The Oklahoma City RedHawks used an impressive two-out rally in the fifth inning as part of a 14-hit night as they defeated the Round Rock Express, 6-3, before 10,541 at Dell Diamond Saturday night.
With the win, the RedHawks (76-55) have now won three of the first four games in the series and nine of their last 10 games overall. They will maintain at least a seven-game lead in first place with nine games left and are now a season-best 21 games above .500.
The RedHawks struck quickly with a run in the first inning. Following a bunt single by Jose Martinez and a double by George Springer, an RBI groundout by Brandon Laird gave the RedHawks and early 1-0 lead.
Round Rock (70-65) tied the game in the second. Mike Bianucci connected on a line drive homer over the left field fence to make it 1-1.
Still knotted up in the fifth, the RedHawks notched five straight hits with two outs, including RBI singles by Springer, Jon Singleton, Marc Krauss, and Japhet Amador. Recently signed by the Astros out of the Mexican League, Amador went 2-for-5 in his RedHawks debut.
The Express answered in the bottom of the inning with a couple of big swings. Both Brendan Harris and Jim Adduci each hit solo home runs to pull the Express within 5-3.
In the top of the eighth, the RedHawks converted a leadoff double by Rene Garcia into a run. Trevor Crowe brought him home with a sacrifice fly, pushing the lead to 6-3.
After the Express had none on and two out in the bottom of the ninth, Round Rock brought the tying run to the plate after a bunt single and a walk. Hector Ambriz then got Engel Beltre to fly out and end the game, as Ambriz collected his third save.
Oklahoma City starting pitcher Bobby Doran completed a third straight quality start, and in turn, collected his third win. Doran (3-0) allowed three runs and six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out three.
For the third time this season, the RedHawks got the best of Express pitcher Evan Meek. The right-hander allowed five runs and 10 hits over five innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Over 10.1 innings against Meek (6-8) this season, the RedHawks have piled up 15 runs and 23 hits.
The RedHawks and Express meet for the final time at 6:05 p.m. Sunday night.