After letting a late three-run lead slip away, Mitch Delfino saved the day for the Sacramento River Cats, providing the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 4-3 victory over the Oklahoma City Dodgers Monday afternoon at Raley Field.
Tied up 3-3, Dodgers reliever Jacob Rhame retired the first two batters of the ninth inning before Gorkys Hernandez doubled to left field. After an intentional walk to Ramiro Pena, Rhame (0-3) quickly got ahead of Delfino at 1-2, but Delfino fouled off three straight pitches before working the count to 2-2. On the next pitch, Delfino sent a sharp grounder down the right field line to score Hernandez and give the River Cats their second walk-off win of the series.
With the loss, the Dodgers (26-23) finished their West Coast road trip with a 2-6 record. Half of the losses occurred in walk-off fashion.
Through the first seven innings, the Dodgers were held scoreless and collected just three hits, with only two runners reaching scoring position. Sacramento starting pitcher Clayton Blackburn was cruising, scattering three singles with no walks and eight strikeouts while using just 83 pitches to complete seven frames.
Blackburn returned to the mound for the eighth inning leading 3-0, but OKC caught a couple of big breaks to tie the game.
Antoan Richardson led off with a walk, and Alex Hassan followed with a single. Reliever Steven Okert replaced Blackburn, and two batters later, Austin Barnes notched an infield single to load the bases. With Corey Brown at the plate, Okert uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Richardson and allowing the tying runs to move into scoring position.
Brown was called out on strikes and was eventually ejected for arguing with home plate umpire John Libka. Rob Segedin came up next and sent a ground ball toward the middle. Sacramento second baseman Juan Ciriaco fielded the ball, but his throw to first base went over Ryan Lollis’ head, as both runs scored on the error.
Following the error, Okert (3-1) retired the last four batters he faced and picked up the win.
The game was scoreless until the River Cats (22-30) reeled off three runs in the fourth inning. With one out, the River Cats collected four straight hits, including a go-ahead RBI single by Lollis.
Darren Ford came up next and sent a fly ball to shallow right field. The ball landed just inside the foul line and ended up bouncing into the seats, resulting in a RBI ground rule double. Ciriaco followed with a bunt RBI single on a squeeze play to extend the lead to 3-0.
Dodgers starting pitcher Sam LeCure regrouped and held the River Cats scoreless in the fifth inning before exiting the game. Making his first appearance with OKC, Frankie Montas pitched a scoreless sixth inning, notching two strikeouts. Miguel Urena followed suit and in his Triple-A debut retired all six batters he faced over the seventh and eighth innings.
The OKC offense finished with five hits, all singles. The team went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position Monday and 3-for-29 with runners in scoring position over the four-game series.
The Dodgers return home to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark to face the Iowa Cubs Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m., and tickets are available by calling 405-218-1000, by visiting okcdogers.com, or through the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark box office located on S. Mickey Mantle Drive. Live coverage begins 15 minutes before the first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.