Albuquerque starter Dana Eveland tossed his first-career complete-game shutout, leading the visiting Isotopes to a 2-0 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers Thursday night at Werner Park. The Chasers only managed three hits in the ballgame, none of which left the infield.
The 27-year-old lefthander needed 115 pitches to record 27 outs, walking one, allowing the three singles and hitting two batters. Jarrod Dyson was the only Storm Chasers hitter to reach base more than once, reaching on a bunt single in the fifth and getting hit by a pitch in the eighth. Eveland (11-5) lowered his ERA to 3.26 on the season and extended his league-lead in wins by one. He picked up the shutout in his 167th-career professional start, which includes 54 starts in the majors for Brewers, Diamondbacks, Athletics, Blue Jays and Pirates.
Luis Mendoza took the tough-luck loss for the Chasers, allowing two unearned runs in 6.1 innings. He allowed four hits, walked four and struck out six on the night. His record fell to 7-4 on the season, though he lowered his ERA to a league-best 2.37 during the course of the evening. Kevin Pucetas struck out four in 2.2 innings of hitless relief to keep the Storm Chasers close, but Eveland was able to shut down the Omaha bats the rest of the way.
The shutout was just the third pitched against Omaha this season and the second by Albuquerque against the Chasers this month. John Ely, Merkin Valdez and Jon Link combined on a six-hitter on July 3, also in a 2-0 Isotopes win at Werner Park. Prior to Thursday, the last time a pitcher threw a complete-game shutout against an Omaha club was August 29, 2009, when Clay Hensley of the New Orleans Zephyrs blanked the O-Royals 6-0 on four hits at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Despite the loss, the Storm Chasers held their four-game lead over the Memphis Redbirds in the American Conference Northern Division, as the Redbirds lost a 9-8 heartbreaker in 11 innings to the Round Rock Express. The third-place Nashville Sounds picked up a game in the standings and now sit just 4.5 behind the Storm Chasers and one-half game behind Memphis.
Omaha and Albuquerque will meet one final time in 2011 – pending a playoff match-up – when Sean O’Sullivan (2-2, 4.31) faces Mike Parisi (1-0, 9.00) Friday night at 7:05 at Werner Park. Following that contest the Storm Chasers will travel to Oklahoma City for four games Saturday through Tuesday, before coming home for an eight-game homestand against Pacific Conference foes Sacramento and Fresno.