Behind a scoreless outing from John Lamb and an offensive explosion led by Pedro Ciriaco, who tied his career high for RBI in a game, the Omaha Storm Chasers (52-48) avoided the sweep and defeated the New Orleans Zephyrs (52-49) in the series finale 9-2. Omaha drew 29,596 fans during the series, the largest total for a stand-alone four-game homestand in Werner Park history and the third largest four-game series overall in the three plus years at the ballpark.
After taking an early 1-0 lead the Storm Chasers put up a four spot in the fourth inning capped by a three-run homer by Ciriaco, part of a five RBI day which ties his career high set during the 2009 season while with Double-A Mobile. The Chasers poured in four more runs over the next two innings including a solo homer by Christian Colon for his third long ball of the series, after the infielder had four homers all season before the All-Star Break. Omaha’s 6-through-9 hitters of Justin Maxwell, Brian Bocock, Ciriaco and Juan Graterol combined to collect 11 of the 15 hits on the day for Omaha and drive in seven of the nine runs.
While the nine runs scored by the Chasers were a welcome sight to John Lamb, who came in with the worst run support of any Omaha starter this year, the left-hander did not need it as he spun six scoreless innings allowing just two hits while racking up six strikeouts. Lamb has not allowed an earned run in 13.2 innings dating back to the tail end of his July 4 start, and has 17 strikeouts in that span. He has allowed three earned runs or less in 14 of 18 starts this season, and is the team leader with 102 strikeouts.
Maxwell went 4-for-4 on the day and has seven games with at least three hits in his 32 appearances with Omaha, eclipsing the six games of three hits or more he had in the last four seasons combined at any professional level. Colon’s two hits extended his on-base streak at Werner Park to 19 games, longest such streak by any Omaha batter this year, and he is hitting .385 (30-for-78) during those 19 games after hitting just .213 (16-for-75) in his first 19 home games this season.
The loss avoided the first home sweep for the Chasers since July of 2012 against Oklahoma City. Omaha now travels to Memphis for a four-game set