Oklahoma City, Okla. - The Oklahoma City RedHawks (73-64) erupted in the seventh inning for five runs and then triumphed in a late back-and-forth battle over the Albuquerque Isotopes (77-61) 6-5 before 3,347 Tuesday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
With the win, the RedHawks pulled within 3.5 games of first-place Albuquerque with two games remaining in the series and six games remaining overall.
Albuquerque starting pitcher John Ely was perfect through six innings, retiring all 18 batters he faced. Ely and the Isotopes had a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
J.B. Shuck led off the inning with a solid single to left field to give the RedHawks their first baserunner. Isotopes first baseman Jerry Sands committed an error on the next play, putting two RedHawks on base for Matt Downs.
Downs then sent the first pitch from Ely into the RedHawks bullpen for a game-tying home run.
After Mike Hessman walked and J.D. Martinez flied out, Matt Dominguez smashed a line drive into the bleachers in left field to put the RedHawks in the lead, 5-3.
Albuquerque bounced back to tie the game in the eighth. Ozzie Martinez collected an RBI infield single to pull the Isotopes within one.
The Isotopes then loaded the bases with none out. RedHawks reliever Brian Sanches (2-3) came in and limited Albuquerque to just one run, stranding runners at second and third to end the inning.
Blake Johnson (3-1) walked Brad Snyder to start the bottom of the eighth, and Snyder advanced to third on a single by Downs. Two batters later, J.D. Martinez sent a sac fly to right field to put the RedHawks in the lead. It was Martinez's first RBI in 17 games since joining the RedHawks.
Jose Valdez erased the Isotopes in the ninth, retiring the side in order with two strikeouts and a pop out for his 20th save.
The RedHawks were able to win despite being outhit 10-4. The Isotopes were led by Elian Herrera, who went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Albuquerque stranded 10 runners on base.
The RedHawks will try and pull closer to Albuquerque when they meet at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night. Tickets are available through the RedHawks box office on S. Mickey Mantle Drive, by calling (405) 218-1000, or ordering through okcredhawks.com.
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