Carlos Perez capped a late comeback with a game-winning home run while George Springer went deep twice as the Oklahoma City RedHawks defeated the New Orleans Zephyrs 6-5 before 4,711 at Zephyr Field Saturday night.
The Zephyrs led 5-3 and had retired 11 consecutive RedHawks hitters heading into the eighth inning. The RedHawks offense broke out and was able to rally and tie the game. Each of the first four batters reached base, including an RBI single by Jonathan Villar and a game-tying RBI double by Brandon Laird.
The RedHawks (48-41) had a great opportunity to take the lead after having runners at second and third with none out, but Zephyrs reliever Zach Phillips entered the game was able to wiggle out of trouble. He struck out Springer, and after an intentional walk to Marwin Gonzalez, Phillips struck out Jon Singleton. Jose Martinez popped out to end the inning.
Phillips has now inherited 28 runners this season but allowed just two of them to score.
Phillips stayed in the game in the ninth. Perez led off the inning and smacked a home run to left field to give the RedHawks the lead. It was the first home run Phillips (4-1) has surrendered this season.
RedHawks closer Josh Zeid came on to pitch in the bottom of the ninth. After retiring the first two hitters, Matt Downs walked to keep the game alive. Zeid then struck out Gorkys Hernandez to end the game and earn his 10th save.
The Zephyrs (43-47) led most of the night even though the RedHawks struck first. In the first inning, Springer blasted a two-run homer out to left field to give the RedHawks an early 2-0 lead.
New Orleans would erase the early deficit the first two innings. On the 11th pitch of his at bat, Jordan Brown hit two-out double in the bottom of the first to keep the inning going. Joe Mahoney came up next and hit an RBI single to tie the game.
Jake Smolinski hit a solo homer with one out in the second inning to tie game at 2-2. The Zephyrs then went in front in the bottom of third after a run scored on a double play.
Springer tied the game in the fourth, hitting his second home run of the night with a solo shot. It's the third multi-homer game by a RedHawk this season, and the third by Springer, who did it twice at Double-A Corpus Christi before his promotion.
New Orleans regained the lead in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs. Each of the first three hitters of the inning collected a hit, the last of which was an RBI single by Smolinski. Two batters later Downs hit a sac fly to give the Zephyrs their largest lead of the night at 5-3.
The comeback win was the fourth this season for the RedHawks when trailing after seven innings. It also got RedHawks starting pitcher Jarred Cosart off the hook for the loss. Cosart had a rare off night and allowed five runs over 5.1 innings. He gave up a season-high seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
Instead it was fellow all-star Jason Stoffel who earned the win. Stoffel (3-0) retired both hitters he faced in the bottom of the eighth inning with one strikeout.