Pete Kozma singled in the game-winning run with one out in the bottom of the 14th inning to finish a five-hour marathon and lift Memphis past Omaha, 6-5, Tuesday night in the second of a four-game set at Auto Zone Park. The Redbirds rebounded from being no-hit in the series opener to pull within three games of the American Conference North Division-leading Storm Chasers, who had a three-game win streak snapped.
Mario Santiago stranded two runners in the 12th and 13th innings but could not work himself out of trouble in the 14th. Matt Carpenter, who went 5-for-6, drew a leadoff walk and moved to second base on an Aaron Luna sacrifice bunt. Following an intentional pass to Bryan Anderson, the fourth time he walked in the game, Kozma delivered a base hit to left field that brought Carpenter home with the decisive marker. Kozma was 2-for-29 without an RBI against the Storm Chasers before coming through with the winning hit.
Omaha opened the scoring in the third inning for a second straight night when Johnny Giavotella singled home Lance Zawadzki, who had tripled with one out.
Just like they did in the series opener, the visitors added to their lead with a pair of runs in the fifth when Lorenzo Cain scored on a wild pitch and Jarrod Dyson singled home Manny Pina with the only hit of the frame. Pina supplied a leadoff long ball in the seventh, his fifth of the season, to increase the lead to 4-0.
Omaha starter Vin Mazzaro kept the Redbirds off the board until Nick Stavinoha blasted a three-run home run with two outs in the seventh. The right-hander was then removed after he gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out seven in stretching his streak to 22 consecutive PCL starts without a loss since May 6, 2009.
The Chasers got a run back in the eighth when David Lough scored on a base hit by Kila Ka’aihue, who became just the ninth player in Omaha history to drive in 200 runs. The Redbirds reduced their deficit to 5-4 in the home half of the eighth and tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on a Mark Hamilton sacrifice fly off Jesse Chavez.