The Oklahoma City RedHawks emerged out of a recent slump, pounding out 17 hits en route to a 7-3 win in their series opener over the Round Rock Express Tuesday night at Dell Diamond.
Entering Tuesday, the RedHawks (55-57) had batted .175 and scored nine runs over their past five games combined. With their 17 hits Tuesday night, they nearly matched their hit total from the previous three games (19).
All nine RedHawks hit safely, led by Domingo Santana, who finished 4-for-4 with a walk, two RBI, and a run scored. He had been just 4-for-34 after the All-Star Break prior to Tuesday.
Austin Wates notched three hits, and Jonathan Villar, Max Stassi, and Jose Sclafani collected two apiece.
The RedHawks rallied for three runs in the second inning to break a scoreless tie. Santana drew a leadoff walk, and Preston Tucker followed with a RBI double to right-center field to open the scoring.
Sclafani later added a RBI single, and with the bases loaded and two outs, Ronny Torreyes was hit by a pitch to make it 3-0.
The Express (56-53) was able to respond with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Brent Lillibridge hit a two-run homer that just eclipsed the fence and stayed fair by about a foot down the left field line to cut the RedHawks' lead to one.
Round Rock tied the game in the third when Ryan Rua hit a RBI triple to center field. With Rua at third and one out, RedHawks pitcher Brad Peacock was able to keep the game tied with a strikeout and groundout to end the inning.
The RedHawks broke the tie in the in the fifth with a two-out RBI single by Santana.
The Express threatened to score in the sixth inning. With a runner at first and two outs, the RedHawks made a pitching change. Anthony Bass replaced Peacock and walked each of the first two batters he faced on four pitches to load the bases.
Luis Sardinas came up next and sent a deep drive to right-center field, but Santana made a running grab on the warning track to end the inning.
The RedHawks added to their lead in the eighth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Matt Duffy lined a two-run single to left field. Santana added another RBI single for his fourth hit of the night to make it 7-3.
The Express didn't go down quietly in the ninth. Round Rock loaded the bases with two outs, bringing the tying run to the plate. RedHawks reliever Kevin Chapman froze Brett Nicholas with a fastball at the knees for a called third strike to end the game.
In his first game with the RedHawks this season, Peacock (1-0) earned the victory. He allowed three runs and seven hits over 5.2 innings, throwing a season-high 110 pitches. Peacock finished with five strikeouts and one walk.
Going back to last season, the RedHawks have won 10 consecutive games started by Peacock.
Five days after he held the RedHawks to one run and three hits in a complete game in Oklahoma City, Round Rock starting pitcher Justin Germano did not have the same success Tuesday night. Germano (4-11) allowed four runs and 11 hits over 6.1 innings. He struck out four and walked three.
In their two previous meetings with Germano, the RedHawks were held to three runs and six hits over 17 innings.
With the win, the RedHawks also ended a streak of five consecutive losses in series openers.
The RedHawks look to keep their offense rolling at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday night at Dell Diamond.