Willy Lebron pitched three scoreless innings of relief, after Clint Robinson’s go-ahead two-run single as the Chasers beat the Round Rock Express 4-3 Monday night at Werner Park. The victory reduced the Storm Chasers’ Magic Number to three with seven games remaining.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth and the Storm Chasers trailing 3-2, Robinson lined Brett Tomko’s 1-0 pitch the opposite way into left field, driving in his 98th and 99th runs batted in.
This is a potential first round playoff preview. If the Storm Chasers can finish off the division race against Memphis, Omaha will open against Round Rock.
The Pacific Coast League announced its 12-member All-PCL team for the 2011 season. The Storm Chasers were represented on the team by second baseman Johnny Giavotella, right-handed pitcher Luis Mendoza and designated hitter Clint Robinson. Omaha was the only club to have three players voted to the squad. Giavotella, Mendoza and Robinson also represented Omaha and the PCL at the Triple-A All-Star Game in July.
Giavotella, 24, appeared at the Triple-A level for the first time in 2011. The right-handed batter compiled a .338 average with 34 doubles, nine home runs, 72 RBI and 67 runs in 110 games for the Storm Chasers. The league’s Player of the Month for June, Giavotella led the minor leagues with 153 hits at the time of his August 5 promotion to Kansas City. A University of New Orleans product, Giavotella was Kansas City’s second-round selection in the 2008 June Free Agent Draft.
Mendoza, 27, is 11-5 with a PCL-best 2.15 ERA and two saves in 138.1 innings over 32 appearances (17 starts). He has dominated the league since May 26, posting a 10-2 mark and a 1.24 ERA over 108.2 innings. The native of Mexico originally signed with the Boston Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent on June 12, 2000. He made his Major League debut for the Texas Rangers in 2007 and appeared in four games with Kansas City in 2010 after being acquired from Texas on April 2 that season.
Robinson, 26, joined Omaha in 2011 after winning the Texas League Triple Crown last season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. The left-handed batter is hitting .329 with 23 home runs, 97 RBI and 35 doubles, two shy of tying Omaha’s single-season record. He has led the push for a playoff spot, recording a .478 average (32-for-67) over his last 18 contests. Robinson was selected by Kansas City in the 25th round of the 2007 June Free Agent Draft out of Troy University.