Aaron Brooks was strong for seven innings and Whit Merrifield homered to propel Omaha past Colorado Springs 4-2 Sunday afternoon in the last of four meetings at Security Service Field. The Storm Chasers earned a series split and return home at 12-11 after winning three out of eight on their second road trip of the young season.
Moises Sierra led off the second inning with an infield single, stole second base and scored on a base hit by Jose Martinez, who has driven in a run in nine of his 13 starts, to get the scoring started. Sky Sox starter Drew Gagnon then limited the visitors to three singles over the next three innings before Ryan Jackson started the sixth with a base hit and scored two batters later on Merrifield’s long ball that made it a 3-0 game and extended his hitting streak to a career-best 17. The right-hander was tagged with the loss after permitting those three runs on five hits while walking two and recording one strikeout over six frames.
Brooks kept the hosts in check on two singles through five innings and did not permit a runner past first base until Matt Long tripled with two outs in the sixth and scored on a Pete Orr single that trimmed the margin to 3-1. The visitors got the run back in the next half inning against Milwaukee right-hander Jim Henderson, who was continuing his rehab assignment after undergoing shoulder surgery, when Sierra again created a run with an infield hit and stolen base before advancing on a ground out and scoring on a Matt Fields single.
Omaha’s right-handed starter earned his second win on the trip after yielding only four hits and striking out eight before turning the ball over to Michael Mariot, who gave up two singles and issued a two-out walk to load the bases in the eighth but worked out of the jam by striking out Luis Sardinas. A lead-off triple by Matt Clark and a Shane Peterson RBI ground out moved the Sky Sox back within a pair and brought Louis Coleman out of the bullpen to record the final two outs.
Omaha will send right-hander Christian Binford to the mound in Monday’s series opener against Round Rock righty Chi Chi Gonzalez