Jason Adam and Tim Collins combined for five hitless, scoreless innings in relief as Omaha outlasted New Orleans, 4-3, Friday night in the first of four encounters at Zephyr Field. The Storm Chasers won their second straight to improve to 55-50 and move to within a game and a half of the Iowa Cubs, who fell to Memphis, in the American Conference North Division.
Singles by Whit Merrifield and Justin Maxwell sandwiched around a walk to Johnny Giavotella loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning for Omaha before Paulo Orlando cleared them with a double to make it a 3-0 game. The visitors loaded the bases again with two outs in the fourth but could not score before Kyle Jensen muscled a solo home run the other way to right-center field with two away in the bottom of the inning, his 20th of the season and fourth against Omaha in the last eight days, to get the hosts on the board.
Matt Fields restored the three-run lead in the fifth with a two-out solo shot, his 20th of the season, but it was quickly slimmed when Danny Black hit a two-run homer in the home half to make it a one-run game. Omaha starter John Lamb then threw two curve balls behind the next hitter Juan Diaz and was ejected, along with pitching Larry Carter, after allowing four hits, walking two and fanning four over four frames. Adam took over and retired all six hitters he faced to earn his first Triple-A win and gave way in the seventh to Tim Collins, who allowed only base runner and struck out three over his three innings to record the save.
Zephyrs starter Brian Flynn absorbed the loss after he yielded four runs on 11 hits while walking two and striking out six and was followed by Edgar Olmos, who stranded runners at second and third by striking out Giavotella and Carlos Peguero to end the sixth. Olmos and Chaz Roe then teamed to blank the visitors on one hit over the final three frames.