Oklahoma City Dodgers set PCL strikeout record

Pacific Coast League Oklahoma City Dodgers' Alex Verdugo, right, hugs Oklahoma City Dodgers pitcher Wilmer Font, right, as Sacramento River Cats pitcher Tyler Rogers (17) walks by in the dugout after the PCL beat the International League 6-4 in the Minor League baseball AAA All-Star Game, Wednesday, July 12, 2017 in Tacoma, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

While the Oklahoma City Dodgers won’t reach the Pacific Coast League playoffs this season, the team’s pitching staff set a PCL record for a second consecutive season. Justin Masterson tallied the team’s 1,246th strikeout of the season Thursday night against New Orleans, breaking the PCL single-season record the team set in 2016.

Earlier Thursday Wilmer Font was named PCL Pitcher of the Year, becoming the second Oklahoma City player to receive the award since the team return to the PCL in 1998. Font, who has five games of at least 10 strikeouts this season, leads all of Triple-A with 178 strikeouts this season.

That strikeout total is also the most in Oklahoma City history since its return to the PCL, surpassing the 150 strikeouts tallied by Matt Perisho in 1999.

Font is one of two Dodgers pitchers with at least 100 strikeouts on the season, with the aforementioned Masterson entering Thursday with 132. Masterson, who has a team-high 11 wins this season, struck out eight Baby Cakes batters through the first five innings of Thursday’s game. Luke Farrell has contributed 99 strikeouts, Fabio Castillo 85 and Trevor Oaks 72.

Oaks, who’s 4-3 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 16 appearances (15 being starts), is ranked 14th on MLBPipeline’s list of the top 30 prospects in the Dodgers organization. The top-ranked prospect on the list, right-hander Walker Buehler, is 1-1 with a 4.03 ERA in 11 appearances for Oklahoma City, and he’s contributed 32 strikeouts to the pitching staff’s record-breaking effort.

Oklahoma City begins its final series of the season Friday night against Round Rock, so the team isn’t done adding to its record-breaking strikeout total.

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