For the second time on the 51s’ seven-day trip, starter Drew Gagnon pitched well enough to get a win only to come away with a no-decision.
Reliever Drew Smith again was tagged with a blown save after one of Gagnon’s best starts this season.
But the 51s, as they did five days earlier, rebounded for a 10-inning win, beating the host Oklahoma City Dodgers 3-2 on Tuesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
“We had a few chances to score a few runs, and we just couldn’t get the big hit but had to go extra innings,” 51s manager Tony DeFrancesco said. “It was nice to see the guys continue to compete.”
Dodgers shortstop Angelo Mora made an error in the 10th inning on a ball hit by Jeff McNeil, allowing Zach Borenstein to score the go-ahead run.
The 51s (30-42), because of the new pace of play rules, started with a runner (Borenstein) on second base before Peter Alonso’s walk and Ty Kelly’s sacrifice bunt. They then scored the go-ahead run on the error.
Jacob Rhame, who relieved Smith, picked up the win after pitching a scoreless ninth and 10th.
Smith was charged with his fourth blown save, allowing a run on two hits in the eighth inning. Rocky Gale’s sacrifice fly off Smith tied the score 2-2 and gave Gagnon the no-decision.
“Drew Gagnon was outstanding today, seven innings, seven strikeouts,” DeFrancesco said. “Total command of the game.”
The right-hander pitched seven innings of one-run ball, giving up three hits while striking out seven with no walks. He was removed after throwing 79 pitches.
“I didn’t see him pitch in Colorado Springs, but he’s on a pretty good run now,” DeFrancesco said. “He’s pitching with a lot of confidence and using all of his pitches.”
The 51s took a 1-0 lead in the first on McNeil’s double. After Oklahoma City tied the score in the fifth, they scored a run in the sixth on Patrick Kivlehan’s single.
The win sent the 51s into their Wednesday off day with a split of the four-game series against Oklahoma City (41-26), one of the Pacific Coast League’s best teams.
“Right now, it’s time for us to get on a roll. Go home, we’re going to have to win some series to get back to .500,” DeFrancesco said. “There’s still a lot of games left, you never know. We’ve just got to be more consistent with our offense. The pitching seems to be coming around now.”