In a game that featured two delays due to a bee infestation around and behind home plate, the Oklahoma City Dodgers won their second straight game against the Round Rock Express Wednesday afternoon at Dell Diamond, 9-5.
The first inning featured a 25-minute delay, the first of two in the game, as a swarm of bees were found behind home plate bothering both the players and the fans. Two brave fans were able to control the situation and contain the bees enough to allow the game to continue.
The Dodgers (18-13) opened the game’s scoring in the top of the second inning, as Elian Herrera singled home Micah Johnson, who led off the inning with a double to center field. OKC continued to pour it on early, as Austin Barnes doubled to down the left field line to later score Herrera. After Barnes’ knock, with runners on second and third, Alex Hassan hit a chopper to the left of the pitcher’s mound, where Round Rock starting pitcher Jose Monegro fielded the and decided to make a desperation throw home to try and cut down the run. Instead, the throw went past the catcher and allowed two runs to score, giving the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.
Round Rock (18-14) had a chance to answer the Dodgers with a big inning of their own, as they loaded the bases with only one out in the bottom of the second, but Dodgers starting pitcher Jeremy Kehrt forced James Jones and Jared Hoying to both fly out to shallow left field to get out of trouble.
After another 15-minute delay caused by the bees before the third inning started, the Dodgers added one more run to their lead. James Ramsey started the inning with a single to right field. Ramsey then stole second and then scampered to third base after a throwing error by Express catcher Patrick Cantwell. Zach Walters drove Ramsey in with a single to left field to extend the Dodgers lead, 5-0.
The Express answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third. A two-out throwing error by Walters allowed the first run to score. The error also kept the inning alive for Pedro Ciriaco, who then lined a double off the left-field wall to score Ryan Strausborger from first.
Ramsey led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to left-center field. In addition to his 2-for-5 day at the plate, Ramsey also made two fantastic catches in center-field, both of which robbed batters of an extra-base hit and possible RBIs.
After Ramsey’s solo shot, Johnson reached on an error and eventually scored on a Herrera sacrifice fly to increase OKC’s lead, 7-2.
Oklahoma City scored two more insurance runs in the eighth inning, one on a Rico Noel RBI single and the other on a Corey Brown ground out, making the score, 9-2.
The Express scored three runs over the final two innings before eventually falling. Strausborger hit a two-run home run to left field in the eighth and Brett Nicholas slapped an RBI single in the ninth.
Kehrt (3-2) earned his third win of the year, finishing his day after a solid five innings, giving up six hits and two unearned runs. Kehrt also forced the Express to ground into two double plays, increasing his league-leading total to nine on the season.
Making a spot start for the Express, Monegro (0-1) was bounced from the game after 2.1 innings. He allowed five runs (three earned) and five hits, with three walks and four strikeouts.
With the victory, OKC won for the sixth time in the last eight games and improved to a season-best five games above .500.
The Dodgers will play the third game of their four-game series against Round Rock Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at Dell Diamond.