Using strong pitching and a late rally, Oklahoma City opened the second half with a win, beating New Orleans 4-3 in Bricktown on Thursday night. The RedHawks (53-38) remain in first place in the PCL American Southern division.
In the game-deciding seventh inning, Oklahoma City turned a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Brett Wallace and newcomer Matt Dominguez started the crucial rally with singles, later scoring on walks. Then, Fernando Martinez capped it off with a two-run single, giving the RedHawk pitching staff all it needed on this night.
It was over when …
David Carpenter slammed the door in the ninth inning. Oklahoma City's bullpen has been suspect at times this year, but it was dominant on Thursday. Starter Paul Clemens gave up three runs, exiting with a 3-0 deficit in the fifth inning. The RedHawk relievers took over from there, throwing 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing the offense to wake up in time for the win.
OKC star of the game — Fernando Martinez
Separated by nine days, The Brick has seen a pair of one-run wins in the past two home games. And both game-winning hits came from outfielder Fernando Martinez. On July 3, Martinez roped an upper-deck walk-off two-run blast to win a wild 11-10 extra-inning game. On Thursday, in less dramatic fashion, he hit a two-run single in the seventh that turned into the gamewinner.
Stat of the game
15 — Games over .500 for the RedHawks. That's a season best.
“Yeah, not exactly an ideal situation.” – OKC manager Tony DeFrancesco after he was forced to play Wallace, a third baseman, at shortstop. Marwin Gonzales had flight issues and Jimmy Paredes was gone for the birth of his child. Wallace, who hadn't played the position since high school, was thrown into an emergency role. Overall, he wasn't bad, making one error and one spectacular play, snaring a backhand in the hole and throwing a strike to first.
The RedHawks and Zephyrs continue their four-game series in Bricktown at 7 p.m. Friday. OKC's Brian Bass (1-4, 4.57 ERA) faces off against New Orleans' Omar Poveda (0-1, 3.97 ERA).