The Oklahoma City RedHawks picked the right time to get hot. After slumping through most of the season's second half, OKC completed a four-game sweep of the first-place Albuquerque Isotopes Thursday night to pull within 1 1/2 games of the division lead.
Brad Snyder hit a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth to break a 1-1 tie and give the RedHawks their latest must-win victory.
Brett Oberholtzer pitched 7 1/3 strong innings to lead Oklahoma City. He allowed just one run and struck out six. The win went to Chuckie Fick, who finished the eighth inning after Oberholtzer departed. Jose Valdez shut the door in the ninth to earn his 21st save.
Albequerque took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a Tim Federowicz RBI single, but OKC answered back in the sixth when Brian Bixler drove in Brad Snyder to tie the game at 1-1.
Even after the series sweep, the RedHawks will need to keep winning if they want to win the division and make the playoffs. With four games remaining for each team, OKC trails Albuquerque by 1 ½ games. OKC finishes at home against last-place Round Rock, while Albuquerque has to play first place Omaha.
Because OKC's May 11 game against Las Vegas was cancelled, they will finish the season playing one fewer game than Albuquerque. That half-game in the standings now looms large for OKC, as now they'll need to win two more games out of the final four than the Isotopes do to finish ahead of them.
They will open the Round Rock series and begin the scoreboard watching Friday night in Bricktown.