Ronald “Bear” Bay worked seven solid innings and received home run support from Efren Navarro and Paul McAnulty in Salt Lake’s 6-2 victory over Omaha Friday night in the opener of a four-game set at Spring Mobile Ballpark. The Storm Chasers dropped to 65-54 and saw their lead in the American Conference North Division sliced to 4 1/2 games over now-second place Nashville.
Gil Velazquez’s run-scoring hit, a solo home run by Navarro and a scoring fly ball from Alexi Amarista gave the Bees a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Omaha left the bases loaded in the third but posted a pair of runs in the fourth, on a bases loaded walk to Manny Pina and an Irving Falu sacrifice fly, to trim the lead to one. However, Salt Lake got a run back in the bottom of the frame on an RBI double from Rian Kiniry, who was later thrown out at the plate by Lorenzo Cain trying to score on an Amarista single.
Storm Chasers starter Jeff Suppan took the loss, just his second in 11 decisions since May 6, after allowing five runs on 10 hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked three in falling to 11-6. McAnulty hit his home run off Robinson Tejeda in the seventh to account for the final margin.