December 19, 2014

Storm Chasers finish off series sweep

Pedro Ciriaco and Irving Falu homered in support of Danny Duffy as Omaha throttled Tacoma, 9-3, Friday night to complete a four-game sweep at Cheyney Stadium. The Storm Chasers evened their record at 57-57, the first time they have reached the .500 mark since May 23, a span of 67 games, and maintained their two-game lead over Memphis in the American Conference North Division. Omaha outscored the Rainiers, 25-6, and outhit them, 49-27, over the quartet of games to push their win streak in Tacoma to 10 dating back to 2009.

Falu and Christian Colon started the game with back-to-back walks and remained stationary until they pulled off a double steal with two outs and then scored when Ciriaco followed with a double, as the Storm Chasers scored in the first inning for a second straight game and tallied first in all four contests. Paulo Orlando singled and Gorkys Hernandez walked with one out in the second, advanced on a Falu ground out and scored when Colon doubled to push the visitors advantage to four.

Ciriaco struck again in the third with a two-run homer, his first long ball with Omaha, to extend the lead to 6-0 and Falu added a lead off long ball in the fourth to increase the margin to seven and match David Lough for 10th on the franchise’s all-time runs batted in list with 209. After another base hit and two more walks to bring his total to five, Tacoma starter Andrew Carraway was removed with two outs and the bases filled in the fourth and replaced by Jonathan Arias , who walked Manny Pina to force in another run before finally getting a ground out to end the frame. The Rainiers right-hander was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs on eight hits while managing to strike out a pair.

Meanwhile, Duffy allowed a lone run on five hits while walking three and fanning nine, his highest Triple-A total this season, to notch his third win with Omaha. Buddy Baumann gave up three hits and struck out five over three scoreless frames before Will Smith yielded a pair of runs in the ninth and gave way to Donnie Joseph, who came on to close out the Storm Chasers 29th victory on the road.

Omaha will send left-hander Justin Marks to the mound Saturday night in the series opener against Salt Lake right-hander Matt Shoemaker. Coverage of the game gets underway at 7:45 pm