Vin Mazzaro worked six solid innings and Kila Ka’aihue drove in three runs to lead Omaha past Memphis, 4-2, Friday night in the opener of a four-game set at Auto Zone Park. The Storm Chasers improved to 27-21 and lengthened their lead over Iowa in the American Conference North Division to six games after the Cubs fell at Round Rock.
Ka’aihue’s two-out, run-scoring single got the Storm Chasers on the board and marked the fifth time in the last seven road games that they had scored in the first inning.
The visitors strung together five singles, highlighted by Ka’aihue’s two-run base hit, to produce three runs in the third to extend the lead to 4-0. Ka’aihue and Jarrod Dyson would each finish with three hits to pace a 15-hit attack that also featured a pair of hits from Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Irving Falu.
Mazzaro allowed a lone run on four hits while walking two and striking out six to improve to 2-0. He did not give up more than one hit in any inning and recorded one strikeout in each of his six frames.
Mario Santiago yielded a run on two hits over three innings to earn his second Triple-A save and wrap up Omaha’s fifth win in as many tries this season against the two-time defending division champions.
The series continues Saturday evening with Omaha right-hander Kevin Pucetas taking the hill against Memphis right-hander Mitchell Boggs.