Redbirds Rally Twice Sunday to Clinch Conference Title

Oklahoma City's Season Comes to Close with 4-3 Loss in Game 4 Sunday in Memphis

By Oklahoma City Dodgers | September 9, 2018 6:29 PM

Memphis, Tenn. - The Memphis Redbirds rallied twice in their final at-bats Sunday afternoon to complete a 4-3 come-from-behind win against the Oklahoma City Dodgers in 10 innings and win the best-of-five PCL American Conference Championship series, 3-1, at AutoZone Park.

 

The Dodgers held a 1-0 lead in Game 4 of the playoff series heading into the bottom of the seventh inning of the scheduled seven-inning game before the Redbirds scored a run to tie the game and force extra innings.

 

Oklahoma City later grabbed a 3-1 lead in the top of the 10th inning on a two-run homer by Henry Ramos, but the Redbirds were able to put together a three-run rally in the bottom of the inning for a walk-off win to bring the Dodgers' season to an end.

 

Game 4 of the playoff series was pushed to Sunday after rain postponed the game Saturday night in Memphis. The defending PCL champion Redbirds carried a 2-1 series lead into the game, setting up the Dodgers for their fifth elimination game in one week. Oklahoma City needed a win to force a decisive Game 5 and took the game's early lead Sunday.

 

After a Redbirds pitching change to start the second inning, Travis Taijeron led off and connected on a solo home run out to right field for an early 1-0 Dodgers advantage. The home run was the second of the series for Taijeron, who batted 6-for-10 in four playoff games.

 

Meanwhile, Dodgers starting pitcher Zach Neal tossed five scoreless innings, allowing five hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Julio Urías followed with a scoreless inning to preserve the Dodgers' one-run lead through six frames.

 

But Redbirds pitchers held the Dodgers to three hits through seven innings, keeping Oklahoma City from adding to its lead.

 

Down to their final at-bat, the Redbirds broke through in the bottom of the seventh inning. Andrew Knizer lined a double down the left field line to lead off. Kevin Herget entered the game as a pinch runner for Knizer and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Ramon Urias. Tommy Edman came up to bat next and hit a deep fly ball to the warning track in right field for a sacrifice fly, allowing Herget to score and tie the game, 1-1, and force extra innings.

 

Ramos singled into center field with two outs in the top of the eighth inning and advanced to second base on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, but the Dodgers were unable to bring home the go-ahead run.

 

The game remained tied, 1-1, until the top of the 10th inning with two outs when Oklahoma City's Connor Joe singled into right field.

 

After a Memphis pitching change brought reliever Giovanny Gallegos into the game, Joe advanced to second base on a wild pitch.

 

Ramos came up to bat next and hit a two-run homer to right-center field for a 3-1 Dodgers lead. The home run was Ramos' third of the playoffs and his sixth hit in four games against the Redbirds, as he went a team-best 3-for-4 at the plate Sunday. He racked up a team-high seven RBI over playoff games.

 

But the Redbirds rallied again down to their final at-bat in the bottom of the 10th inning.

 

Justin Williams drew a leadoff walk. After Oklahoma City pitcher Zach McAllister replaced Josh Sborz on the mound, Memphis' Edman followed with a double that stayed fair down the right field line and hit off first baseman Joe before being picked up by Dodgers right fielder Taijeron. Williams advanced to third base on the play.

 

A wild pitch later allowed Williams to score and cut Oklahoma City's lead to one run, still with none out.

 

McAllister then struck out Wilfredo Tovar and Rangel Ravelo before Alex Mejia came up to bat with two outs and lined a RBI single into right field to tie the game, 3-3. Mejia stole second base before Lane Thomas drew a walk, prompting an Oklahoma City pitching change.

 

Edward Paredes entered the game to pitch for Oklahoma City and intentionally walked Max Schrock to load the bases for relief pitcher Gallegos, who then lined a game-winning RBI single to left-center field to score Mejia from third base.

 

Gallegos (2-0) was credited with the win on the mound for the Redbirds, while McAllister (0-1) was charged with a blown save and the loss for the Dodgers.

 

The Redbirds outhit the Dodgers, 11-6, in the game as Oklahoma City was held to seven or fewer hits in each of its four playoff games against Memphis. Thirteen of the Dodgers' 14 runs scored in the playoffs came via home run, as Oklahoma City hit eight homers in the postseason against the Redbirds.

 

Memphis will now advance to the PCL Championship series for the second straight season to play either El Paso or Fresno, who meet in a decisive Game 5 for the Pacific Conference title tonight.

 

The American Northern Division champion Dodgers advanced to the postseason after winning their third division title in four seasons. Oklahoma City went 1-3 in the playoffs after finishing the regular season with a 75-65 record - the seventh straight season OKC has finished above .500 and fifth time during the span OKC has recorded at least 75 wins.

 

For information about tickets for the OKC Dodgers' 2019 season, please call (405) 218-2182 or visit okcdodgers.com.

 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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