Oklahoma City broke out the bats Thursday as they clobbered Las Vegas (Athletics) by the score of 12-5 to open the Final Stretch.
The offense poured it on early with seven runs in the third inning on the way to 16 total hits on the night. Five players had multiple hits for the Dodgers, including three from Drew Avans and four from Zach Reks.
After Elliot Soto walked to start the top of the third, Avans started the scoring with an RBI-double and was singled in three pitches later by Sheldon Neuse. Later in the frame, Steven Souza Jr slugged a 2-0 pitch to right field to give Oklahoma City a 3-0 lead.
This was as close as the Aviators would be for the rest of the game.
Reks doubled the lead for the Dodgers with a three-run blast to right that cleared the wall by plenty. Only one out into the third and Reks already had two hits under his belt, including his 18th home run of the season. Reks would finish the night 4-for-5 with two doubles, a homer and three runs driven in.
Zach Reks hit his 18th homer for OKC, a 3 run shot to put the Dodgers up 6-0 pic.twitter.com/JOVxzfza3P— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) September 24, 2021
All but one starter for OKC had at least one hit and the one holdout, Elliot Soto, walked three times and scored twice.
The Dodgers would go up 8-0 in the top of the sixth on a Zach McKinstry RBI-double before allowing Las Vegas to cut the lead in half. The Aviators touched up Austin Bibens-Dirkx with four runs that came in large part to two home runs; a two-run shot and an inside-the-park job.
Even cutting the lead in half, the game never seemed close and the Dodgers put it away for good in the eighth. McKinstry walloped a three-run homer and Matt Davidson went back-to-back for his 27th long ball of the season.
While Oklahoma City was jumping out to a big lead early, Aaron Wilkerson was tossing five scoreless innings. The 32-year-old scattered five hits, striking out six and walking one to earn his seventh victory of the year. Thursday marked Wilkerson’s fifth outing of the season with five or more scoreless innings pitched.
7:05 p.m. PT: Oklahoma City (Ryan Pepiot) at Las Vegas (Homer Bailey)