The Storm Chasers recorded back-to-back-to-back doubles as part of a three-run third inning, enough for Sean O’Sullivan and two relievers to knock off the Fresno Grizzlies 4-2 in front of 6,812 fans Monday night at Werner Park.
Joaquin Arias, Jarrod Dyson and David Lough all doubled in succession off former Omaha Royal Shane Loux (5-11) with one out in the third, and Lorenzo Cain added a run-scoring single in the inning as well. The two-base hit barrage erased an early 1-0 deficit and would prove to be enough for the Storm Chasers’ pitching staff.
O’Sullivan (5-2) went seven strong innings, allowing two runs on nine hits while walking one and striking out four. He worked his way out of trouble on several occasions, personally stranding nine Grizzlies on the basepaths in the game. He threw 70 of his 104 pitches for strikes.
Zach Miner pitched a perfect eighth to run his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 10.2, while Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his first Triple-A save. Herrera got help from his defense, as Arias made a sensational play at third base to record the first out and Salvador Perez gunned down speedster Tyler Graham at third base for the second out of the inning. Herrera is working on a scoreless innings streak of his own, beginning his Omaha career with 5.2 unblemished frames. In all, the Storm Chasers bullpen has surrendered just three runs in its last 41 innings (0.66 ERA) dating back to July 27.
Though the relief corps was stellar yet again, they had the benefit of a two-run lead in the contest – thanks to a bizarre play in the sixth. With Salvador Perez on base with two down in the inning, Arias lofted a fly ball to fairly deep right that looked like it would be caught for the third out, but Brandon Belt lost it in the twilight and let it drop 25 feet to his left. Perez scored easily on the triple, giving the Chasers enough insurance to seal up the victory.