A home run by Cody Decker in the eighth inning ended up as the game winner for the El Paso Chihuahuas in a 5-4 win Friday against the Oklahoma City RedHawks in front of a crowd of 10,517 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Decker's solo homer landed in the RedHawks bullpen in left field to break a 4-4 tie and push the Chihuahuas to a 2-1 lead in the four-game series.
The RedHawks (69-66) entered the game trailing American Northern Division leader Omaha by one game in the standings. Omaha was scheduled to play in Tacoma late Friday.
Oklahoma City coaches and players wore special pink jerseys as part of “Pack the Park Pink” night and they battled back to tie the game three times after El Paso took the lead.
The Chihuahuas (64-70) scored first in the top of the third inning. Tyler Greene doubled on a pop up toward second base and Rico Noel scored to put El Paso ahead, 1-0.
L.J. Hoes drew a lead-off walk for the RedHawks in the bottom of the inning and later scored on a RBI groundout by Jonathan Villar to tie the game, 1-1.
A line-drive, RBI double to right field by Preston Tucker put the RedHawks in front, 2-1, in the fourth.
In the top of the fifth inning, back-to-back sacrifice flies by El Paso's Jace Peterson and Tyler Greene gave the Chihuahuas a 3-2 lead.
Max Stassi homered to left field to lead off the bottom of the fifth for the RedHawks and tie the game again, 3-3. The home run was his eighth of the season and second in three games.
A RBI single by Yeison Asencio put the Chihuahuas in front, 4-3, in the top of the seventh.
The RedHawks were once again able to tie the game in the bottom of the frame. A RBI groundout by Villar tied the game, 4-4, before Decker's homer in the eighth put the Chihuahuas in front, 5-4.
Andrew Aplin pinch hit for Jio Mier in the bottom of the ninth inning for the RedHawks and hit a deep fly ball to right field with two outs, but Alex Castellanos made a leaping catch at the wall to end the game.
El Paso starting pitcher Jason Lane (8-9) recorded the win, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits over seven innings. He issued one walk and struck out two. Jerry Sullivan pitched the ninth inning and earned his 10th save of the season.
RedHawks starting pitcher Rudy Owens tossed six innings, and allowed three runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out six in a no decision. Anthony Bass (0-1) was charged with the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits over 1.1 innings.
Stassi led the RedHawks with two hits, while Villar had two RBI.
Joe Sclafani singled in the first inning to match Andy Parrino (Round Rock/Sacramento) for the longest on-base streak in the league this season. Sclafani has now reached base in 37 straight games.
The RedHawks conclude their four-game series against the El Paso Chihuahuas with a 7:05 p.m. game Saturday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.