Asher Wojciechowski won a pitchers’ duel to lead the RedHawks to a 3-0 win over Albuquerque on Monday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Turning in his best outing of the season, the 25-year-old right-hander tossed 71/3 shutout innings assisted by relievers Anthony Bass and Tommy Shirley who bailed him out of an eighth-inning jam. Improving to 4-4, Wojciechowski allowed only six hits to lower his ERA to 4.56, but he has a 2.78 ERA in his last seven starts.
The RedHawks scored their first run before they collected a hit. In the second inning, Preston Tucker reached on a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, went to third on a ground out and scored on Domingo Santana’s sacrifice fly.
Oklahoma City added two insurance runs in the eighth on Santana’s bases-loaded walk and Carlos Perez’s sacrifice fly.
OKC ONLY HALF-GAME BACK
After falling five games out of first a month ago, the RedHawks have gone 16-7 the past four weeks to climb to within one-half game of division leading Omaha, pending the Storm Chasers late game at Reno.
The RedHawks have six games remaining on their schedule, Omaha seven, including Monday’s late game. The Storm Chasers, who lost late Sunday night, had a game rained out earlier this season that will not be rescheduled, assuring the race won’t end in a tie.
FLASHING SOME LEATHER
There were a couple of dazzling defensive plays turned in by the RedHawks. Center fielder Andrew Aplin made a head-long diving catch to open the eighth, which was pivotal when the Isotopes followed with back-to-back hits.
Left-fielder L.J. Hoes, who has made several highlight-reel plays since the Astros optioned him to Oklahoma City, made an unusual catch in the seventh when he converged with Aplin. Hoes caught the ball while seated on the ground.
RIPKEN TO APPEAR AT HOME FINALE
Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the RedHawks’ home finale Wednesday night at The Brick.
It’s uncertain whether Ripken might be available for autographs since his visit to Oklahoma City is tied to Northern Safety and Industrial, a company that sponsors Ripken on tours across the country to speak about the importance of leadership and safety in the workplace.
Ripken compiled 3,184 hits and 431 home runs in 21 Major League seasons, but is best known for playing in 2,632 consecutive games to break Lou Gehrig’s legendary record. Ripken will be in OKC on Wednesday as part of a tour to Corpus Christi, Texas, and Cactus Drilling.
Northern Safety, a company based in Frankfort, N.Y., distributes top quality safety and industrial supplies and has 500 employees in 17 different cities.
In the third game of a four-game series, the RedHawks ON Tuesday night will start right-hander Alex White (3-5, 5.90 ERA). Albuquerque will counter with right-hander Zach Lee (5-11, 7.41). The RedHawks close out the regular season with a four-game road trip this weekend to Iowa.