MiLB AAA Baseball News

Early Lead, Late Rally Not Enough Sunday

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March 31, 2024 – Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Oklahoma City Baseball Club News Release

The Oklahoma City Baseball Club took an early lead Sunday afternoon before the Tacoma Rainiers scored seven straight runs and OKC rallied late in an eventual 7-6 loss in the series finale between the teams at Cheney Stadium. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler (0-1) started the game to open a Major League Rehab Assignment and retired the first seven Tacoma batters he faced as OKC (1-2) built a 3-0 lead on a solo home run by Ryan Ward, RBI single by Chris Owings and a solo homer by Trey Sweeney. Tacoma (2-1) then responded with seven straight runs, scoring two runs in the third inning on a RBI single by Cade Marlowe coupled with an OKC throwing error that allowed the Rainiers to cut the lead to one run. A solo home run by Samad Taylor tied the score before a three-run homer by Michael Papierski put Tacoma ahead, 6-3. Later with Tacoma leading, 7-3, Andy Pages connected on a RBI triple in the seventh inning and Miguel Vargas hit a two-run single in the ninth inning.

Of Note:

-Two-time MLB All-Star Walker Buehler opened a Major League Rehab Assignment with OKC. The right-handed pitcher started the game for OKC and retired the first seven batters he faced. He went on to throw 54 pitches (31 strikes) and face 15 batters before exiting the game in the fourth inning. Over 3.1 innings, Buehler (0-1) allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits, including a home run, with two walks and two strikeouts and was charged with the loss. Buehler is recovering from Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair in his right elbow that has kept him out of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup since June 2022.

-Tacoma won the season-opening series, 2-1, ending OKC’s stretch of winning seven straight three-game regular-season series that went back to August 2019 in San Antonio. OKC is now just 2-9 in the last 11 games at Cheney Stadium and going back to 2012, the team is now 10-20 in Tacoma over the last 30 games and has won just one of seven series in that timeframe.

-OKC hit two home runs and has now hit a combined five homers over the last two games. Ryan Ward and Trey Sweeney hit their first home runs of the season and Sweeney’s solo shot in the third inning was his first Triple-A homer. Four different players have hit OKC’s first five homers of 2024.

-Each of the three games of the series were decided by two runs or less as Tacoma won the season opener, 1-0, in 11 innings Friday and OKC won…

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