The Oklahoma City RedHawks wrapped up an unusual but successful Pacific Coast League baseball season Monday afternoon, beating the Round Rock Express 1-0 before 4,303 fans at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Oklahoma City finished the season with a 78-65 record, yet fell one game shy of South division champion Albuquerque. The RedHawks still beat a lot of odds this season, finishing with a winning record despite more than 150 roster moves made by the parent Houston Astros. While the Astros called up impact RedHawks such as Brett Wallace, Fernando Martinez, Jimmy Paredes, Brandon Barnes, Dallas Keuchel, Scott Moore, Brian Bixler and Mickey Storey — and even manager Tony DeFrancesco — replacement players from Double-A Corpus Christi or outside of the Astros organization filled constant gaps.
The RedHawks were a season-best 18 games over .500 at one point this summer. And Oklahoma City led the division for most of the season. But a 10-game losing skid late in the season proved fatal as Albuquerque passed the RedHawks in the standings. Oklahoma City fell 61/2 games behind the Isotopes, before making up 51/2 games in the standings in the last week.
Included in the rally was a four-game sweep of Albuquerque at the Brick.
On Monday, Brad Snyder, who also spent time this season with Houston, accounted for the only RBI. He drove in J.B. Shuck with a double in the sixth inning. Snyder finished with three of the RedHawks' seven hits.
Keuchel, Sergio Perez, Aneury Rodriguez and Chuckie Fick combined to blank the Express (69-75) on three hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
The Astros website said Monday that three more minor league players are expected to join the National League team in the next few days. Hawks catcher Carlos Corporan is expected to rejoin Houston. Oklahoma City closer Jose Valdez, who finished third in the PCL with 21 saves, is another candidate to join the Astros.
Oklahoma City begins the 2013 season April 4 at Memphis. The Hawks' home opener is scheduled April 12 against the Redbirds.