The Oklahoma City Dodgers scored three runs between the seventh and eighth innings to notch their first comeback win of the season, defeating the Memphis Redbirds, 4-2, Tuesday night at AutoZone Park.
The Dodgers have won four straight games and are 5-1 to begin a season for the first time since 2012.
Although the Dodgers found themselves trailing as late as the seventh inning, they scored first. For the fourth time in six games, the Dodgers got on the board in the first inning. Jose Tabata sent a ground ball through the middle to score Elian Herrera, giving the Dodgers a quick 1-0 lead.
Memphis starting pitcher--and former OKC Dodger—Deck McGuire turned it on after Tabata’s single and retired the next 14 straight Dodgers batters. McGuire held the Dodgers to just one run and three hits, with four strikeouts over six innings in a no decision.
After threatening to score a few times during the early innings, the Redbirds (2-4) were able to break through for the first time in the fifth inning. The Redbirds tallied two runs on five hits, marking the first time this season the Dodgers had allowed more than one run in an inning and more than two hits in an inning. With runners at second and third and one out, Dean Anna sent a single to center field. Mike Ohlman scored to tie the game, but Dodgers center fielder Corey Brown threw out Alex Mejia at the plate on the play. The Redbirds would take the lead on the very next batter, with a go-ahead RBI single by Patrick Wisdom to make it 2-1.
Until the two-run fifth inning, the Dodgers had held the Redbirds scoreless over the first 13 innings of the series. It also broke a streak of 23 consecutive scoreless innings by OKC starting pitchers.
The Dodgers went back in front with two runs in the seventh, thanks to two recent additions to the roster. Zach Walters stroked a one-out single, and with two outs, stole second base. James Ramsey then tied the game with a RBI double. Both Walters and Ramsey were acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Indians Sunday, and both were in the OKC starting lineup for the first time Tuesday night.
With Ramsey at second base and two out, pinch hitter Drew Maggi sent a grounder to Mejia at shorstop. Mejia’s throw to first base was low and could not be dug out by Jonathan Rodriguez, allowing Maggi to reach base and Ramsey to score, giving the Dodgers the lead.
The Dodgers added a run in the eighth inning against former OKC pitcher Juan Gonzalez. After giving up a couple of hits to start the inning, Gonzalez uncorked a wild pitch with two outs, scoring Alex Hassan and making it 4-2.
Adam Liberatore tossed the final two innings for the Dodgers and struck out four of the six batters he faced. With a runner on and one out in the ninth, Liberatore got Mejia to bounce into a game-ending double play, giving Liberatore his first save of the season.
Liberatore and fellow reliever Jacob Rhame combined to hold the Redbirds scoreless and hitless over the final three innings, with five combined strikeouts.
OKC starting pitcher Zach Lee picked up his second win in as many starts to begin the 2016 season. Lee (2-0) allowed two runs and nine hits, with one walk and six strikeouts over six innings.
Redbirds reliever Miguel Socolovich (0-1) gave up both runs in seventh and took the loss.
The Dodgers aim for a fifth straight win Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. Live coverage begins at 6:20 p.m. on AM 1340 “The Game,” 1340thegame.com, or through the iHeartRadio mobile app.