The Oklahoma City RedHawks' slide is beginning to reach the epic stage. The one-time South Division leaders in the Pacific Coast League lost a 10th consecutive game Monday night, 8-5 to the Sacramento River Cats before 3,628 fans at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Oklahoma City remains above .500 at 63-59, but the second-longest losing skid in franchise history has the RedHawks in third place and at least 61/2 games behind division-leading Albuquerque going into Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. game vs. Fresno at The Brick. The franchise record for consecutive losses is 13, set in 2005.
The departure of several RedHawks to the parent Houston Astros has drained what appeared to be one of the best Oklahoma City baseball seasons since The Brick opened in 1998. Once 18 games over .500, the Hawks' demise has been fueled by the loss of regulars Brett Wallace, Fernando Martinez, Brandon Barnes, Armando Galarraga, Scott Moore, Mickey Storey and Dallas Keuchel. Wallace, Martinez, Barnes and Galarraga all played for Houston on Monday night in Chicago. Houston has replenished Oklahoma City's roster with youngsters from Corpus Christi of the Double-A Texas League or players outside of the organization. Only eight players remain from the RedHawks' opening night roster.
RedHawks bopper Mike Hessman hit a solo homer Monday night, his 30th overall of the season. Hessman is tied for ninth with Roger Freed (1973) and Steve Balboni (1992) for most homers in a single season for an Oklahoma City Triple-A player. The record is 38 by Dave Roberts in 1965.
The RedHawks led 5-4 after four innings. Sacramento (76-47) tied it in the sixth inning, took a 6-5 lead in the eighth inning and added two insurance runs in the ninth. ... Oklahoma City begins a four-game stand vs. the Fresno Grizzlies on Tuesday at The Brick. Fernando Abad (1-0, 4.15 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Hawks. Fresno is the farm team of the San Francisco Giants.