Elih Villanueva was strong through seven innings and two big rallies were too much for Omaha to overcome in an 8-2 defeat at the hands of New Orleans Thursday night in the second of a five-game set at Zephyr Field. The Storm Chasers dipped to 74-58, lost a six-game road win streak and saw their magic number to clinch their first playoff berth in 12 years remain at eight.
Omaha broke through in the fourth inning with the game’s first run on a base hit by Clint Robinson that plated Lorenzo Cain, who had singled and advanced to second base on an error. However, the lead didn’t last long, as the hosts posted four runs in their half of the frame.
Mike Cervenak singled home Vinny Rottino and then scored when Cain misplayed Matt Dominguez’s base hit to right field. The error allowed Dominguez to move to third from where he scored on a Chris Aguila double. Brad Davis then stroked a two-out single that scored Aguila to finish the decisive surge.
Omaha starter Mike Montgomery was lifted after four frames and was tagged with the loss after allowing those four runs on eight hits while issuing one walk and fanning three. Robinson’s home run in the sixth, his 22nd of the year, cut the deficit to 4-2 but that is as close as the visitors would get.