In front of the third largest crowd of the season at 8,553 on “Mike Jirschele Night,” the Omaha Storm Chasers (51-46) gave up a season-high six home runs in a 14-4 loss to the New Orleans Zephyrs (50-48). It was the first time since July 16, 2012 that Omaha has lost by ten or more runs, and Omaha dropped out of first place with Iowa winning on the night.
Storm Chasers starter Clay Mortensen, who had given up only one homer and seven earned runs in his first 41.1 innings this season, gave up four long balls and six runs in his 2.2 innings. It was the first time this season Mortensen had given up more than two runs in any outing, and the first time he did not go at least five innings this season. The Omaha pitching staff had allowed only four earned runs in their last 46.1 innings before the blowout loss.
Christian Colon provided a bright spot on the night as he launched two homers of his own, his first career multi-homer game in his five professional seasons. The only other player for Omaha to collect multiple hits on the night was Whit Merrifield, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games, which is the longest streak for a Storm Chaser in 2014.
Omaha has given up double-digit runs eight times this season, and four have come against the Zephyrs in their nine total meetings. New Orleans has taken seven of the nine meetings this season, the Storm Chasers worst record against any opponent, and in the last two season Omaha is 8-17 against the Miami Marlins affiliate.
The Storm Chasers will look to bounce back in a matchup of veteran pitchers tomorrow, as LHP Joe Saunders (0-0, 2.40 ERA) takes the hill for Omaha and RHP Brad Penny (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes the start for New Orleans.