Leury Garcia scored the go-ahead run in a two-run eighth inning that vaulted Round Rock to a 6-4 come-from-behind win over Omaha Friday night in the second of a four-game set at the Dell Diamond. The Storm Chasers dipped to 39-49 and fell six games behind Iowa, pending the outcome of the Cubs game in Albuquerque, in the American Conference North Division.
Louis Coleman took over on the mound for Omaha in the eighth in a 4-4 contest and promptly gave up a double to Garcia and a single to Aaron Cunningham that put runners at the corners with nobody out. Joey Butler hit a ground ball to shortstop Chris Getz, who threw home but catcher Brett Hayes had the ball jarred loose by Garcia, who slid in safely with the decisive marker while Cunningham advanced to third base and Butler to second. Yangervis Solarte was then intentionally passed to load the bases for Mike Bianucci, who knocked in Cunning ham with a sacrifice fly to extend the hosts lead to two.
The Chasers would not go away quietly, though, as Christian Colon singled with two outs before Anthony Seratelli reached on a Bianucci fielding error at first base that loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the ninth against Cory Burns, who struck out Max Ramirez to end the game and record his 16th save of the season. The Express claimed their 30th victory at home and 50th of the season and will maintain at least a one game advantage over second place Albuquerque.
Getz opened the game with a base hit, moved to second on a Colon bunt single and then scored, along with Colon, on a one-out a double by Ramirez, who had collected only three extra base hits during the month of June. The Chasers added to their lead in the fourth on an Irving Falu fielder’s choice grounder that plated Ramirez, who had started the inning with a single and moved to third on a Ben Broussard base hit.
Solarte singled with two outs in the home fourth and scored when Bianucci followed with a two-run homer to get the Express on the board for the first time in the series, trim the margin to 3-2 and end Danny Duffy’s scoreless innings streak at 13 2/3. Omaha got a run back in the sixth when Broussard walked, advanced to third on a Quintin Berry double and scored on a Paulo Orlando infield hit with two outs.
Round Rock responded in the bottom of the frame when Butler singled in a run and scored on a Solarte double that knotted the game at four and spelled the end of the line for Duffy, who was not involved in the decision after he was charged with four runs on six hits while fanning four over his 5 1/3 innings. Donnie Joseph assumed the hill and set down all five hitters he faced.
Express starter Scott Richmond gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out one and gave way to Nate Robertson to open the eighth. The veteran left-hander retired all three hitters he faced to earn the win.
The series continues Saturday night with Omaha left-hander Everett Teaford taking the mound against Texas Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando, who will be pitching for Round Rock on a rehabilitation assignment.