RedHawks' Bats Come Alive Too Late in Loss to Express

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:21 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Apr 20, 2011 11:15 PM CDT

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City RedHawks could not muster any offense until it was too late Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to the Round Rock Express.

Express (10-4) starting pitcher Zach Johnson had a no-hitter going into the eighth inning, when the RedHawks’ bats finally came alive. Down 5-0, Oswaldo Navarro broke up the shutout with a sacrifice fly.

OKC (4-9) then added two runs in the bottom of the ninth thanks to an RBI double by Drew Locke and a run-scoring groundout by Carlos Corporan to cut the lead to two, but could draw no closer. J.B. Shuck grounded out in the next at-bat to seal the outcome.

The Express supported Johnson with runs early in the game, starting with a sacrifice fly by Brian Barden in the top of the first. Chad Tracy added an RBI single in the third inning for a 2-0 lead, but the scoring for both teams stopped there until the eighth.

Round Rock blew the game open with three runs in the eighth, which seemed superfluous at the time. But they turned out to be the game winners after the RedHawks finally got to Johnson in the final frames.

Johnson (2-0) allowed all three OKC runs on four hits in 8.1 innings of work. Cole Eppley recorded the final two outs to earn his third save of the season. Ryan Rowland-Smith finished with a loss for the RedHawks despite holding Round Rock to two runs on five hits in five innings.

The RedHawks now have lost their first two games against the team that used to play in Oklahoma City before being moved to Round Rock during the past offseason. The teams will continue their four-game series at 7:05 p.m. Thursday.