The Omaha Royals got a strong pitching performance from Anthony Lerew and three relievers for a 2-1 win over the Nashville Sounds to take three out of four from their division rival and move ahead of the Sounds into second place in the Pacific Coast League’s American Conference North.
Lerew (5-3) shutout Nashville through seven innings. At that point, Omaha starters had combined to hurl 22 scoreless innings in the series. Lerew took a 2-0 lead into the eighth, but Ray Olmedo led off with a single and scored all the way from first base when Lerew fielded Trent Oeltjen’s sacrifice bunt and threw wildly down the right field side, with Oeltjen winding up at second base.
Greg Holland came on in relief and after getting the first out, walked a batter to put runners at the corners with one out, but retired the next two to keep the Royals in front 2-1 after eight. In the ninth, rehabbing major leaguer John Parrish struck out Luis Cruz to open the inning, and fell behind 3-0 to the next batter before leaving with the injury flaring up. Josh Rupe came on and walked Norris Hopper but got the final two outs.
Alex Gordon scored Omaha’s first run in the first inning, starting a two out rally. The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the fifth as rehabbing KC outfielder Rick Ankiel hit a two-out, RBI double to plate Marc Maddox, who had opened the inning with a single.
Omaha (33-28) takes off for it’s 18-day, 17-game road trip that will take the Royals to Albuquerque, Round Rock, Iowa, Oklahoma City and back to Des Moines as the College World Series comes to Omaha.