The Oklahoma City RedHawks chipped away at the Salt Lake Bees' early seven-run lead, but were unable to overcome the deficit in an eventual 8-5 loss in front of a crowd of 6,047 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The RedHawks (36-32) cut the Bees lead to three runs in the sixth inning, but had to settle for a series split with Salt Lake.
The Bees (26-42) scored four runs in the first inning, and added three more runs in the top of the second inning to take an early 7-0 advantage.
The RedHawks outhit the Bees, 14-13, but set a new season high for a nine-inning game by striking out 12 times. Bees starting pitcher Joel Pineiro (1-1) led the way with seven strikeouts. He allowed five runs (three earned) and 11 hits over 5.0 innings. The Bees pitching staff did not issue a walk.
Salt Lake took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, connecting on five hits, including three doubles.
Shawn O'Malley led off the game with a double, then scored on a RBI double by J.B. Shuck. A RBI double by Efren Navarro brought home Shuck. Zach Borenstein and Tommy Field then added RBI singles for a 4-0 Salt Lake edge.
A sac fly by Shuck and back-to-back RBI singles by Navarro and Brennan Boesch put the Bees in front, 7-0, in the top of the second. Nine of the first 14 batters for Salt Lake collected hits.
RedHawk Matt Duffy crushed a fly ball over the LED board in left field for a two-run homer that cut the Salt Lake lead to, 7-2, in the bottom of the inning. The home run was his sixth in the last five games with the RedHawks.
In his Triple-A debut, outfielder Preston Tucker led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single. He later scored on a single by Austin Wates to cut the Bees lead to 7-3. He finished the game 1-for-4.
A wild pitch by RedHawks starter David Martinez allowed Tommy Field to score for an 8-3 Salt Lake lead in the fifth.
RedHawks catcher Max Stassi reached on a throwing error by Salt Lake's shortstop and advanced to third on a single by L.J. Hoes. He scored on a RBI single by Gregorio Petit with none out in the bottom of the sixth inning. A sac fly by Kiké Hernandez in the sixth then cut the Bees lead to 8-5.
Petit and Hoes led the RedHawks with three hits each. Petit also added a RBI. Duffy, Hernandez and Marc Krauss each finished with two hits for Oklahoma City.
RedHawks pitcher Martinez (5-4) allowed a season-high eight runs on 10 hits over 4.1 innings. He walked a season-high five batters and struck out five in the loss.
The RedHawks open a four-game series against the Las Vegas 51s with a 7:05 p.m. game Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.