Chasers Drop Third Straight; Mud Hens Clinch Midwest Division
PAPILLION, Neb. - The Omaha Storm Chasers lost their third straight game on Thursday at Werner Park, falling, 8-5, to the Iowa Cubs. Toledo clinched the Midwest Division with a win over Columbus, while Durham clinched the best record in Triple-A East with a win over Charlotte.
Iowa (49-68) scored first, plating a run in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Johneshwy Fargas against left-hander Foster Griffin.
Omaha (64-53) took the lead in the bottom of the first inning against right-hander Matt Swarmer. After loading the bases on two walks and a double, left-fielder Ryan McBroom drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game. Next, third baseman MJ Melendez hit a sacrifice fly down the right-field line to put the Storm Chasers in front, 2-1.
McBroom went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI to extend his on-base streak to 21 games and collect his league-leading 84th RBI of the year.
Catcher Nate Esposito extended the Chasers' lead in the second inning, bashing a solo home run off the top of the left-field foul pole. It was Esposito's first home run of the season.
The I-Cubs struck for three runs in the third to take the lead. Two batters after shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. committed an error to begin the inning, the I-Cubs strung together four straight singles-including RBI singles from Brennan Davis and Jared Young-to pull ahead, 4-3.
Omaha tied the game in the sixth against right-hander Jackson McClelland (Win, 2-1). Melendez drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dairon Blanco, and scored on a single by Esposito. Esposito finished the game 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs for his first multi-hit and multi-RBI game of the season.
Iowa took the lead for good in the seventh against right-hander Grant Gavin, when Abiatal Avelino and Brennan Davis hit back-to-back solo home runs. Tyler Ladendorf added a solo shot in the eighth before Levi Jordan singled, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly to cap the I-Cubs scoring.
Right-hander Dylan Coleman struck out two in a scoreless ninth to extend his scoreless streak to 6.2 innings.
Witt Jr. smacked a solo home run to lead off the ninth inning, but right-hander Aneuris Rosario recorded the final three outs to finish the game.
The Storm Chasers continue their six-game series with the Iowa Cubs on Friday, when right-hander Brandon Barker (1-3, 10.07) faces right-hander Joe Biagini (3-7, 5.65). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. CT with the Sarpy County Tourism Pregame Show on 1180 The Zone.
Following a six-game series against Iowa, the Storm Chasers play their final five home games of the season against the Indianapolis Indians (PIT) from Sept. 22-26 as part of the Triple-A Final Stretch. A special ticket package for the Triple-A Final Stretch is available now. For tickets and more information, visit omahastormchasers.com or call the Werner Park Ticket Office at (402) 738-5100 and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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