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Pacific Coast League playoff schedule: Oklahoma City plays Nashville in first round

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OKC won their division for a second straight year

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers
Cody Bellinger has enjoyed his first three games in Triple-A so far.
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The minor league playoffs begin on Wednesday, which for the Dodgers means three affiliates in postseason play. Here is a look at the postseason schedule for Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Pacific Coast League.

Oklahoma City (81-60) won the American North Division of the PCL for a second straight season, and in doing so set a modern-era PCL record with 1,245 strikeouts and also led the league with fewest walks allowed (372). They battle the Nashville Sounds (A’s), who won the American South Division, in the first round.

The OKC rotation has no Jose De Leon or Brock Stewart, both in the majors, and Trevor Oaks has been out with a right groin strain. But Oklahoma City will have Scott Kazmir starting in Game 1 of the series on Wednesday, on a minor league rehab start after missing time with neck inflammation.

Jacob Unruh of The Oklahoman sat down with Oklahoma City broadcaster Alex Freedman on Tuesday to preview the playoffs (an informative 6-minute video you should watch), and Freedman said Logan Bawcom would start Game 2, followed by Lisalverto Bonilla and Chase De Jong in some to be determined order for Games 3 and 4.

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Scott Kazmir last pitched for the Dodgers on Aug. 22. He is expected to pitch six innings in rehab start on Wednesday for Oklahoma City.
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Kazmir is expected to pitch roughly six innings or 90 pitches on Wednesday, suggesting his major league return isn’t far off at all.

Nashville will be without old friend Jharel Cotton, called up to Oakland to make his major league debut on Wednesday.

Rob Segedin, Andrew Toles and Austin Barnes are up with the Dodgers, as is Yasiel Puig. Oklahoma City did bring up first baseman Cody Bellinger from Double-A Tulsa for the final weekend, and all he did was go 6-for-11 with three home runs.

“It's an honor after a pretty good season,” Bellinger told Unruh. “It shows the hard work pays off. I'm just trying to end the year and finish strong.”

O’Koyea Dickson won PCL Player of the Week in the season’s final stanza, hitting .500 (13-for-26) with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBI in six games. OKC also has infielder Chris Taylor and outfielder Corey Brown to help pace the offense, and per Freedman will have catcher and infielder Kyle Farmer called up from Tulsa to provide some versatility as well.

The best-of-five series will start with two games in Oklahoma City, then up to three games in Nashville.

Schedule

Game 1: Wednesday, Sept. 7 - Nashville at Oklahoma City, 5:05 p.m. PT
Game 2: Thursday, Sept. 8 - Nashville at Oklahoma City, 5:05 p.m.
Game 3: Friday, Sept. 9 - Oklahoma City at Nashville, 5:05 p.m.
Game 4*: Saturday, Sept. 10 - Oklahoma City at Nashville, 5:05 p.m.
Game 5*: Sunday, Sept. 11 - Oklahoma City at Nashville, 4:35 p.m.
*if necessary

The winner of this series will battle for the PCL championship, taking on the winner of the series between Pacific North Division champ Tacoma (Mariners) and Pacific South Division champ El Paso (Padres).

The PCL Championship is also a best-of-five series, beginning this season, an even-numbered year, at the Pacific winner for the first two games, followed by up to three games at the American winner.