OKC Dodgers rally to defeat El Paso

Chihuahuas still one win away from Triple-A PCL title

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Former Padres outfielder Will Venable bounced a two-run single past El Paso second baseman Carlos Asuaje during a three-run seventh-inning rally Friday night to give Oklahoma City a 4-2 win in the third game of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series.

The loss ended a four-game El Paso playoff winning streak.

The Padres' Triple-A El Paso affiliate still holds a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series going into Saturday night's fourth game in Oklahoma City. Right-hander Seth Simmons will make his first start for the Chihuahuas after going 3-4 with a 2.35 ERA in 20 games (15 starts) for Double-A San Antonio.

The Chihuahuas need one win to claim the PCL title and advance to next Tuesday's Triple-A Championship Game in Memphis, Tenn. The Yankees' Scranton-Wilkes Barre franchise has won the International League title to win the berth opposite the PCL champion.

El Paso took a 1-0 lead Friday night on a second-inning homer by left fielder Patrick Kivlehan. Oklahoma City tied the game in the bottom of the third and it remained tied until the top of the seventh.

El Paso regained the lead in the top of the seventh when PCL Most Valuable Player Hunter Renfroe doubled and scored on a single by first baseman Diego Goris.

But the Dodgers scored three times in the bottom of the seventh against the Chihuahuas' bullpen.

Right-hander Bryan Rodriguez started for El Paso and allowed one run on six hits and four walks with three strikeouts in five innings.

Left-hander Daniel Moskos followed Rodriguez and worked a scoreless sixth. But after the first two Dodgers reached base against Moskos in the seventh, he was replaced by left-hander Kyle McGrath. A sacrifice bunt and a walk loaded the bases for Venable, whose two-run single put the Dodgers ahead to stay.

Moskos was charged with two runs on a hit and two walks in an inning-plus and took the loss. McGrath allowed a run on two hits and a walk with a strikeout in an inning. Right-hander Derek Eitel walked one with two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth.

Kivlehan was 2-for-4 with his homer and was the only Chihuahua with two hits. Renfroe, Goris and catcher Austin Allen were each 1-for-4 as El Paso had only five hits. The only other Chihuahua to reach base was shortstop Jose Rondon on a walk.