Omaha split their doubleheader in OKC. They now head to Colorado Springs to start a four-game series on Thursday.
The Storm Chasers won the first game, 3-2. There were five solo home runs to account for all the runs.
Aaron Brooks earned his first win of the season, as he allowed four hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out seven. Brooks allowed a solo home run in both the second and fourth innings. Luke Hochevar followed with a scoreless sixth, before Louis Coleman earned his first save with a scoreless seventh.
OKC won the second game by a 3-1 score.
Christian Binford took the loss, as he allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and four walks over 2.1 innings. He left in the third with two men on base and one scored. Chris Dwyer allowed the inherited run to score (1.1IP, H, 0R, 2BB, K). Michael Mariot (1.1 innings) and Casey Coleman (one inning) had scoreless outings.
The Storm Chasers collected five hits, including two by Orlando Calixte. He also stole a base.
Whit Merrifield had a hit in both games to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.
NW Arkansas won in walk off fashion, 6-5 over Springfield.
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The Naturals actually led heading into the ninth butAroni Nina
allowed two runs in the top of the ninth. He did try to turn a double play, but an error at shortstop allowed the go ahead run to score.
Wilmington also won in walk off fashion, 3-2 in ten innings over Myrtle Beach.
The Blue Rocks offense was held in check, as they trailed 2-1 heading into the ninth. They did not get their first base runner until the fourth. The Pelicans blew their first save of the season when Frank Schwindel and Zane Evans hit back-to-back two out doubles to tie the game. In the tenth, back-to-back one out walks put the winning run on second base. After a ground out put the winning run on third base, Ramon Torres delivered the game winner on the first pitch he saw (he collected three hits).
Alec Mills got the start and struggled after getting the first two Pelicans hitters out in the first. The Blue Rocks even got bullpen action in the first, but he didn’t need his bullpen until the sixth. The KC Royals not only have pitch counts on pitchers for the entire game, but also on each inning (which is why they got bullpen action). Mills settled down in the third (“something just clicked”) and he lasted five innings (two runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts).
Then the Blue Rocks bullpen came in and retired 13 in a row before a one out double in the tenth. It started with Benino Pruneda, who was perfect over two scoreless innings (19 pitches, 13 for strikes). Matt Alvarez was next and he pitched 2.2 scoreless innings. Estarlin Cordero picked up the win, as he struck out the only batter he faced in the tenth.
Both Pruneda and Alvarez had gone 6-7 days between outings because of the piggy back starts (the Blue Rocks have two piggy back combinations in their rotation). I asked manager Brian Buchanan how long the piggy backs will continue and he said “all season”. Barring any injuries, the Royals want to save the arms in Wilmington.
Lexington lost the first game of their series against Rome, 3-0. The Braves scored all three runs in the top of the third.
That made a loser of Matt Tenuta, who allowed the three runs on five hits and a walk over 5.2 innings. Tenuta allowed four hits in the 3rd inning, including a solo homer. Evan Beal allowed one hit and walked three over 3.1 scoreless innings.
The Legends collected five hits, all singles. Alfredo Escalera-Maldonado had two hits.