McBroom Single Caps Another Omaha Rally
PAPILLION, Neb. - Omaha had been threatening for much of the night.
The Storm Chasers stranded runners in scoring position four times in a five-inning span Friday before a pair of St. Paul errors opened the door for late-game rally that resulted in a second straight comeback victory.
Omaha followed up its extra-innings win on Thursday by surging past the Saints 4-2 thanks to a three-run seventh. Ryan McBroom's two-run single off former teammate Glenn Sparkman was the difference.
Batting with the bases loaded and no outs, the Chasers designated hitter grounded the first pitch he saw from the St. Paul reliever through the left side of the infield to plate Kevin Merrill and Edward Olivares.
"I didn't necessarily drive it like I wanted to," McBroom said. "But I got rewarded by getting a good pitch to hit and putting the ball in play. And we got two runs out of it. I knew, for sure, Sparky was going to throw a slider in there at some point. Yeah, and I got it first pitch."
Omaha trailed 2-1 entering the inning after giving up the go-ahead run in the fifth. An errant throw by Saints first baseman Travis Blankenhorn on a grounder by Merrell set the table for the three-run surge.
Olivares followed with a single, then pitcher Juan Minaya mishandled a ball off the bat of Kyle Isbel. Minaya then hit Emmanuel Rivera with a pitch to force in the tying run before giving way to Sparkman, who pitched for the Royals last year.
McBroom's second single in as many innings put the Chasers, who improved to 3-1, ahead to stay.
"All credit goes to the lineup - guys getting on base all the time," he said. "It's a fun team to play for, a fun team to be around. ... We've been doing a really good job of getting on base and getting guys in."
McBroom and Kelvin Gutierrez each finished with two of Omaha's nine hits. Gabriel Cancel singled in the first run by the Chasers in the fourth when he drove in McBroom, who had walked, to tie the score at 1.
Starter Ronald Bolaños pitched five strong innings for Omaha, allowing two runs on five hits. He left trailing by a run after Ryan Jeffers plated Keon Broxton with a sacrifice fly in the fifth for the Saints.
Jace Vines picked up the win in relief for Omaha by retiring seven of the eight men he faced in relief.
McBroom has been slotted in the middle of the Chasers lineup during the first week of the season after spending time with Kansas City briefly before. The 29-year-old first baseman found success with the Royals as a bat off the bench last season, setting the franchise record with three pinch-hit home runs.
"That's a job I've embraced," he said. "I take a lot of pride in coming off the bench, pinch-hitting and being in a position to, hopefully, help the ball club win. It's coming in every day and getting your work in, regardless of where you're playing. You've got to have that routine each and every day that gets you right - which I have here. Playing every day, getting my routine in, I'm starting to feel a good again."
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