In another match-up of top pitching prospects, Chris Dwyer was sharp through seven innings as Omaha knocked off Nashville, 4-2, Thursday night in the last of four meetings at Greer Stadium. The Storm Chasers halted a two-game slide to gain a series split, improve to 29-35 and climb back to within four games of first place Memphis in the American Conference North Division.
Jarrod Dyson started the game with a double and moved to third base on an error on the play but remained stuck there after Christian Colon popped up and Anthony Seratelli struck out. However, Xavier Nady belted a two-run homer, on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, to get the visitors on the board first for the first time in the series.
Sean Halton’s RBI single in the bottom of the inning halved the lead but Dwyer avoided further damage by getting Hunter Morris to bounce into an inning-ending double play. Three straight singles loaded the bases for the hosts with nobody out in the second but the southpaw skirted out of trouble by inducing Ozzie Chavez to ground into a third-to-home-first twin-killing and striking out Blake Davis.
Nashville starter Tyler Thornburg then held the visitors to just one hit over the next six innings and finished his seven-inning outing allowing four hits, issuing one walk and striking out seven but once again suffered from a lack of run support. Nashville has scored only 21 runs in the right-hander’s 13 starts, as he fell to 0-8 in Triple-A despite winning his first major league game last week. Travis Webb took over in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Willy Taveras that was followed by Quintin Berry’s first long ball as a member of the Storm Chasers that increased the lead to 4-1.
Dwyer lasted seven innings for a third time in 13 turns and matched a season-high with seven strikeouts without walking a batter to grab his fifth win of the year. He gave up nine hits but did not allow a runner to advance past second base after the second inning. Louis Coleman struck out the side while stranding a pair of base runners in the eighth but yielded a two-out, run-scoring hit to Josh Prince in the ninth to account for the final margin before he struck out Blake Lalli to end the game and register his fourth save of the season. That unearned run ended a 20 2/3 innings scoreless streak for the Omaha bullpen, which has permitted only one earned run over its last 31 1/3 innings of work.
Omaha will send left-hander Ryan Verdugo to the mound in the series opener in Des Moines Friday night against an Iowa starter yet to be determined.