Three Oklahoma City RedHawks pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout, and the offense erupted for six runs in the fifth inning, resulting in a 7-0 win over the Sacramento River Cats Monday night at Raley Field.
Starting pitcher Nick Tropeano retired 20 of the 22 batters he faced over 6.2 scoreless innings and retired 16 straight River Cats at one point. Sacramento could only muster two singles against Tropeano (8-5), who recorded eight strikeouts with no walks.
Patrick Urckfitz and Paul Clemens followed Tropeano and combined to retire the final seven batters of the game.
The trio faced two over the minimum and retired 27 of 29 batters. They combined for 11 strikeouts and did not allow a single runner to reach scoring position.
It was the sixth shutout of the season for the RedHawks (68-63), as well as their second of the current road trip. The RedHawks have won five straight games as well as six of the first seven on the trip. Omaha won as well Monday night, keeping the RedHawks two games out of first place in the American Northern Division.
The RedHawks and River Cats (72-58) played scoreless ball through the first three innings, but the RedHawks got on the board in the fourth inning with a sac fly by Ronny Torreyes to make it 1-0. Later in the inning the RedHawks loaded the bases with one out, but Matty Duffy hit into a double play to end the threat.
The RedHawks took control of the game by scoring six times in the fifth inning. The six runs came on two big swings, with the first by Preston Tucker. With the bases loaded and one out, Tucker lined a bases-clearing double to right-center field.
Three batters later, Domingo Santana unloaded on a three-run homer to left field, giving the RedHawks a 7-0 lead.
The RedHawks have now scored five or more runs in one inning in four straight games.
Sacramento starting pitcher Angel Castro allowed six runs and eight hits over 4.2 innings and picked up the loss. Castro (9-7) walked four and struck out three. It's the third time in three meetings the RedHawks defeated Castro this season, with the first two occurring while pitched for the Memphis Redbirds.
The RedHawks finish their road trip Tuesday night in Sacramento at 9:05 p.m. Central.