Kelvin Herrera and Chris Dwyer combined on a five-hitter as Omaha blanked Round Rock 3-0, Thursday night in the first of a four-game set at the Dell Diamond. The Storm Chasers won their second straight contest to improve to 39-48 but remain 5 ½ games behind Iowa in the American Conference North Division.
Paulo Orlando singled with one out in the third, advanced on a Chris Getz ground out and then scored the game’s first run on a two-out single by Christian Colon, who extended his hitting streak to a season-best seven games. Herrera started for the Storm Chasers and breezed through the first three innings, striking out seven and not allowing a hit. The hard-throwing right-hander started to tire and walked back-to-back hitters with one out in the fourth before departing and giving way to Dwyer. The Omaha southpaw, making just his second career relief outing, walked Jim Adduci with two outs to fill the bases but got Mike Olt to fly out to end the inning.
Anthony Seratelli opened the sixth with an infield hit and Max Ramirez followed by drawing a walk. Irving Falu dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners and an errant throw on the play by Express starting pitcher Evan Meek allowed Seratelli to score and Ramirez to move to third base, from where he scored on a Manny Pina ground out to account for the final margin. The Round Rock right-hander then hit Willy Taveras and was replaced by Ben Rowen, who walked Quintin Berry to load the bases but avoided further damage with a pair of ground outs. Meek was tagged with the loss after allowing two earned runs on four hits while walking three and striking out two.
Dwyer stranded two runners in the fifth, worked around a leadoff double in the seventh and an Adduci single to start the ninth to finish off the Storm Chasers fifth shutout of the season and their second in the last five games. He improved to 6-6 on the season and beat the Express for a second time in three career appearances.
The series continues Friday night with Omaha left-hander Danny Duffy taking the hill against Round Rock right-hander Scott Richmond.