The Oklahoma City RedHawks took an early lead, then tacked on four late runs to secure a 9-5 win against the El Paso Chihuahuas Thursday in front of a crowd of 5,284 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The RedHawks (69-65) went ahead, 4-0, in the first inning as they evened their first-ever series against El Paso, 1-1.
Oklahoma City entered the game trailing Omaha by two games for the American Northern Division lead. Omaha was scheduled to play in Tacoma late Thursday night.
Domingo Santana and Preston Tucker each drove in three runs to lead the RedHawks. Tucker, Matt Duffy and Jonathan Villar each had two hits for Oklahoma City.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Tucker and Duffy gave the RedHawks a quick 2-0 lead with one out in the bottom of the first inning. Andrew Aplin followed and drew a walk to load the bases for Santana, who drove in two more runs with a single to center field and put the RedHawks ahead, 4-0.
El Paso answered with a two-run double by Adam Moore and a RBI single by Rico Noel in the second inning to cut the RedHawks lead to 4-3.
A sacrifice fly by Santana brought home the fifth run of the night for the RedHawks in the bottom of the third inning for a 5-3 RedHawks lead.
El Paso's Adam Moore drew a walk to load the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, but RedHawks starting pitcher Alex White got Noel to ground out to escape the jam.
The RedHawks tacked on three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Ronny Torreyes connected on a sacrifice bunt to give Oklahoma City a 6-3 lead. Tucker then hit a two-run single for an 8-3 RedHawks advantage.
L.J. Hoes scored on a single by Max Stassi in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 9-3 RedHawks lead.
Back-to-back two-out RBI singles by the Chihuahuas in the top of the ninth inning cut the RedHawks advantage to 9-5.
The RedHawks scored at least five runs for the 15th time in their 20 games of August, and finished the night 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
RedHawks starting pitcher White (3-5) allowed three runs on seven hits over 6.2 innings in the win. He walked two and struck out a season-high nine El Paso batters.
Joe Wieland (0-1) was charged with the loss. He allowed five runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out four.
Joe Sclafani extended his on-base streak to 36 games, which is the second-longest on-base streak in the PCL this season behind Sacramento's Andy Parrino (37 games).
Hoes extended his hitting streak to 15 straight games, dating to June 12.
The RedHawks continue their four-game series against the El Paso Chihuahuas with a 7:05 p.m. game Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Friday is “Pack the Park Pink” night with the RedHawks and MidFirst Bank. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game. Players and coaches will wear special pink jerseys, which will be auctioned off to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. An all pink fireworks show will follow the game, presented by FAA Credit Union.