Rusty Ryal’s two-run single capped a three-run third inning as Albuquerque made early offense hold up in a 4-3 decision over Omaha Friday night in the second of four meetings at Isotopes Park. The Storm Chasers dipped to 45-54 but remain 3 ½ games behind Iowa in the American Conference North Division after the Cubs fell at Round Rock.
Javy Guerra opened the ninth inning on the hill for the Isotopes protecting a one-run lead and gave up a leadoff single to Irving Falu, who stole second base and remained there after Anthony Seratelli drew his third walk of the game with one out. However, the Storm Chasers final comeback attempt was thwarted when Ben Broussard grounded into a game-ending double play, the second twin-killing he hit into in the game.
Alex Castellanos got the scoring started with a lead off long ball in the second inning before the Chasers answered in the next half inning with the help of a bout of wildness from Albuquerque starter Matt Magill, who walked the bases loaded and gave up a sacrifice fly to Broussard, who came to the plate with 10 runners on base throughout the course of the game. Omaha’s Justin Marks, who had won each of his last three starts, including seven shutout frames last time out on Saturday against Round Rock, yielded an RBI single to Tony Gwynn in front of Ryal’s two-run hit in the third that put the hosts in front, 4-1. The southpaw then walked Matt Angle, his third of the inning and fourth of the game, and was lifted with one out and the bases filled and replaced by Maikel Cleto, who got Brian Barden to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Magill yielded a run on three hits but lasted only four frames after walking five and fanning four. Red Patterson took over and found himself in a big jam rather quickly in the fifth, as two hits and a walk to Seratelli loaded the bases with one out. But, the right-hander squashed the rally by striking out Broussard and Max Ramirez. Omaha did cash in during the sixth inning when Willy Taveras led off with a triple and scored on a one-out single by Adam Moore to trim the deficit to 4-2. Christian Colon opened the seventh with a long ball, his seventh of the season and third against Albuquerque, to draw the visitors within a run.
Cleto turned in 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, walking one and fanning four to keep the Chasers in the game before giving way to Donnie Joseph, who set the side down in order in the seventh. Francisley Bueno worked a shutout eighth inning to finish off 5 2/3 scoreless frames for the Omaha bullpen.
The series continues Saturday night with Omaha right-hander Yordano Ventura getting the starting nod against Albuquerque left-hander Rob Rasmussen.