Pena Warms Up for Home Run Derby in 7-1 Win

In front of the second largest Werner Park crowd of the season at 8,870, 2014 Triple-A Home Run Derby Participant Francisco Pena blasted two round-trippers in the Omaha Storm Chasers (49-45) 7-1 win over the Iowa Cubs (49-44) in the series finale. The win sealed Omaha’s first ever series win over their I-80 rival at Werner Park, and pulled the Chasers to 0.5 games back in the division.

Pena’s two home runs were both two-run shots, the first coming in the fourth inning to extend Omaha’s lead to 4-0 at the time and the second coming in the seventh to end the game’s scoring. Pena leads the Chasers with 17 homers, which is a career high and nearly doubles his previous career mark of nine set last season with the Las Vegas 51s. He has more 26 home runs in 126 career Pacific Coast League games, and 31 homers in his 525 other professional games not in the PCL.

Buddy Baumann tossed four scoreless innings in a second straight spot start for Omaha, and has allowed no runs in seven innings as a starter this season. The left-hander owns the lowest ERA among Chasers pitchers with more than ten appearances this year at 1.43, as he has allowed only eight earned runs in 30 games spanning 50.1 innings. The Omaha bullpen allowed just one run in the final five innings, and the Chasers pitching staff let in just three runs in the final 25.1 innings of the series with Iowa.

Johnny Giavotella got the scoring started with a RBI single in the third, on his 27th birthday. The win gives Omaha more victories against Iowa this season at five than they had all of last season against the Cubs (4-12 record in 2013). Omaha finished off the homestand with four wins in five games, after they had a 4-9 record at home in the previous 13 games at Werner Park since the start of June.

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