Like many of the Astros farm teams the Oklahoma City RedHawks have bounced back nicely from a dismal 2011 season. The RedHawks were sailing along at the top of the PCL American Northern division until experiencing a ten-game losing streak in early August. But they didn’t give up. The RedHawks have gone 11-5 since stopping the streak and are back to within 2.5 games of the first place Albuquerque Isotopes.
It looked like their playoff hopes were dashed when Oklahoma City fell 6.5 games out of first. But the RedHawks have now won four straight including last night’s 11-0 dismantling of the Isotopes. Five players had multiple hits in the blowout including Mike Hessman, who smacked his 33rd homer of the season. Matt Dominguez had three hits and has been called on to join the big league club tonight in Houston. Even though several key players have already been called up to the show, the RedHawks continue to battle.
J.D. Martinez and Matt Downs are currently on the AAA roster, as is rehabbing centerfielder Jordan Schafer. Amidst the seemingly endless stream of players coming and going, four players have anchored the offense all season long; Hessman, Angel Sanchez, J.B. Shuck, and Brad Snyder.
The pitching staff has been in a state of flux for most of the year as well. Mainstays include relievers Sergio Perez and Jose Valdez. The starting rotation contains recent additions Jose Cisnero, Brett Oberholtzer, and Edgar Gonzalez. Oberholtzer, who started the year at Corpus Christi, gets the start in tonight’s series finale against Albuquerque and former Astro Fernando Nieve.
The RedHawks will then finish off the regular season with four home games against the Round Rock Express. Needing to win against the Rangers AAA squad in order to make the playoffs applies a little more heat to the rivalry.