The Omaha Storm Chasers (69-74) were aided by a miraculous Oklahoma City win against the Memphis Redbirds, but took care of their end of the deal by defeating the Round Rock Express (73-70) by a score of 6-1 to move back in to a first place tie in the American Conference North Division. The crown comes down to the final game of the season, and for Omaha to claim the division the Chasers must win and Memphis must lose as the Redbirds own the tiebreaker.
Paulo Orlando continued his stellar series against the Express by hitting the first Omaha inside-the-park homer at Werner Park in the third inning as Round Rock leftfielder Aaron Cunningham attempted to make a leaping catch at the wall, then the ball ricocheted back into the field allowing the speedy Orlando to touch them all. Orlando has totaled seven RBI in the series and has collected 32 of his 45 RBI this season since the start of July, leading the Chasers during that stretch.
Storm Chasers left-hander Chris Dwyer tossed his 17th quality start of the season, allowing only one run in six innings of work to become the second Omaha pitcher and only the eighth pitcher in the Pacific Coast League to reach ten or more wins in 2013. Dwyer ended his 2013 regular season by allowing three earned runs or less in ten of his final twelve appearances, and currently ranks sixth in the league in ERA at 3.55. Dwyer had 25 quality starts in his first 75 starts of his career entering this season, but totaled 17 in 28 starts for Omaha this year.
The Memphis Redbirds entered the bottom of the ninth ahead 4-0 in Oklahoma City and recorded two outs before the RedHawks hit a double, an infield single, a RBI double then a game-tying three-run homer by Jose Martinez to send the game to extras. Oklahoma City went on to win the game in the 11th on a walk-off single by Jose Martinez to set up the final day drama, and either Omaha or Memphis will play the RedHawks in the first round of the Pacific Coast League Playoffs beginning Wednesday at Bricktown Ballpark.
Looking to put the pressure on the Redbirds, Omaha will send out left-hander John Lamb (0-2, 6.55), who after allowing four runs in the first inning of his Triple-A debut on August 15 has given up only four total runs in his last ten innings. Lamb will face off with Round Rock right-hander Josh Lindblom (8-3, 2,71) with first pitch set for 12:05 p.m., as Memphis kicks off one hour earlier in Oklahoma City at 11:05 a.m.