Oklahoma City - The Oklahoma City RedHawks clinched the Pacific Coast League American Southern Division title with a 5-4 win against the Nashville Sounds Tuesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The first-place RedHawks extended to a seven-game lead over second-place Albuquerque and Round Rock in the division standings with six games left to play in front of a crowd of 3,587.
Oklahoma City (79-59) won its first division title since 2010 and will play the winner of the American Northern Division in the PCL Conference Championships. The division title is the RedHawks' seventh overall.
The RedHawks won for the 18th time in their last 19 home games Tuesday, as Eric Berger picked up a win in a spot start. Oklahoma City's scheduled starter Paul Clemens started for the Astros Tuesday and Berger (6-3) held Nashville to one run and two hits in five innings pitched. He walked one and struck out four in the win in his third start of the season.
Oklahoma City had a chance to take an early lead Tuesday. George Springer singled to get on base with two outs in the bottom of the first. Brandon Laird followed with a line-drive single to right field and Springer ran from first to home. He slid head first toward home plate and slid behind Nashville catcher Anderson De La Rosa, but was not tagged, nor did he touch the plate. Both scrambled for home and Springer was tagged out on the play to end the inning.
Nashville infielder Hunter Morris hit a solo home run over the wall in right field for a 1-0 Sounds' advantage in the second inning.
The RedHawks scored three runs on three hits in the fourth inning. Springer tripled to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. A single by Laird scored Springer to tie the game, 1-1. Carlos Perez later walked with the bases loaded to score Laird for a 2-1 lead. The first five batters reached base for the RedHawks in the inning. A sac fly by Marc Krauss scored Japhet Amador for a 3-1 edge.
A RBI single by Amador put the RedHawks in front, 4-1, in the fifth inning. Amador finished with a game-high three hits.
Eugenio Velez tripled with two outs to score Hainley Statia in the sixth and Velez scored on a wild pitch to cut Oklahoma City's lead to 4-3 in the sixth inning.
An RBI groundout by Springer pushed the RedHawks in front, 5-3, in the bottom of the seventh.
A RBI single by Velez cut Oklahoma City's lead to one run in the eighth, but Nashville's record fell to 53-85. RedHawks pitcher Jorge De Leon recorded his sixth save of the season, securing the final two outs of the game.
The RedHawks continue their four-game series against Nashville at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Tickets are available through the box office on S. Mickey Mantle Drive, by calling (405) 218-1000, or ordering through okcredhawks.com. Live coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the free IHeartRadio mobile app.
The RedHawks' best-of-five playoff series will open with two games in Oklahoma City, starting at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 and at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.