An RBI single by Brandon Laird broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning and propelled the Oklahoma City RedHawks to a 3-2 win against the Albuquerque Isotopes Friday in front of 7,313 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The top two teams in the Pacific Coast League American Southern Division opened a key five-game series and the first-place RedHawks (71-56) extended their lead in the division standings to four games with the win.
Albuquerque (67-60) took the lead twice Friday, but the RedHawks answered in the bottom of the inning each time to knot the score and eventually extend their winning streak at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark to 13 games.
The Isotopes scored the first run of the game in the top of the third inning on a RBI single by outfielder Alex Castellanos.
Oklahoma City outfielder George Springer answered in the bottom of the frame with a solo home run on a fly ball to center field to tie the game. The home run was his 34th of the season overall and 15th in 47 games with Oklahoma City – moving him into a tie for the most homers by a RedHawk this season.
Albuquerque then took a 2-1 lead on a RBI single by Eliezer Alfonzo in the top of the sixth inning, but the RedHawks once again answered the bottom of the inning.
Oklahoma City first baseman Jon Singleton tied the game, 2-2, with a RBI double to center that scored Laird.
Trevor Crowe drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. A sac bunt by Jose Martinez advanced Crowe to second. Crowe stole third base, then scored on Laird's single with one out.
RedHawks pitcher Jorge De Leon sealed his second save with Oklahoma City by retiring all three Isotopes batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning. RedHawks reliever Eric Berger (5-3) got the win, holding Albuquerque scoreless and hitless in 1.2 innings. Starting pitcher David Martinez allowed two runs (one earned) and two hits and struck out six over 5.2 innings in his second Triple-A start.
Albuquerque reliever Onelki Garcia (0-1) was charged with the loss.
Oklahoma City continues a four-game series against Albuquerque at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The first 2,000 fans through the gate will receive a R.A. Dickey mini bobblehead, presented by Heartland Flyer.