Round Rock, Texas - Ryan Rua broke a tie with a two-run homer in the eighth inning, leading the Round Rock Express to a 5-3 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers Saturday night at Dell Diamond.
The Dodgers (72-67) led by three runs after their first two at-bats, but did not score over the final seven innings of the game. After cutting the Dodgers' lead to 3-1 in the second inning, Round Rock (64-72) tied the game in the fourth inning, and the game stayed knotted at 3-3 until the bottom of the eighth.
Willie Calhoun led off the inning with a single. Rua came up next and drilled the first pitch from Jeremy Bleich off the batter's eye in center field to give the Express their first lead of the night.
It was the first home run allowed in eight games by the Dodgers, as well as just the second homer surrendered in the team's last 12 games.
Todd Cunningham led off the ninth inning with a single and advanced to second base with none out on a wild pitch, giving the Dodgers a runner in scoring position for the first time since the second inning. Round Rock reliever Tanner Scheppers then retired each of the next three batters to close out the game.
The Dodgers took the game's first lead three batters into the game. Tim Locastro led off and was hit by a pitch. After Locastro advanced to second base on a groundout, Kyle Farmer ripped a RBI double down the left field line to make it 1-0.
After a base hit by Edwin Rios, Farmer scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Henry Ramos, giving the Dodgers an early two-run lead.
The Dodgers kept the early roll going in the second inning. They collected three hits in the inning, including a two-out RBI single by Locastro to make it 3-0.
Including Locastro's hit, the Dodgers went 5-for-9 to start the game. However, they finished the game on a cold spell, going 3-for-25 with no extra-base hits and placing one runner in scoring position. They also went 0-for-8 with runners on base to finish the game.
Round Rock got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. The Express collected four straight hits with one out, including a RBI single by Preston Beck.
Later in the inning the bases loaded and one out, Jose Cardona lined out to left fielder Joc Pederson. Pederson then fired to second base to double off Beck and end the inning.
The Express pulled even in the fourth inning. Ronald Guzman drew a leadoff walk and later scored on a RBI infield single by Phil Gosselin. After another hit by Beck, runners were at the corners with one out. Brett Hayes sent a fly ball to deep right-center field, and Cunningham made an incredible diving catch to turn a potential extra-base hit into a sacrifice fly.
After the game was tied, both teams each put just two runners on base before Round Rock's rally in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Express outhit the Dodgers, 12-8, and went 12-for-31 for the game, including 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Five Round Rock batters finished with two hits, but Ramos was the only Dodger with a multi-hit game.
It's the fourth time in the last five games the Dodgers pitching staff gave up at least 10 hits. The pitching staff also tied its season low in a nine-inning game with four strikeouts.
Scheppers (1-3) earned his first win in 31 appearances with Round Rock this season. He held the Dodgers scoreless over the final two innings, allowing a pair of singles with four strikeouts.
Bleich (5-3) took a loss for the second time as many appearances after giving up the deciding home run.
The Dodgers look to gain the edge in their series against the Express at 6:05 p.m. Sunday at Dell Diamond. Live game coverage begins at 5:50 p.m. on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.