A three-run homer by Carlos Perez highlighted a four-run second inning, as the Oklahoma City RedHawks used the early scoring surge to capture a 4-2 win over the Reno Aces at Aces Ballpark Tuesday night.
The RedHawks (40-33) won their third consecutive game, as well as their 40th of the season, and improved to a season-best seven games above .500 with the victory.
The Aces (40-32) looked like they were going to take an early lead in the first inning after putting runners at second and third with none out. After Rudy Owens retired the next two batters, Andy Marte reached base on catcher's interference to load the bases. However, Owens was able to get Danny Dorn to ground out and end the inning.
Given their first scoring chance of the night in the second inning, the RedHawks did not miss. Gregorio Petit got the RedHawks on the board with a RBI single.
Perez followed with his three-run blast out to left field to make it 4-0.
The RedHawks pitching staff was able to keep it at 4-0 until the bottom of the seventh inning. With two on and two out, Nick Evans hit a double down the third base line to score both runners and cut the Oklahoma City lead to 4-2.
It appeared the RedHawks would add to their lead in the eighth, but a caught a tough break. With a runner at first base and two outs, Matt Duffy drove a ball to the deepest part of the park in right-center field. Not only did Duffy just nearly miss a home run, but the ball bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double, forcing Preston Tucker to stop at third base. L.J. Hoes then grounded out to end the inning.
The scored stayed 4-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning. Each of the first two Aces reached base, putting the tying runs on with none out. Jason Stoffel then retired each of the next three batters to end the game and earn his seventh save.
Appearing in his first game in two weeks, Owens (3-4) earned his first win since April 19 with five scoreless innings. The lefty allowed five singles with one walk and five strikeouts.
Although the RedHawks were outhit, 10-6, the pitching staff held Reno 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners on base.
Trevor Cahill took the loss in his first game of the season with the Aces. Cahill (0-1) allowed four runs (three earned) and three hits over three innings. He struck out five and walked one.
The RedHawks continue their series in Reno at 9:05 p.m. central time Wednesday night.