A series of miscues plagued the Storm Chasers at Werner Park Monday, as the visiting Oklahoma City RedHawks erased a pair of two-run deficits to steal an 8-5 victory.
Drew Locke’s two out, RBI triple off Omaha reliever Kanekoa Texeira (0-1) broke a 5-5 tie in the top of the ninth, the first of three runs off the Chasers’ losing pitcher in the inning. Koby Clemens followed with an RBI double off the wall in left, bringing in Locke, and Clemens came all the way in from second on a bunt single by Collin DeLome during which nobody from the Storm Chasers covered home plate.
An inning prior, the RedHawks capitalized by a dropped pop-up in fair territory by catcher Manny Pina, which put the eventual tying run on base. Tommy Manzella ripped a single to left, scoring DeLome to make it a 5-5 game.
The Storm Chasers had plenty of chances to put more runs on the board, but shot themselves in the foot on more than one occasion. A prime example was in the bottom of the seventh, when Mike Moustakas was hung out to dry on a failed suicide squeeze bunt by Lorenzo Cain and the Chasers leading 5-4. Two innings earlier, Cain and Lance Zawadzki left the bases loaded with a popup and strikeout, and in the third Clint Robinson took off from first on a routine fly ball with one out, easily getting doubled off to end the inning.
Moustakas finished the ballgame 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, a sacrifice fly, a walk and two runs batted in. Since the promotion of Eric Hosmer to Kansas City, Moustakas has an average/on-base/slugging “slash line” of .412/.500/.706 in five games. He also has four multi-hit games in his past six contests, double the amount he had through the season’s first 23 games.
The contest began as a duel between 2008 first-round draft picks Mike Montgomery of Omaha and Jordan Lyles of Oklahoma City. The 21-year-old Montgomery allowed three runs on six hits in five innings, while the 20-year-old Lyles gave up five runs on six hits in 5.1 innings. Montgomery walked two and struck out six, leaving with a 5-3 lead. Lyles walked six and struck out three. Neither earned a decision, with Fernando Rodriguez picking up the victory in relief for the RedHawks.
The Storm Chasers will take their 18-13 record on an eight-game road swing through Reno and Colorado Springs, beginning Tuesday evening at 9:05 p.m. central time at Aces Ballpark. Righthander Vin Mazzaro is the scheduled starter for the Chasers, while Barry Enright will get the nod for Reno. Mazzaro is 1-0 with a 4.97 ERA in five starts, while Enright had a 1-3 mark with a 6.49 ERA in the majors for Arizona before being optioned down to the Aces on May 5.