Round Rock, Texas - The Oklahoma City Dodgers' 2017 season came to an end Monday afternoon with a 6-1 loss against the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond.
The Express built an early 5-1 lead and held the Dodgers scoreless over the final seven innings, sending Oklahoma City to a third straight defeat to wrap up the PCL season.
The Dodgers finished the season with a 72-69 record, clinching a winning overall record for the sixth straight season.
Round Rock (66-72) put the Dodgers in an early hole on the scoreboard Monday and held Oklahoma City to one run and five hits on the day. The Express went on to win the four-game series between the teams, 3-1, as Oklahoma City dropped its first series in Round Rock since June 25-28, 2011.
In the first inning with one out, Jurickson Profar hit a sharp grounder to the left of first base, fielded by Oklahoma City first baseman Edwin Rios. Rios tossed the ball toward pitcher Justin Marks who was running to the bag to complete the out, but the ball bounced out of Marks' glove. Marks was charged with a missed catch error as Profar reached first base. Former OKC Dodger Willie Calhoun followed with a single into left field.
With runners at first and second base, Ryan Rua hit a fly ball to deep left field that outfielder Joc Pederson was unable to corral on the warning track and two runs scored to give the Express a 2-0 lead.
Ronald Guzman followed with a RBI single into center field to push Round Rock's lead to 3-0.
The Dodgers cut into the Express lead in the top of the second inning, hitting three straight singles with one out. Max Muncy and Drew Maggi connected on hits to put two runners on base for Rios, who hit a grounder into center field to score Muncy and cut Round Rock's lead to 3-1.
Rios finished the season batting 10-for-20 over his final six games with 10 RBI. Between his time with Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Rios leads Dodgers minor leaguers with 91 RBI and 147 hits this season.
Muncy's hit Monday extended his season-ending hitting streak to a career-best 15 games.
The Express added to their lead in the third inning. Calhoun singled to lead off for Round Rock and Guzman later drew a four-pitch walk with one out. Brett Hayes then doubled on a fly ball to left-center field to bring home Calhoun and Guzman for a 5-1 Round Rock advantage.
After Rios' RBI single in the second inning, Express pitchers retired 18 straight Oklahoma City batters until Jack Murphy hit a double to the outfield wall in right field in the eighth inning. Murphy ran for third base trying for a triple on the play, but was thrown out for the second out of the inning. Todd Cunningham followed with a single that would end up as Oklahoma City's final hit of the day as the Dodgers were unable to cut into Round Rock's four-run lead.
The Express added a run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Hayes and Preston Beck hit back-to-back singles to open the inning. Xavier Paul reached on an error to load the bases before Kevin Torres grounded into a double play, allowing a run to score and put Round Rock in front, 6-1.
Dodgers pitcher Justin Marks (4-3) made his sixth start of the season and was charged with the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) and seven hits over 5.0 innings with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Dodgers pitchers combined for eight strikeouts on the day to bring their PCL modern-era record strikeout total this season to 1,277 strikeouts. This is the second straight season the Dodgers set the mark, after totaling 1,245 strikeouts in 2016.
Round Rock starting pitcher Adrian Sampson (1-0) picked up the win, holding the Dodgers to one run and three hits over 5.0 innings with three strikeouts. Express pitchers Cody Palmquist and Adam Loewen held Oklahoma City scoreless and to two hits over the final four innings with four strikeouts.
Round Rock outhit the Dodgers, 10-5, Monday as Oklahoma City allowed at least 10 hits for the fifth straight game and sixth time in the last seven games.
The OKC Dodgers will open the 2018 season April 5 against the Iowa Cubs at Principal Park and will play their 2018 home opener at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark April 10 against the Round Rock Express.
For information about season tickets and group outings for the 2018 season, call (405) 218-1000 or visit okcdodgers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.