Carrying over from a big offensive performance the night before, the Oklahoma City RedHawks scored five runs in the first four innings to lead the way to a 5-4 win Wednesday night over the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond.
For the first time since the All-Star Break, the RedHawks (56-57) won back-to-back games and took the first two games of a series for just the second time in their last 16 series.
One night after collecting seven runs and 17 hits, the RedHawks got off to another good start at the plate, scoring three times in the first inning. Matt Duffy brought home a run on a fielder's choice, and Preston Tucker later added two-run single with the bases loaded.
Round Rock (56-54) was able to also score in the first inning, trimming the RedHawks' lead to one. Jared Hoying lined a RBI triple to right field and then scored on Ryan Rua's RBI groundout.
The Express pulled even in the third, with Hoying driving in another run with a single.
The RedHawks regained the lead in the fourth inning. Austin Wates knocked in two runs with a single up the middle to make it 5-3.
Later in the inning the RedHawks loaded the bases with one out and Duffy at the plate. Duffy sent a fly ball in foul ground near the first base stands. With Round Rock second baseman Brent Lillibridge running over to try and make the catch, a fan touched the ball. First base umpire Brandon Misun ruled fan interference, resulting in Duffy being called out. Domingo Santana followed with a flyout to the warning track to end the inning.
The RedHawks also left the bases loaded in the seventh and remained ahead by two runs entering the bottom of the eighth.
With two runners on and two outs, Bryan Petersen battled RedHawks reliever Jason Stoffel during a 14-pitch at-bat, which ended in an RBI single. Petersen fouled off nine pitches with two strikes before pulling the Express within one.
Round Rock had runners at the corners with two outs when Kevin Chapman came out of the bullpen for the RedHawks. Chapman proceeded to strike out Josh Wilson to keep Oklahoma City in the lead.
Chapman remained in the game in the ninth inning and retired the Express in order, striking out Hoying with a fastball at the knees to punctuate the win. Chapman earned his eighth save of the season.
Asher Wojciechowski earned his first win of the season after he pitched a season-high 5.1 innings. Wojciechowski (1-3) allowed three runs and seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He's now 3-0 in three career starts at Dell Diamond.
Round Rock starting pitcher Phil Irwin was bounced after just 3.1 innings and took the loss. Irwin (5-2) had been 5-0 over his previous seven starts entering Wednesday, but he surrendered five runs and four hits with five walks and two strikeouts in his first defeat with Round Rock since June 3.
The RedHawks aim for their first three-game winning streak since June 15-17 when they meet the Express at 7:05 p.m.