Nashville, Tenn. - O'Koyea Dickson belted a three-run homer in the eighth inning to give the Oklahoma City Dodgers the lead, and Jacob Rhame pitched a two-inning save to secure a wild 10-9 Dodgers win against the Nashville Sounds in a decisive Game 5 of the American Conference Finals Sunday night at First Tennessee Park.
With the victory, the Dodgers won the American Conference Finals series, 3-2, and will advance to the PCL Championship series for the first time since 2008. Oklahoma City will next face the Pacific Conference champion El Paso Chihuahuas in a best-of-five series starting Tuesday night in El Paso, Texas.
Sunday night's winner-take-all Game 5 against the Sounds included five lead changes, as the teams combined for 19 runs and 26 hits.
Nashville led, 9-7, entering the eighth inning. With one out, Oklahoma City's Micah Johnson singled and Cody Bellinger walked to put runners at first and second base. Dickson came up to bat next and sent a three-run homer out to left field to push Oklahoma City in front, 10-9.
The home run was Dickson's third of the playoffs, as well as the Dodgers' ninth homer of the series.
Rhame entered the game to pitch for Oklahoma City in the bottom of the eighth inning. Rangel Ravelo doubled with two outs to put the tying run on base for the Sounds, but Rhame then got Bryan Anderson to strike out to end the inning and preserve the Dodgers' lead.
After the Dodgers were retired in order in the top of the ninth inning, Rhame returned to the mound for the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Jaycob Brugman singled and Franklin Barreto doubled to put the potential tying and winning runs on base for the Sounds. Rhame intentionally walked Matt Chapman to load the bases for Matt Olson. Rhame then got Olson and Renato Nunez to both pop out in foul territory for the final two outs of the game to seal the Dodgers' victory.
The dramatic finish followed a back-and-forth, roller coaster ride of an evening for both teams.
The Dodgers quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run double by Chris Taylor.
With the bases loaded in the second inning, Oklahoma City's Bellinger connected on a sacrifice fly that allowed Jack Murphy to score from third base for a 3-0 advantage.
Nashville's Anderson drew a walk from Dodgers starting pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla with two outs in the bottom of the second inning to load the bases for Josh Rodriguez, who hit a fly ball deep to right field. Dodgers right fielder Will Venable made the catch at the warning track to preserve the lead.
Nashville took its first lead of the night in the third inning, scoring four runs.
Brugman led off with a single for the Sounds. Barreto came up to bat next and connected on a two-run homer to left field to cut the Dodgers lead to 3-2.
Chapman then drew a walk, still with no outs in the inning. Olson followed and hit a fly ball deep down the right-field line. The first base umpire initially ruled that the ball went foul. The four-man umpire crew then got together to discuss, and the ball was then deemed fair, awarding Olson a two-run homer and giving Nashville a 4-3 advantage.
Nashville loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning on back-to-back walks issued by Dodgers pitcher Roy Merritt. Merritt then got Chapman to fly out and struck out Olson end the inning and keep the Dodgers within a run, 4-3.
The Dodgers went back in front with a four-run fifth inning.
Dickson led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on a double by Corey Brown. Taylor struck out for the first out before Nashville pitcher Angel Castro intentionally walked Venable to load the bases for Kyle Farmer. Farmer answered with a RBI single into left field to tie the game, 4-4, and load the bases again with one out.
Murphy followed and connected on an infield knock to third baseman Chapman, whose throw toward first base was offline, and two runs scored on the play for a 6-4 advantage. Drew Maggi followed with a bunt single that allowed Farmer to score from third base, as he safely slid under the tag attempt at home plate for a 7-4 Oklahoma City advantage in the fifth inning.
Nashville quickly responded in the fifth inning when Renato Nunez hit a home run to left-center field for the Sounds' third homer of the game, cutting Oklahoma City's lead to two runs, 7-5.
The Sounds added four runs in the sixth inning, facing four Dodgers pitchers in the frame, as Nashville took a two-run lead.
Barreto hit a one-out triple for the Sounds, who went on to collect four total hits and three walks in the inning. Chapman followed with a RBI double to center field to cut the Dodgers lead to 7-6.
Oklahoma City reliever Jeff Malm entered the game and walked Matt Olson, throwing a wild pitch on ball four that got past catcher Murphy, and allowed Chapman to advance to third base still with one out. Daniel Corcino entered the game to pitch for Oklahoma City and Renato Nunez sent a grounder into left field for a RBI single that scored Chapman and tied the game, 7-7.
Colin Walsh followed and drew a walk to load the bases for Rangel Ravelo who lined on a two-run single to left field to give the Sounds a 9-7 advantage. After another Oklahoma City pitching change that brought Joe Broussard to the mound, Nashville's Anderson drew a walk to load the bases. But Broussard was able to strike out Rodriguez and Brugman to end the inning.
The Dodgers used seven pitchers in the game. Broussard (1-1) was credited with the win, tossing 1.2 scoreless and hitless innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
Nashville pitcher Ryan Brasier (0-1) was charged with a blown save and the loss.
Johnson led the Dodgers with three hits Sunday, while Dickson, Brown and Maggi also recorded multi-hit games.
Nashville outhit the Dodgers, 15-11, in the game, led by Barreto and Ravelo, who each had three hits.
Oklahoma City next travels to El Paso to open a best-of-five PCL Championship series against the Chihuahuas at 7:35 p.m. Central time Tuesday night at Southwest University Park.
Games 1-2 of the series will take place Tuesday and Wednesday in El Paso before the series shifts to Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers will host Game 3 at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Oklahoma City will also host Games 4-5, if necessary, at 7:05 p.m. Saturday and 2:05 p.m. Sunday in Bricktown.
Tickets for the Dodgers' home games of the PCL Championship series will be available starting at 10 a.m. Monday. Tickets will be available through the box office on S. Mickey Mantle Drive, by calling (405) 218-1000, or by ordering through okcdodgers.com.
Live coverage of Tuesday's playoff game from El Paso will begin 15 minutes before the first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.