Omaha Overpowers Sounds, 11-2
PAPILLION, Neb. - Omaha catcher Brett Hayes was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday afternoon at Werner Park, homering twice and driving in seven runs to lead the Storm Chasers to an 11-2 victory over the Nashville Sounds.
Hayes missed the cycle by a triple during his 4-for-4 afternoon and produced the most RBIs against Nashville since Albuquerque's Jerry Sands drove in eight runs during his two grand slam performance on July 29, 2012.
Omaha grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Hayes turned a two-out Tyler Thornburg fastball into a line-drive, two-run double to deep center.
The Sounds evened the contest at 2-2 in the third against Omaha right-hander Brian Sanches. Buller led off with an infield single and raced around to score the first Nashville run when Hainley Statia doubled off the left-center wall. After Blake Davis advanced Statia to third with a groundout, Scooter Gennett drove in his third run of the series with an RBI groundout up the middle that deflected off the pitcher before being fielded by the third baseman.
Hayes struck again with another huge two-out knock for the Storm Chasers in the home half of the third, belting a towering three-run homer to left off Thornburg to propel Omaha to a 5-2 advantage. The pair of baserunners on board for the backstop's first home run of the year each reached due to wildness by the Sounds right-hander: David Lough was hit by a pitch and Johnny Giavotella drew a five -pitch walk.
Sanches (1-0) picked up the victory for Omaha by limiting the Sounds to two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. Thornburg (0-1) was saddled with a loss in his first decision of the year after allowing five runs in his five frames of action.
Omaha broke the game open in the sixth against veteran Sounds reliever Jim Hoey, plating four runs to increase the advantage to 9-2.
After the Storm Chasers loaded the bases with no out on a pair of singles and a walk against the right-hander, Willy Taveras quickly unloaded them with a three-run triple off the right field wall. Brandon Wood followed with an RBI single to left to drive in Taveras with the fourth Omaha run of the frame.
Hayes capped off his day in the seventh when he slugged his second longball of the contest, a two-run shot to right that chased Hoey from the contest and made it an 11-2 game.
The Omaha bullpen was spotless behind Sanches. Louis Coleman worked 2 1/3 frames before Blaine Boyer closed out the win with a scoreless ninth that included three strikeouts.
Hunter Morris doubled as part of a 2-for-4 game for the Sounds, the first baseman's team-leading fourth multi-hit effort of the young season.
Right-hander Johnnie Lowe made his season debut for the Sounds with 1 2/3 scoreless frames of relief.
The Sounds will attempt to gain a series split when the teams wrap up the four-game series with an 11:05 a.m. contest on Monday morning. Right-hander Hiram Burgos (0-1, 1.80) will toe the rubber for Nashville and face Omaha southpaw Will Smith (1-1, 4.50).
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