Dominating at home and maintaining on the road, the Oklahoma City RedHawks have planted themselves atop the PCL American Southern division for most of the season.
But a sudden slump, most recently a 5-1 loss to Omaha on Tuesday afternoon in Bricktown, has dropped Oklahoma City into second, an unfamiliar place behind the Albuquerque Isotopes.
Following that loss, the third in as many nights, RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco sat down to talk about the team's recent struggles:
Q: Three straight losses at home in this series, first time that's happened all year. Is this just a tough stretch you brush off?
Yeah, that's a good team right there, a really good team. And we don't match up well against them. They can throw six lefties out there with good stuff, and it neutralizes our offense a little bit. Not much you can do about it.
Only a few more series until the All-Star break. You've had a good first half, how do keep your guys focused to finish it out?
Well, we talked about it pregame today. We've got to finish this out. The break is closing in, and we all are looking forward to it, but we've got to finish strong before we think about that.
Your lineup has been good most of the year, but really struggled the past few games. You mentioned it being a matchup problem with Omaha, is it nothing more than that?
Yeah, that's just how things go sometimes. There are lulls in baseball. We know these guys can hit, just ran into some good pitching and had a couple rough days. I'm confident we'll bounce back.
You're in the middle of a scheduling oddity right now. It's a series at home, then the road, then home again. You haven't played consecutive series in the same place since early June and you won't until late July. Has that been rough on the team?
That's just how it is sometimes. Some years you will love the way it's scheduled and sometimes you catch some bad breaks. It's minor league baseball, we're all used to it and won't use it as an excuse.