After trailing by as many as six runs, the Oklahoma City Dodgers fought back with a late rally before succumbing to the Iowa Cubs, 6-4, Sunday evening at Principal Park.
The Dodgers were down, 6-0, after six innings. After OKC got into the Iowa bullpen, the offense came alive. The Dodgers got their first run of day in the seventh inning. Austin Barnes led off with a double, and two batters later, Yasiel Puig knocked a RBI single to get the Dodgers on the board.
Still down by five runs heading to their final at-bat, the Dodgers plated three runs in the ninth inning. Each of the first three batters drew walks before Puig smoked a two-run double to left-center field.
Making his team debut, Puig finished 2-for-4 and drove in three of the team’s four runs. After grounding out in each of his first two at-bats, he picked up hits in his last two trips to the plate.
Zach Walters followed Puig and nearly hit a game-tying three-run homer, but his deep drive went a few feet foul down the right field line. Walters ended up collecting a RBI single later in the at-bat, putting the tying runs on with nobody out.
Iowa reliever Spencer Patton struck out pinch hitters Will Venable and Andrew Toles to get the first two outs. Corey Brown then walked to load the bases. Charlie Culberson came up next, and on a 2-2 pitch, hit into a forceout at second base to end the game.
With the loss, the Dodgers (63-51) have now dropped seven of their last eight games. The Colorado Springs Sky Sox defeated the Omaha Storm Chasers as well Sunday, cutting the Dodgers’ lead atop the American Northern Division to seven games.
Iowa (50-66) wasted no time jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The I-Cubs loaded the bases with none out, and all three runners eventually scored. The first came on a RBI groundout by Tim Federowicz. With runners at second and third with two outs, Dodgers pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla committed a balk, making it 2-0. Bijan Rademacher added a RBI single to plate the third run of the frame.
The three runs seemed like they would be more than enough, as I-Cubs starting pitcher Rob Zastryzny completely shut down the OKC offense over his six innings. Zastryzny (6-3) retired 17 of 20 batters faced overall, including a run of 14 straight at one point. The lefty gave up two singles and only had one runner reach scoring position. He recorded five strikeouts and one walk.
Iowa added another three-run inning in the bottom of the sixth. The I-Cubs collected three hits and the Dodgers also committed two errors in the inning to make it 6-0. Rademacher and Kristopher Negron each picked up RBIs, but all three runs ended up being unearned against Bonilla.
Bonilla (2-4) pitched much better than his final line indicated. Although he gave up six runs over six innings, only three runs were earned. All seven hits against him were singles, including a pair of infield singles. Bonilla notched seven strikeouts and allowed just one walk.
Patton allowed all three of his inherited runners to score, but was not charged with any runs and picked up his 10th save of the season.
The Dodgers next meet the I-Cubs Monday night at 7:08 p.m. Live coverage begins 15 minutes before the scheduled first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.