May 5, 2005 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Omaha Storm Chasers
OMAHA Â– As if to make up for the fact they had not homered in six games, the Memphis Redbirds went deep six times Thursday at Rosenblatt Stadium, taking advantage of winds blowing out to left field to defeat the Omaha Royals 8-5 and take the series three games to one.
Royals starter Chris George (2-1) surrendered five of the home runs in six innings Â– one more gopher ball than he had allowed in his first five starts of the season combined. George was charged with seven runs on eight hits. His ERA this season rose to 6.46 and George has allowed 14 runs in eight-and-two-thirds innings for a 14.54 ERA in two starts against Memphis.
The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the first on Matt DiazÂ’ fifth home run of the season. It was the first of three hits on the day for Diaz, who later added a single and double. Memphis tied the game at 1-all on the first of two homers off the bat of John Nelson, leading off the third.
The Redbirds took the lead with a four-run fourth, keyed by Raul GonzalezÂ’ leadoff long ball and capped by a three-run shot crushed deep into the left field bleachers by John Gall.
While Memphis was bashing home runs, the Royals were mostly banging out doubles. Three of OmahaÂ’s six doubles on the afternoon came in the fifth inning, delivered by Scott Walter, Alejandro Prieto and Aaron Guiel as Omaha scored twice to cut the deficit to 5-3.
Scott Seabol and Brandon Berger opened the top of the sixth with back-to-back jacks to hike MemphisÂ’ lead back to four runs. Redbirds starter Chris Gissell (3-2) surrendered a solo shot to Chad Santos with two outs in the home half of the sixth to make it 7-4. It was the third home run for Santos in the last two games and gave the Royals first baseman seven on the season, tied for most in the Pacific Coast League.
NelsonÂ’s second home run of the day led off the ninth and gave the Redbirds an 8-4 cushion. All six of the RedbirdsÂ’ round-trippers went to left or left-center field, taking advantage of the strong winds. Both the Royals homers were to left-center and Prieto made a bid for a third one in that spot in the bottom of the ninth. But, his drive was ruled off the top of the wall and went as an RBI double to account for the final run.
PrietoÂ’s double chased Toby Borland. But, Gabe White came on and retired Guiel on a fly out to right to wrap up the RedbirdsÂ’ seventh win in their last eight games and record his first save.
The Royals host Nashville in the opener of a four-game series Friday at 7:05: LH Jeff Housman (1-1, 5.63) vs. RH Danny Tamayo (1-2, 4.32). Post-game fireworks are presented by KAT 103, Cardiovascular Health Department and Cox Communications. Air-time is 6:45 on Magic 1490 and www.Oroyals.com.