The Oklahoma City Dodgers broke open a tied game with five runs in the eighth inning on the way to a 7-5 win Thursday against the Salt Lake Bees at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The teams opened a four-game series in front of a crowd of 4,951 and were tied 2-2 before they combined for eight runs over the bottom of the eighth and top of the ninth inning.
Thursday’s win ended a three-game losing skid for the Dodgers (22-16) after a 59-minute rain delay to start the game.
Micah Johnson led off with a single in the first inning for the OKC Dodgers, but Bees pitcher Kyle McGowin then retired 13 straight Oklahoma City batters before James Ramsey singled with one out in the fifth inning.
Later in the fifth inning and with runners at first and second base, Jack Murphy hit a sacrifice bunt and Ramsey scored to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Murphy had entered the game in the fourth inning to replace Alex Hassan.
In the top of the sixth, the Bees scored twice with two outs. Nick Buss doubled on a fly ball to center field then scored when Kaleb Cowart hit a grounder to right field for a RBI single to tie the game, 1-1. A RBI double by Sherman Johnson into the right field corner put Salt Lake in front, 2-1.
The Dodgers knotted the score, 2-2, on a RBI single by Jose Tabata with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Bees (22-16) loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, but Oklahoma City reliever Grant Dayton got Rey Navarro to strike out to escape the jam and keep the game tied heading to the bottom of the frame.
Austin Barnes led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a triple, then scored on a triple by Corey Brown to put Oklahoma City ahead, 3-2, with none out. Tabata hit into a fielder’s choice and Brown was tagged out at home plate for the first out of the inning.
Ramsey came up to bat next and hit a three-run homer on a fly ball to center field to push the Dodgers ahead, 6-2. The home run was his fifth of the season and gave him seven RBI over the last two games.
A two-out RBI single by Brandon Hicks put the Dodgers ahead, 7-2, before the end of the eighth inning.
The Bees then cut into the Dodgers lead in the top of the ninth inning.
Salt Lake’s Juan Graterol hit a RBI single and Ji-Man Choi hit a RBI double to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to three runs with one out. A wild pitch by Oklahoma City reliever Jacob Rhame brought home another Bees run to cut the Dodgers’ lead to two runs.
Dodgers starting pitcher Sam LeCure became the first Oklahoma City pitcher this season to toss seven innings. He allowed two runs and five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in a no decision.
Dayton (1-1) earned his first win of the season, pitching a scoreless eighth inning, and Rhame earned his first save of the season.
Salt Lake’s McGowin ended up allowing two runs and five hits over 5.2 innings. He walked two and had seven strikeouts in a no decision. Pitcher David Carpenter (0-1) was charged with the loss for the Bees after allowing five runs in the eighth.
The series between the teams continues at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The Xpogo Stunt Team will perform extreme pogo flips and tricks throughout the night, and fireworks will follow the game.