OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City RedHawks held of a ninth-inning rally to finish their season with a 4-3 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs Monday.
The RedHawks (68-75) started the game quickly, scoring one run in three of the game's first four innings to take an early 3-0 lead. The Zephyrs (69-74) got on the board in the fifth inning to cut the lead to 3-1, and that was where it stayed for the next three innings.
Oklahoma City added one more run in the eighth when Oswaldo Novarro drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly. At the time that score seemed superfluous, but it turned out to be the game winner.
The Zephyrs started the ninth with back-to-back base hits to put runners on first and third with nobody out. That brought Chris Coghlan to the plate representing the tying run, and he drove in the runner from third with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to two.
A strikeout against the next batter brought the RedHawks one out away from victory, but an error nearly cost them the game. After defensive interference advanced the runner into scoring position, pitcher Jose Valdez committed a fielding error that gave New Orleans runners on first and third again.
Mike Cervenak followed with an RBI single that cut the lead down to one and put the tying run in scoring position. Valdez remained in the game despite his struggles, and responded by striking out Alex Romero on five pitches to clinch the victory.
Valdez finished with his ninth save of the season, despite giving up three hits in his only inning on the mound. The outcome gave Dallas Keuchel (1-1) his first win of the season after pitching seven strong innings and allowing just one run.
The victory ended the RedHawks' season on a high note, but they still finished last in their division. The Round Rock Express – the team that used to be located in Oklahoma City before the Texas Rangers switched their affiliation – easily won the division by 16 games.