May 16, 2013 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Omaha Storm Chasers
OMAHA, Neb. - The Omaha Storm Chasers (20-18) notched their sixth come-from-behind win this season by taking the series opener with the Las Vegas 51s (18-20) by a 5-4 margin. The win snapped a seven-game series opener losing streak for the Chasers, their longest such streak since the 2009 season when they lost nine straight openers.
The Omaha offense totaled double-digit hits for seventh straight game with 11 hits on the night, and during the streak the Chasers have 97 hits in all. Third baseman Irving Falu started the game for Omaha by smacking a triple down the first base line for his third three-bagger of the season, tying him with David Lough for the team lead, and scored on a groundout by Johnny Giavotella for his team-leading 27th run knocked in this year. With the triple Falu moved in to third place on the Omaha all-time triples list at 26, passing Buddy Biancalana and Gary Thurman, and with two hits on the night he is now one hit away from tying Aaron Guiel for fourth on the all-time hits list (Falu currently has 537 hits).
After the Omaha run in the first, the 51s attempted to collect their fifth win in as many games at Werner Park by plating three runs in the next two innings, with two driven home by third baseman Eric Campbell. The Chasers responded with three runs of their own in the fourth and fifth innings combined on a fourth inning bases loaded RBI single by Paulo Orlando, who is 3-for-3 with five RBI in bases loaded situations, and a sac fly by Max Ramirez and a two-out RBI single by Anthony Seratelli in the fifth. In the game Max Ramirez extended his team-high hitting streak to 11 games, the longest streak of his Triple-A career, and the designated hitter/first baseman is batting .444 (20-for-45) during the streak.
The Las Vegas offense left 15 runners on base in the game, including a stretch of seven over the four innings after they took the lead 3-1 in the third, which is tied for the most stranded by the Storm Chasers this season and the most in an Omaha win in 2013. Storm Chasers left-hander Justin Marks, who was making his first career appearance at Werner Park, earned his first Triple-A win while the Omaha bullpen, who had allowed 15 runs in the previous four games, held the Vegas offense scoreless until the ninth inning. Left-hander Donnie Joseph struck out 51s outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis with the bases loaded in the ninth after the lead was trimmed to 5-4 to secure Omaha's ninth one-run win this season.
The matchup with the 51s was the first since the franchise switched affiliations from the Toronto Blue Jays to the New York Mets during the offseason, and the first game in Omaha against a Mets-affiliated team since August 28, 2008 when New Orleans was the Triple-A club. With the win over the Vegas franchise, the Storm Chasers have now defeated all 15 teams in the Pacific Coast League at Werner Park.
In the second game of the series Omaha will send out left-hander Will Smith (3-1, 1.85), who ranks second in the PCL in ERA and has allowed only two earned runs in his last 24.0 innings. Smith will face off with right-hander Matt Fox (No Record), who will be making his first appearance in Minor League Baseball this season and fourth career PCL start. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT.