Yordano Ventura tossed five solid innings to earn his first Triple-A win and the bullpen provided four scoreless innings in relief to preserve Omaha’s 3-1 decision over Iowa Sunday afternoon in the third of a four-game set at Principal Park. The Storm Chasers improved to 30-37 and moved to within 3 1/2 games of Memphis in the American Conference North Division, pending the outcome of the Redbirds game later tonight in Albuquerque.
Edwin Maysonet’s solo home run staked the Cubs to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and was the only dent against the hard-throwing Omaha right-hander. The Storm Chasers countered with a Brett Hayes solo blast, his seventh home run of the year and first against a team other than Nashville, that got the game even in the third.
Xavier Nady and Max Ramirez opened the fourth inning with singles off of Iowa starter and loser Guillermo Moscoso and advanced on an Irving Falu sacrifice bunt. A walk to Anthony Seratelli loaded the bases for Hayes, who struck out. Berry then laced a two-run single to right field to snap the tie and put the Chasers ahead to stay.
Ventura blanked the Cubs on two singles over the next four frames to finish his performance allowing three hits while walking one and striking out five to record his first victory since May 6 at the Double-A level. Will Smith took over and threw three scoreless innings, yielding one hit, walking one, hitting one and fanning four in his fourth appearance since being shifted to the bullpen. Francisley Bueno surrendered a lead off double to Brad Nelson in the ninth before he set down the next two hitters. Donnie Murphy then walked to put the potential tying run on board before J.C. Boscan grounded into a force out to end the game, as Bueno recorded his first save of the season and helped halt the Chasers three-game losing streak to the Cubs.
The series and road trip wrap up on Monday afternoon with Omaha southpaw Justin Marks taking the hill against Iowa left-hander Chris Rusin.