Oklahoma City Dodgers pitcher Trevor Oaks threw seven shutout innings and hit a three-run home run while outfielder Alex Verdugo collected five RBI as the Dodgers defeated the New Orleans Baby Cakes, 11-1, Monday afternoon at the Shrine on Airline.
Oaks pitched a season-high seven innings in the Memorial Day matinee, holding the Baby Cakes scoreless and to two hits. He did not issue a walk and tied his season high by recording seven strikeouts. After allowing singles in the first and second innings, Oaks retired the final 17 batters he faced.
In the process, the Dodgers offense built a 6-0 lead before Oaks connected on his first career home run in the eighth inning. His three-run shot out to left field put the Dodgers on top, 9-0, and was the first home run hit by an Oklahoma City pitcher since the team rejoined the PCL in 1998.
Verdugo capped his five-RBI day with a two-run homer out to center field in the top of the ninth inning. His five RBI were a personal and team season high and marked Verdugo’s highest RBI total since driving in seven runs in a May 9, 2016 game for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers against Springfield.
The teams played through three scoreless innings Monday before the Dodgers (27-22) broke through in the fourth inning. Scott Van Slyke was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and scored when Verdugo lined a two-out double into center field for a 1-0 Dodgers lead.
Catcher Kyle Farmer came up to bat next and lined a single into left field for a 2-0 Dodgers lead. He has now hit safely in each of his first six starts with Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers added four more runs in the fifth inning.
Second baseman Willie Calhoun blasted a two-out, two-run homer out to right field to extend Oklahoma City’s lead to 4-0 on his 10th homer of the season. Calhoun singled later in the game and now paces the Dodgers with 52 hits this season.
With the bases loaded and still two outs later in the fifth inning, Verdugo drove in two more runs when he lined a single into center field for a 6-0 Dodgers lead.
With runners and first and second base in the top of the eighth inning, pitcher Oaks connected on his three-run homer for a 9-0 Dodgers lead.
The Baby Cakes (18-33) broke through the shutout in the eighth inning. Mike Aviles doubled into right field and scored on a two-out single by Tomas Telis to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 9-1.
Verdugo’s two-run homer in the ninth inning extended the Dodgers’ lead to 11-1 on the team’s third homer of the day.
Oklahoma City entered Monday’s game leading the Minor Leagues in home runs and boosted their total to 66 homers on the season. Monday marked the sixth game this season in which the Dodgers hit three or more home runs.
Dodgers relievers Grant Dayton and Jacob Rhame pitched the final two innings and they combined to allow one run on three hits with five strikeouts.
Oaks, Dayton and Rhame struck out a total of 12 New Orleans batters in the game for the Dodgers’ 23rd double-digit strikeout outing of the season.
New Orleans starting pitcher Kelvin Marte (1-2) was charged with the loss for the Baby Cakes, allowing six runs on eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts over 4.2 innings.
Oklahoma City took a 2-1 lead in its series against the Baby Cakes with the win as they outhit New Orleans, 13-5.
The Dodgers wrap up the four-game set against New Orleans, as well as their 12-game road trip, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Shrine on Airline.
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