Guillermo Heredia hit a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Tacoma Rainiers to another late come-from-behind win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers Tuesday night at Cheney Stadium.
With the Dodgers leading 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Zach Shank led off the inning with a pop out. Nori Aoki followed with a single to set the stage for Heredia. On a 1-1 pitch from Jacob Rhame, Heredia hit a home run out to left field for the game winner.
Heredia’s walk-off homer was the first hit by an Oklahoma City opponent in nearly three years. The previous one occurred Aug. 14, 2013, when Cody Decker hit a three-run homer to give the Tucson Padres an 8-6 victory over the RedHawks.
It was the second straight night the Rainiers (55-40) trailed by one in their final at-bat, yet scored twice to win. Tacoma not only won for their eighth straight time overall, but also won for the eighth straight time at home against Oklahoma City, dating back to 2012. During those eight straight losses at Cheney Stadium, Oklahoma City teams have held a lead in the seventh inning or later five times, including Tuesday. Six of the eight wins for Tacoma have been in walk-off fashion.
Prior to Monday night, the Dodgers (53-42) had yet to lose a game all season when leading heading to the final inning. The loss dropped them to 44-1 when leading after eight innings this season. The Dodgers have now lost four straight games, as well as five of six to start their current road trip.
For a time it looked like the Dodgers would be the ones celebrating a comeback victory. Trailing 3-2 in the eighth inning, the Dodgers had a runner on base with two outs. Rob Segedin clobbered a 3-2 pitch from Emilio Pagan into the left field party deck for his team-leading 17th home run of the season to put OKC in front, 4-3.
Segedin tallied three extra-base hits Tuesday night, going 3-for-4. He doubled twice in addition to his big home run.
Heredia’s home run was actually his second key hit late in the game. The Rainiers scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to go in front, 3-2. Rob Brantly led off with the inning with a solo homer to right-center field, and his 10th home run of the season tied things up. Later in the inning, the Rainiers had none on with two outs. Aoki singled, and Heredia doubled to left-center field. Aoki scored all the way from first base, as Tacoma took the lead.
Heredia also scored Tacoma’s first run of the night back in the first inning. He singled with one out, and Mike Zunino followed with a RBI double. Zunino went to third base on the play due to a throwing error on a relay to the plate. Logan Bawcom stranded Zunino at third base, getting Stefen Romero to pop out and D.J. Peterson to ground out, keeping OKC down 1-0.
The Dodgers pulled into a tie in the top of the third. Brandon Hicks led off with a single and stole second base. Micah Johnson laid down a bunt single, and a throwing error during the play by Shank allowed Hicks to score.
OKC went in front in the fourth inning. Segedin doubled, and Will Venable followed with a RBI single to make it 2-1.
Bawcom made another tremendous spot start, pitching a season-high six innings. He allowed one run and four hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. He kept the Rainiers hitless over his final four innings and retired eight of the final nine hitters he faced.
The OKC bullpen wasn’t nearly as effective. Mike Bolsinger and Rhame combined to allow four runs and five hits, including two homers, over 2.1 innings. Rhame (1-5) had been 5-for-5 in save chances prior to Tuesday.
Rainiers reliever Kraig Sitton (1-2) retired both batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning and ended up with the win.
The Dodgers look snap their four-game skid Wednesday night at 9:05 p.m. Central time. Live coverage begins 15 minutes before the scheduled first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.