Zach Walters homered twice, and Oklahoma City Dodgers pitchers Jose De Leon and Carlos Frias shut down the Round Rock Express in a 7-1 win by the Dodgers Tuesday night at Dell Diamond.
Walters drove in five of the Dodgers’ seven runs with a three-run homer in the first inning and two-run shot in the ninth inning.
Oklahoma City Dodgers starting pitcher De Leon threw three perfect innings, retiring all nine batters he faced with six strikeouts. Frias (1-2) followed and held the Express to one run and four hits over the final six frames for his first win of the season.
With the victory, the Dodgers took the four-game road series against the Express, 3-1. They also won seven of their eight games at Dell Diamond this season to establish a new team season record for wins in Round Rock.
The Dodgers (29-27) took a quick lead in the first inning.
Infielders Charlie Culberson and Micah Johnson hit back-to-back singles to open the game before Walters stepped up to the plate and connected on a three-run homer to right field to put the Dodgers in front, 3-0, with none out in the first inning.
De Leon then threw three scoreless and hitless innings in his second career Triple-A start. He was limited to three innings Tuesday as he made his first appearance since returning from the disabled list after suffering from right shoulder soreness. He has now pitched eight scoreless innings with the Dodgers so far this season.
Frias entered the game in the fourth inning and later retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. He did not issue a walk and struck out four Express batters as he combined with De Leon to strike out 10 Express batters on the night.
Round Rock’s lone run of the night came in the fifth inning when Justin Ruggiano hit a solo homer on a fly ball to left field to lead off the bottom of the frame and cut the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1.
The Dodgers’ offense tallied four more runs in the ninth inning.
Outfielder James Ramsey doubled to lead off the final inning and catcher Jack Murphy followed with a walk to put runners at first and second base for Rico Noel, who advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt.
Culberson followed and hit into a fielder’s choice to Round Rock first baseman Ike Davis, who threw home, but Ramsey beat the throw to put the Dodgers ahead, 4-1. Johnson followed with a RBI groundout to score Murphy for a 5-1 advantage.
Walters came up to bat next and belted his second homer of the game – a two-run shot to right field – to put the Dodgers in front, 7-1.
The infielder recorded his second multi-homer game of the season as he stayed hot at the plate. He finished the night 3-for-5 for his fifth consecutive multi-hit game.
His five RBI were the most by a Dodgers player in a single game since Corey Seager drove in six runs May 28, 2015 at Salt Lake.
Walters has now hit safely in 10 straight games overall, and is 18-for-38 (.474) during that span with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, 16 RBI, and nine runs scored.
Hanser Alberto hit a one-out single for the Express in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Frias got Robinson Chirinos to ground into a double play to end the game.
Round Rock starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (2-2) was charged with the loss. He allowed three runs and six hits, walked one and struck out six.
Following an off day Wednesday, the Dodgers open a nine-game homestand with a five-game series against the Nashville Sounds Thursday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The series opens with a doubleheader starting at 4:35 p.m. on a $2 Thursday during which water, soda and select beer is available for $2 each. Gates open at 4 p.m. and the second game will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
Tickets are available through the box office on S. Mickey Mantle Drive, by calling (405) 218-1000, or by ordering through okcdodgers.com. Live coverage begins at 4:20 p.m. on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.