OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City RedHawks used one big inning to close the month of May with a 7-5 win over the Round Rock Express Tuesday.
The one major inning came in the fifth, when the RedHawks (23-29) trailed 1-0. OKC tied the game with an RBI single by Anderson Hernandez, which began a streak of four consecutive batters to deliver base hits. And all four of them drove home runs.
Tommy Manzela gave the RedHawks their first lead of the game with an RBI single in the next at-bat, and Brian Bogusevic followed with an RBI single of his own to stretch the lead to 3-1 and load the bases with only one out.
Max Ramirez followed with the biggest at-bat of the game, clearing the bases with a three-run double and giving Oklahoma City a 5-1 lead. The Express (30-22) could never fully eliminate that lead, but got close in the late innings.
Round Rock trailed 6-2 going into the eighth inning, when a two-out RBI single by Matt Kata cut the lead to three. The RedHawks countered that run with one of their own thanks to a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the inning, but the Express did not go quietly.
Round Rock began the ninth inning with three consecutive hits, the last of which was an RBI double by Esteban German that cut the lead to 7-4 and put runners on second and third with nobody out. That prompted OKC to put Ross Wolf on the mound, and the decision paid off.
Wolf struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches, and then induced a fly ball in the next at-bat. That drove home the runner from third to cut the lead to two, but also brought the RedHawks one out away from victory. The next batter grounded out to seal the victory.
Wolf earned his third save of the season and gave a win to Sergio Perez after a strong start. Perez held Round Rock to just two runs on five hits in six innings of work.
Round Rock starter Neil Ramirez was dominant to start the game, giving up just one hit in three innings. But he had to be pulled in the fourth inning, and reliever Mark Hamburger surrendered five runs on six hits in only two innings and came away with a loss.
Tuesday's contest began a four-game series between the two teams, which will continue at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.