Oklahoma City and Memphis split a Thursday night doubleheader at AutoZone Park, with the Dodgers taking the first game, 5-2, and Memphis overcoming an early deficit to come back and win the second game, 6-5.
With the split in the Dodgers’ first road doubleheader of the season, Oklahoma City took a 2-1 lead in its four-game series against the Redbirds.
The Dodgers (60-44) won the first game, 5-2.
Efren Navarro hit a two-out solo home run to right field in the bottom of the first inning to give the Redbirds a 1-0 lead.
Dodgers starting pitcher Brock Stewart then held the Redbirds scoreless over the next five fames as the Oklahoma City built a 5-1 lead.
Dodgers infielder Rob Segedin led off the second inning with a solo homer to left-center field – his team-leading 20th homer of the season to extend his hitting streak to 12 straight games and tie the game, 1-1. O’Koyea Dickson followed with a walk and advanced to third base on a one-out single by Brandon Hicks. The Dodgers went ahead 2-1 on a squeeze bunt by catcher Jack Murphy to score Dickson for the lead.
The Dodgers bumped up their lead in the fourth inning. With runners at first and second base, Murphy singled on a liner to right field. Segedin scored and James Ramsey also ended up scoring on the play due to a fielding error by Memphis right fielder Jose Martinez for a 4-1 Oklahoma City advantage.
Segedin’s two-out RBI double in the fifth inning extended the Dodgers’ lead to 5-1. He finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored.
The Dodgers tried to add to their lead in the top of the seventh, and final, inning. With runners at second and third base and one out, Corey Brown grounded into a fielder’s choice and Drew Maggi was tagged out at home plate, keeping the Dodgers’ lead at four runs.
Pitcher Sam LeCure replaced Stewart on the mound for Oklahoma City for the bottom of the seventh inning.
With runners at the corners, a sacrifice fly from Memphis pinch hitter David Washington cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, but that would be the final run scored in the game as LeCure retired the final two batters.
Hicks also finished the first game with two hits, including a double, for Oklahoma City and Murphy collected two RBI.
Stewart improved his record to 4-0 with Oklahoma City, holding the Redbirds to one run and two hits over 6.0 innings. He issued one walk and recorded three strikeouts.
Memphis starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner (2-5) was hit with the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) and four hits in 4.2 innings. He walked three and had five strikeouts.
In the second seven-inning game of the night, Oklahoma City built a 5-2 lead before Memphis scored four unanswered runs.
Micah Johnson led off with a double, advanced to third base on a single by Maggi, then scored when Charlie Culberson grounded into a double play for a 1-0 Oklahoma City lead in the first inning.
The Dodgers added to their lead in the fourth inning. Will Venable drew a one-out walk, and stole second base. Rob Segedin then drew a walk to put runners at first and second base for Zach Walters. Walters lined the first pitch he faced into right field for a RBI single to bring home Venable for a 2-0 lead.
After retiring 10 of the first 11 batters he faced, Dodgers starting pitcher Jharel Cotton allowed back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Memphis’ Anthony Garcia and Washington each hit solo homers out to left-center field with one out to tie the game, 2-2.
The Dodgers regained the lead in the fifth inning, scoring three runs.
Maggi hit a two-run single to left field to bring home Shawn Zarraga and Johnson and extend Oklahoma City to a 4-2 lead. Maggi led the Dodgers with two hits and two RBI in the second game. He also collected a pinch hit single in the first game and has now hit safely in each of his nine games since rejoining Oklahoma City’s roster July 20.
Later with runners at first and third base, Venable bunted a RBI single and gave the Dodgers a 5-2 lead.
Memphis (50-54) answered again in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Mike Ohlman led off with a single before Matt Williams hit a RBI triple. Charlie Tilson later hit a one-out RBI single to score Williams and cut the Dodgers’ lead to 5-4.
The Redbirds then scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, with both runs scoring on a two-out liner by Ohlman to center field for a two-run single.
Redbirds reliever Sam Tuivailala struck out all three Dodgers batters he faced in the top of the seventh inning for his 14th save of the season.
Memphis pitcher Ryan Sherriff (5-0) got the win, tossing 1.2 scoreless innings and holding the Dodgers to one hit.
Cotton allowed four runs and six hits, including two home runs, over 5.0 innings. He did not allow a walk and struck out six in a no decision. Jacob Rhame (1-6) pitched one inning and was charged with the loss for Oklahoma City, allowing two runs and two hits in the sixth inning.
The Dodgers have now split three doubleheaders and swept one this season as they played their first doubleheader against Memphis since July 2013.
The Dodgers and Redbirds close out their four-game series at 7:05 p.m. Friday at AutoZone Park. A win Friday would give Oklahoma City the series victory.
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