Reno, NV - Ryan Budde hit two of Reno's five home runs and Trevor Bauer overcame a rocky start to toss 6 2/3 solid innings in a convincing 13-1 decision over Omaha Tuesday night to open the Pacific Coast League Championship Series at Aces Ballpark. The Storm Chasers face a series deficit for the first time in the playoffs heading into a crucial Game 2 of the best-of-five series on Wednesday night after suffering their worst defeat of the 2012 season.
Irving Falu's ground out plated Adam Moore in the second inning for the Storm Chasers, who have scored first in all six of their post-season games. However, Reno responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame on a throwing error by Rey Navarro that allowed a run to score, a wild pitch by Jake Odorizzi that brought Taylor Harbin home and a two-run blast by Budde, who hit only one long ball in 56 regular season games.
Reno took advantage of another Omaha miscue in the third to tack on another run. Josh Bell singled to start the frame, advanced to third on a Clint Robinson throwing error and then scored on a base hit by Brent Clevlen against a drawn-in infield.
The Aces put the game out of reach in the fourth with a trio of long balls, including another Budde blast, this one off the left field foul pole, leading off the inning. Tyler Kuhn smashed a two-run homer and Mike Jacobs launched a solo shot to push their advantage to 9-1 and knock Odorizzi out of the game. The right-hander was charged with eight earned runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out three over 3 2/3 innings in his second shortest Triple-A start.
After walking five of the first 11 hitters he faced in the first two innings, Bauer settled in and gave up just two singles over his final 4 2/3 frames before departing to a standing ovation after fanning five and yielding a lone run on three base hits. Mike DeMark followed with 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief in front of Bryan Henry, who closed out the lopsided victory.
Blaine Hardy was outstanding in relief for Omaha, striking four out and not allowing a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings before Reno touched Michael Mariot for a pair of runs in the seventh. Roman Colon surrendered a two-run homer in the eighth to pinch-hitter Ryan Strieby to account for the final margin.
Omaha will send left-hander Ryan Verdugo to the mound in Game 2 against Reno right-hander Daniel Cabrera. Coverage of the game gets underway at 8:45 pm and can be heard locally on 1180 Zone Two, The Deuce and online at omahastormchasers.com.