, loading the bases on three walks with two outs for Hanser Alberto, who connected on a grounder to left field for a two-run single.
OKC’s Breyvic Valera lined a RBI double into left field to cut the Express lead to 2-1 in the third inning.
The Express (40-45) added to their lead in the fourth inning, scoring three runs. With one out, the Express connected on four straight hits, including a two-run triple by Alberto and a RBI single by Drew Robinson for a 5-1 advantage. Alberto finished the night with a game-high four RBI.
In the sixth inning, Kyle Farmer led off the bottom of the frame with a double for the Dodgers (45-36) and advanced to third base on a single by Alex Verdugo. He then scored on a wild pitch by Brandon Mann with Henry Ramos at the plate to cut the Express lead to 5-2. Verdugo later advanced to third base on a single by Edwin Ríos and scored on a sacrifice fly by Connor Joe to cut Round Rock’s margin to two runs.
The Express loaded the bases in the seventh inning with one out and Juan Centeno connected on a RBI single for a 6-3 Round Rock lead.
Verdugo’s RBI knock in the seventh inning trimmed the Express lead back to two runs. He finished the night with three hits and is now 10-for-16 over his last four games.
Scott Heineman got the run back with a solo homer in the top of the eighth inning for a 7-4 Round Rock lead.
Rocky Gale hit his game-high fourth single of the night in the eighth inning and drove in the Dodgers’ fifth run of the game, cutting the Express lead to 7-5.
With the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning, Heineman brought home Round Rock’s eighth run of the night with a RBI single for an 8-5 lead.
In his Dodgers debut, starting pitcher Kyle Lobstein (0-1) allowed five runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts over 3.1 innings and was charged with the loss.
Round Rock starting pitcher Richelson Pena (2-1) was credited with the win, holding the Dodgers to two runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings. He did not issue a walk and recorded three strikeouts. R.J. Alvarez retired all three Dodgers he faced in the ninth inning for his 17th save of the season.
The Express outhit the Dodgers, 15-14.
The Dodgers continue their five-game holiday weekend home series against the Round Rock Express at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The game is a $2 Thursday, featuring $2 Pepsi products, bottled water and select beer. Fireworks, presented by Francis Tuttle, are scheduled to follow the game.
Live radio coverage begins 15 minutes before first pitch on AM 1340 “The Game,” 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.
Tickets are available through the OKC Dodgers ticket office located on South Mickey Mantle Drive, by phone at (405) 218-2182, or by visiting okcdodgers.com.
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