In front of the first sellout crowd of the season, the Omaha Storm Chasers (38-48) took the series finale with the New Orleans Zephyrs (42-45) by a score of 10-4 to notch their first series win since the June 6-9 against Oklahoma City. It was the first ten-run game for the Chasers since June 10 at Nashville.
Left-hander Justin Marks snapped his streak of seven consecutive starts taking the loss with one of his strongest outings of the year, allowing just two runs in 6.2 innings of work while posting a Triple-A high eight strikeouts. Marks had received only 20 total runs of support in his first 11 starts of the season, the worst run support average of any Storm Chasers starter, but the Omaha offense provided double the high in run support he had received in any outing in 2013.
All nine Omaha hitters scored a run in the game, while seven of the nine drove in a run. Catcher Brett Hayes led the Chasers with three hits in his first appearance against his former team at Werner Park, and had a shot to complete a natural cycle as he singled in his first at-bat, double in his second and tripled in his third. In his final at-bat, Hayes popped to his catching counterpart in foul territory and could not become the first player to complete a cycle at Werner Park as well as the first Omaha player since Lorenzo Cain in May of 2011 at Colorado Springs to complete the feat.
In addition to the eight strikeouts for Marks, the Chasers’ bullpen recorded six strikeouts to up the total to 14 for the game and 42 for the series against the Zephyrs. Reliever Donnie Joseph struck out the side in the eighth and the left-hander now has 56 strikeouts in 36.1 innings this season, good for a 13.87 strikeouts per nine inning ratio.
The Storm Chasers now travel to Round Rock for the second and final series at the Dell Diamond this season. In the first game of the series, right-hander Kelvin Herrera (0-1, 2.08 ERA) will make the start with left-hander Chris Dwyer set to piggyback. The Omaha offense will deal with righty Evan Meek (2-3, 4.12 ERA) with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.