Zach Lee and three relievers held the Round Rock Express to one run, as the Oklahoma City Dodgers took an early lead and never looked back in a 3-1 victory over the Round Rock Express Tuesday night at Dell Diamond.
Lee (5-1) became the first pitcher to record five wins in the PCL in 2016 after delivering 6.1 strong innings. He allowed one run and four hits and finished with two walks and four strikeouts. It was Lee’s fourth start this season allowing one or no earned runs, as well as his fourth start of at least six innings and two or fewer runs allowed.
Joe Thatcher, Matt West, and Chin-Hui Tsao kept the Express scoreless and to one hit over the final 2.2 innings. Tsao retired the side in order in the ninth inning to pick up his fourth save.
Tuesday marked the ninth time in the past 10 games the Dodgers (17-13) held their opponent to three or fewer runs. The pitching staff allowed just one runner to reach scoring position and retired 10 of the final 11 Round Rock hitters.
Both teams got on the board in the first inning. The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in their first at-bat, courtesy of back-to-back RBI singles by Rob Segedin and Jose Tabata.
The Express (18-13) got one run back in the bottom of the inning, when Jared Hoying connected on a solo home run to cut OKC’s lead in half.
Following the Dodgers’ second run of the first inning, Round Rock starting pitcher Michael Roth responded by retiring the next 12 consecutive batters. Rico Noel singled with two outs in the fifth inning to break Roth’s streak, but Roth proceeded to retire Elian Herrera to finish his night.
Despite the solid start, Roth (2-1) ended up with his first loss of the season. The lefty allowed two runs and four hits, with one walk and no strikeouts.
OKC had a chance to add to the lead in the sixth inning, loading the bases with one out. However, Zach Walters popped out and Micah Johnson struck out, as the Dodgers left the bases loaded for the fifth time the past three games.
Johnson’s strikeout would be the team’s only one of the night. The Dodgers entered Wednesday averaging over 10 strikeouts per game for the season, and they had struck out 48 times over four games during the previous series in Colorado Springs. The Express didn’t necessarily need the strikeouts, as the Round Rock pitching staff induced 16 groundouts throughout the game.
The Dodgers extended their lead in the seventh inning. After Noel singled with one out, he took off for second base with Herrera at the plate. Noel escaped a rundown and eventually stole second base. Two batters later, Alex Hassan ripped a RBI single down the third base line to score Noel and make it 3-1.
Hassan and Noel led the Dodgers with two hits apiece. In the field, the Dodgers converted three double plays.
The Dodgers have won five of their last seven games overall, including three of five on the current road trip. The Dodgers and Express will be back at it early on Wednesday morning starting at 11:35 a.m. at Dell Diamond.