Matt Fields and Francisco Pena each clubbed two-run homers as Omaha overpowered Colorado Springs, 9-1, Friday night in the opener of a three-game set at Security Service Field. The Storm Chasers won for the fifth time in their last six games to improve to 50-45 but remain one-half game behind front-running Iowa in the American Conference North Division.
Fields doubled to open the second inning, moved to third on a Paulo Orlando base hit and then scored, along with Orlando, when Justin Maxwell followed with a double to get the scoring started. The Sky Sox countered in the home half with a run-scoring ground out by Jason Pridie that drove in Matt McBride, who led off the frame with a triple in his first at-bat since mid-April due to injury.
The visitors added to their lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Jimmy Paredes and then broke the game open by tacking on four more in the fifth on a two-run smash by Fields and run-scoring hits by Pena and Paredes to make it a 7-1 game. Colorado Springs starter Yohan Flande was tagged with the loss after giving up those seven runs on 10 hits while walking three and striking out five over his five frames. Pena’s long ball, his 18th, doubling his previous single-season career-high, came off of Juan Nicasio in the seventh and finished the scoring.
Chris Dwyer filled in for the scheduled starter Joe Saunders, who was put “on hold” by Kansas City, and did a tremendous job on short notice, tossing four innings during which he allowed a single run on a pair of hits while issuing one free pass and fanning three. Casey Coleman took over and earned the win after he tossed
3 1/3 frames of scoreless relief before being replaced by Spencer Patton. The Pacific Coast League All-Star recorded the final five outs to sew up the visitors 26th win in 49 road contests.