Sloppy defense has put the Oklahoma City RedHawks in a win-or-else hole in their Pacific Coast League semifinal series against Omaha.
Three RedHawks errors led to four unearned runs, the difference in the Storm Chasers' 7-4 win Thursday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Losing both games at home, the RedHawks trail the best-of-5 series 2-0. The series shifts to Omaha on Friday night for Game 3.
The RedHawks must win to force Game 4 Saturday night. If necessary, a winner-take-all Game 5 would be played Sunday afternoon in Omaha.
“You have to be able to catch the ball, especially this time of year,” said RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco. “That's something we've been pretty good at all summer. It's unfortunate. When you have a lead you have to catch the ball and make plays.”
RedHawks first baseman Jon Singleton slammed a monster home run to cap a four-run fourth that gave Oklahoma City a 4-2 lead. Omaha answered with five runs in the sixth.
The sixth-inning uprising began with one out when reliever Eric Berger issued a one-out walk to Rey Navarro. Shortstop Raoul Torrez failed to snag Paulo Orlando's high hopper that glanced off his glove for a double.
Torrez booted a routine grounder that allowed Navarro to score. It set the table for a big inning. Gordys Hernandez and Irving Falu followed with back-to-back doubles, Falu's hit driving in two. Ben Broussard's two-out RBI single capped the five-run inning.
Torrez, who also had an error in the second that led to an unearned run, spent much of the season in Class A before he was promoted to OKC in late August.
“That's what happens sometimes in the playoffs after the big league team calls up some of your guys,” DeFrancesco said. “Sometimes young guys, their first time in the playoffs, don't understand that every pitch matters, that you have to be focused. Jimmy (Paredes) has filled in nicely there.”