Chris Aguila and Nick Green belted late-inning home runs to power New Orleans past Omaha, 5-1, Thursday night in the third of four meetings at Zephyr Field. The Storm Chasers had their three-game win string snapped and dipped to 5-2 on their 12-game road trip and to 63-43 overall.
Johnny Giavotella smashed a solo home run, his 10th of the season, to put Omaha ahead 1-0 in the first inning and extend his hitting streak to 21 games. The New Orleans native finished the night a triple shy of hitting for the cycle and is 8-for-10 in the series with a pair of walks.
Max Ramirez was thrown out trying to score on an Irving Falu base hit by Mattison, the center fielder, to end the fifth inning as the game remained tied. NOLA starter Tom Koehler was removed with two runners on and one out in the sixth and followed by Ryan Webb, who set down Ramirez and David Lough to squash the rally. Koehler allowed one hit in each of the six frames he started, walked three and struck out four in his third turn against the Storm Chasers this season while Webb lasted 2 2/3 hitless, scoreless frames to grab his second win.
Aguila continued the momentum swing with a lead off long ball in the sixth to put the hosts in the lead for good. Mike Cervenak started the seventh with a walk and advanced to third on a double by Gaby Sanchez that knocked Omaha starter Chris Dwyer out of the game. Tommy Hottovy took over and was greeted rather rudely, as Green blasted his first pitch out of the yard for a three-run shot that extended the Z’s advantage to four. The 24-year-old Dwyer was tagged with the loss after being charged with four runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out three over six innings plus two batters.
The series concludes Friday night with Omaha left-hander Doug Davis getting the starting nod against New Orleans southpaw Brad Hand.