OMAHA, NE – The Omaha Royals won their last season opener ever at Rosenblatt Stadium, rallying from an early 3-0 hole for a 6-4 victory over the defending Pacific Coast League champion Memphis Redbirds to the delight of 6,159 fans.
Trailing 3-0 in the third, Kila Ka’aihue’s monster two-run blast to the upper bleachers in right field cut the deficit to 3-2. Jordan Parraz led off the bottom of the fourth with his first Triple-A home run, which barely cleared the wall in left to tie the game at 3-3.
The wildness of lefty reliever Tyler Norrick (0-1) cost Memphis in the sixth. He walked three batters, uncorked a couple of wild pitches and allowed an RBI single to Irving Falu that put the Royals on top 4-3. Wilson Betemit greeted Matt Scherer with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3. David Lough led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and one out later he scored Omaha’s final run on Scott Thorman’s double down the right field line.
Victor Marte (1-0) fired two hitless innings of relief, walking one and striking out one to get the win. Blake Wood allowed two hits and a sacrifice fly to Daniel Descalso in the eighth inning as Memphis closed to within 6-4. However, Wood retired the Redbirds in order in the ninth to record a save in his Triple-A debut.
The Royals host Memphis Friday at 7:05 p.m.: Rebirds right-hander Lance Lynn vs. Omaha righty Philip Humber. It’s the first Werner Enterprises Friday Fireworks of 2010. Enjoy the best post-game fireworks show in the Midwest! The night is also presented by 99.9 KGOR, KETV and The City Weekly.
For tickets, call (402) 738-5100, or print tickets online at www.oroyals.com.
ABOUT THE ROYALS: For the second year in a row, readers of Omaha Magazine voted the Omaha Royals as Best Omaha Sports Team in the magazine’s 18th annual Best of Omaha Awards, published in its January/February 2010 edition. 371,046 fans attended Omaha Royals games in 2009, making the Royals the largest-drawing sports team or event in the metro area last year. The team’s total attendance, as well as the average of 5,457 fans per game, marked its largest figures since the 2000 season. Omaha’s Triple-A franchise has drawn over 300,000 fans a year to Rosenblatt Stadium for 22 consecutive seasons, dating back to 1988.