The only action for the Dodgers affiliates Wednesday happened in Triple-A as Oklahoma City continues to fight for their playoff lives.
Player of the day
Edwin Ríos capped off a big third inning for Oklahoma City Wednesday with a monster blast off the scoreboard to the right of center with two aboard. The big third baseman has hit well on the current road trip, going 9-for-32 with two homers, three doubles and nine RBI.
Edwin Ríos mashes an absolute tank off the scoreboard!— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) September 21, 2022
The three-run blast extends the lead to 6-1 in the 3rd inning! pic.twitter.com/1Rr1hIUuck
An interesting note from the team says the home run Wednesday was the 58th of Ríos’ Oklahoma City career, breaking a tie with Scott Sheldon for second place on the career home runs list during OKC’s Bricktown era (since 1998). He is now two home runs away from tying Jason Hart’s 60 career home runs.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
A night after the Dodgers walloped the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) 16-1, the two clubs again combined for 17 runs. This time it was El Paso who had the advantage, taking back sole possession of first as the Dodgers fell 9-8 on the road.
The loss once again drops the Dodgers one game behind the Chihuahuas in the PCL East with seven more games in the season.
It looked like OKC was in for another big night on offense when they scored six in the third inning to take a 6-1 lead early. After all, they had scored at least 11 runs in each of the last four games.
Outfielder Kevin Pillar started a rehab assignment with the team as he returns from a fractured shoulder that was thought to end his season in June. The 33-year-old immediately made an impact when he followed a Drew Avans RBI-single with a two-run single of his own. Ríos would hit his tape measure tater just three pitches later.
Welcome back, KP!— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) September 21, 2022
Kevin Pillar lines a two-run single to give the Dodgers the lead in the 3rd inning! pic.twitter.com/GPFENuEMTA
The Dodgers grabbed a 7-1 lead in the top of the fourth on a Ryan Noda groundout but that's when their control of the game began to crumble.
El Paso scored four in the fourth on a bases-loaded balk and a three-run homer, followed by four more in the fifth when they would send eight men to the plate to take a 9-7 lead.
OKC had runners on in each of the last four innings of the game, including first and second in the sixth and eighth that put the tying run on. In both instances it was Avans and Noda setting the table only to be stranded. Avans initially reached base in the sixth on a run-scoring single that cut the deficit to one.
Drew Avans bringing sexy back in the form of drag bunt RBI singles.— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) September 21, 2022
Dodgers back within 1 run in the 6th inning. pic.twitter.com/wgGLpKu9hd
Starter Bobby Miller lasted just 2 2⁄3 innings, giving up a solo homer in the first and walking three with four strikeouts. The right-hander made 51 pitches in his fourth start in Triple-A.
These two teams will be back at it Thursday as they continue on with the series that will likely decide the winner of the division.
Tulsa will be back home to try and climb back into the short best-of-three series with the Wichita Wind Surge (Twins). After getting clobbered in Game 1, they need to win the next two nights if they want to advance to the championship series.
Per the Wichita web site, right-hander Daniel Gossett will get the ball for the Wind Surge. Gossett tossed a no-hitter against the Drillers back on August 19 and hasn’t allowed a run in two starts against Tulsa this season.
Nick Nastrini starts for the Drillers, making his seventh start in Double-A this year. Since being promoted to Tulsa, Nastrini has allowed two or less runs in four of the six games while striking out 42 batters. But the right-hander has also given up 14 total in 30 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Triple-A: Oklahoma City activated pitcher Ryan Pepiot. The Los Angeles Dodgers sent outfielder Kevin Pillar on a rehab assignment to Oklahoma City.
- 5:05 p.m. PT: Tulsa (Nick Nastrini) vs. Wichita (Daniel Gossett)
- 5:35 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Jon Duplantier) at El Paso (Jay Groome)