Fast Start Fuels Dodgers To Series Win
EL PASO, Texas - A four-run first inning provided all of the offense the Oklahoma City Dodgers needed in a 4-3 win in the series finale against the El Paso Chihuahuas Monday afternoon at Southwest University Park.
The Dodgers won the final three games of their road series against the Chihuahuas to win their lone series of the season against the defending PCL champions, 3-1.
Oklahoma City (24-18) built an early 4-0 lead and never trailed as they won for the seventh time in their last eight games and eighth time in their last 10 contests.
Oklahoma City second baseman Willie Calhoun drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third base on a double by Drew Maggi in the first inning. Alex Verdugo followed and his RBI groundout brought home Calhoun for the first run of the game.
Scott Van Slyke then drew a walk to put runners at the corners with one out for Max Muncy, who drilled a three-homer out to right-center field to boost the Dodgers to a 4-0 advantage.
The home run was Muncy’s third of the month as the Dodgers hit a homer in a season-high ninth straight game. They have 15 homers during the stretch, which is the team’s longest since also hitting a homer in nine straight games June 11-19, 2016.
The Dodgers had the chance to add to their lead in the second inning, loading the bases with two outs, but El Paso starting pitcher Tyrell Jenkins got Ike Davis to fly out to end the inning.
Dodgers starting pitcher Fabio Castillo (3-2) went on to throw five scoreless innings, allowing four hits, two walks and recording six strikeouts. Castillo picked up his second straight win and his third win in his last four starts.
Once Castillo exited the game, the Chihuahuas broke through the shutout.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jose Pirela homered out to right field to lead off and put El Paso on the board while cutting the Oklahoma City lead to 4-1 against pitcher Patrick Schuster.
In the seventh inning, Dodgers reliever Joe Broussard allowed his first run of the season. He entered the game with two outs and a runner on first base and two outs. The first batter he faced was El Paso’s Jabari Blash, who hit a two-run pinch-hit homer that cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 4-3.
El Paso (20-25) had chances to add runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but the Dodgers kept them off the scoreboard.
With runners at first and second base and one out in the eighth inning, Broussard picked off Nick Buss at second base and struck out Collin Cowgill to end the inning.
In the ninth inning, Dusty Coleman hit a leadoff single. Oklahoma City reliever Brandon Morrow then got Tony Cruz to line out before Blash grounded into a game-ending double play. Morrow allowed one hit as he picked up his sixth save of the season.
Jenkins (3-4) was charged with the loss for the Chihuahuas, as the Dodgers recorded a season-high nine walks in the game. Jenkins allowed four runs and seven hits, six walks and recorded five strikeouts.
The Dodgers pitching staff racked up 10 strikeouts, as the league’s strikeout leaders picked up their 22nd double-digit strikeout game of the season.
The Dodgers continue their 12-game road trip and open a four-game series against the Albuquerque Isotopes at 8:05 p.m. Central time Tuesday at Isotopes Park.
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