The Dodgers gave up four runs over the eighth and ninth innings, resulting in a 4-3 walk-off loss against the Memphis Redbirds Thursday afternoon at AutoZone Park.
The Dodgers held a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the eighth inning when the Redbirds tied the game. Oklahoma City took the lead once again with a run in the ninth before Memphis first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez connected on an 0-2 pitch for a two-run walk-off single.
The loss gave Oklahoma City (5-3) back-to-back losses for the first time this season, as well as a split in the team’s four-game series against the Redbirds.
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.
OKC catcher Jack Murphy drew a two-out walk from Memphis pitcher Jeremy Hefner. First baseman Lars Anderson then followed with a two-run home run on a fly ball to center field for the OKC lead. The home run was Anderson’s first of the season and first since Aug. 27, 2015 while he was with Double-A Tulsa.
Dodgers starting pitcher Sam LeCure pitched five scoreless innings, allowing five hits and recording three strikeouts in his second start of the season. LeCure has now pitched a total of 9.0 scoreless innings to start 2016.
Ian Thomas replaced LeCure on the mound and followed with two scoreless frames, holding Memphis off the scoreboard until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Redbirds notched two unearned runs.
Memphis’ Matt Williams led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a single. A missed catch error by Dodgers second baseman Brandon Hicks on a grounder hit by Redbirds catcher Luis Cruz allowed Cruz to reach first base and Matt Williams to advance to second base.
Rodriguez followed with a double to left field to bring home Williams for the first Memphis run of the day and advance Cruz to third base.
After the first out of the inning, Matt West replaced Thomas on the mound for the Dodgers. Memphis’ Jacob Wilson then hit a sacrifice fly to score Cruz to knot the game, 2-2.
The Dodgers regained the lead in the top of the ninth inning.
Anderson drew a lead-off walk. With one out, Micah Johnson struck out swinging and Anderson stole second base, then advanced to third base on a throwing error by Cruz. Alex Hassan followed with a two-out line-drive RBI single to center field to score Anderson for a 3-2 advantage. Zach Walters came up to bat next and hit another two-out single to put runners at first and third base for the Dodgers before a pitching change by the Redbirds.
Reliever Heath Wyatt (1-0) entered the game and was later credited with the win for the Redbirds, forcing Rob Segedin to strike out for the final out of the top of the ninth inning with two runners on base.
Pitcher Chin-Hui Tsao came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth inning for the Dodgers.
After the first two batters of the inning grounded out, Dean Anna drew a two-out walk. Matt Williams followed with a single and Mike Ohlman walked to load the bases. Rodriguez then connected on an 0-2 pitch, sending a line drive to right field for a two-run walk-off single.
All four Memphis batters who reached base in the final frame had two strikes, and Tsao was ahead 0-2 in the count on Williams, Ohlman and Rodriguez. Tsao (0-1) was charged with the loss and a blown save.
The Dodgers tied their early season high with nine hits in the game, led by Anderson, Hassan and Segedin who each had two hits Thursday.
OKC finished its season-opening road trip with a 5-3 record after starting the season 5-1.
The Dodgers next return to Oklahoma City for their home opener at 7:05 p.m. Friday against the Nashville Sounds to kick off an eight-game homestand at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Fireworks are scheduled to follow Friday’s game.