The Omaha Storm Chasers (22-23) used a pair of two-run homers in the eighth to put together a late comeback win over the Tacoma Rainiers (18-27) in the series opener 8-5. The Storm Chasers have won four of five games to start the homestand, and 13 of the last 17 meetings with the Rainiers overall.
Down 5-3 with one out in the eighth, the rally started with Lane Adams reaching on a fielding error by Tacoma third baseman Patrick Kivlehan. The next batter Dusty Coleman, with one career Triple-A home run and none before his blast this past Saturday, hit a game-tying two-run homer. After Whit Merrifield singled, Rey Fuentes smacked a two-run round-tripper of his own to give the Storm Chasers a 7-5 lead. Omaha added an insurance run on a Jose Martinez single later in the inning as the Chasers batted around.
The comeback would have not been possible without 2.2 scoreless innings from Brian Broderick, who took over for Clayton Mortensen after the starter gave up five runs in 5.1 innings. Michael Mariot came on in the ninth and retired the Rainiers in order to end the game, notching his second save in as many appearances. The comeback got Mortensen off the hook for what would have been his fifth loss in as many starts.
Kansas City outfielder Alex Rios made his first Major League Rehab start in the game, and was the only Storm Chasers batter to not record a hit. Jose Martinez had three hits and two runs scored, and now has 13 hits and nine runs in his last six games at Werner Park. Over the last six home games, the Omaha offense is averaging 9.5 runs per game.
The Storm Chasers will look to already lock up a winning homestand tomorrow, as they send out RHP Aaron Brooks (3-3, 3.76 ERA) to face off with former Storm Chasers pitcher LHP Mike Montgomery (4-3, 3.83 ERA). First pitch on 1180 Zone 2 The Deuce and MiLB.TV is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.