Chris Rusin tossed a complete-game five-hitter as Iowa blanked Omaha, 2-0, Monday afternoon in the last of four meetings at Principal Park. The Storm Chasers dropped three of four in the series to slip to 30-38 and 3 1/2 games behind Memphis in the American Conference North Division as they await the outcome of the Redbirds series finale tonight in Albuquerque.
Rusin allowed singles to Adam Moore and Willy Taveras to open the third inning but retired the next three hitters without the runners advancing. The left-hander stranded Johnny Giavotella at third base in the fourth and then did not allow another runner to advance past first base. He walked one and struck out eight in finishing off his first career complete-game shutout in 94 minor league starts.
Donnie Murphy broke up a scoreless game with a two-out solo home run, his second long ball of the series and sixth of the season, in the fifth inning. Omaha starter Justin Marks set down the next four hitters to close his six-inning stint allowing just three hits while striking out six and not issuing a walk for the first time in his nine Triple-A starts this season. Unfortunately for the Chasers southpaw, he pitched well enough to win but instead wound up losing for a fifth time in as many starts on the road.
Donnie Joseph retired the side in order in the seventh but surrendered a lead off long ball to Brian Bogusevic in the eighth that accounted for the final margin. Iowa has now taken five of the eight contests between the I-80 rivals in a season series that resumes June 27-30 at Werner Park.
The Storm Chasers return home Tuesday night and will send left-hander Chris Dwyer to the mound in the series opener against Albuquerque right-hander Matt Palmer.