The Omaha Storm Chasers (42-36) held a 5-3 lead and were two outs away from a series split with the El Paso Chihuahuas (37-43), but gave up a five-run ninth inning to seal their second straight series loss and a 2-5 record during the homestand. Omaha has lost seven of nine games at Werner Park.
Storm Chasers reliever Spencer Patton had not blown a save in 14 opportunities this season, but after retiring the first batter in the ninth he walked two batters and hit Jake Lemmerman to load the bases. El Paso shortstop Tyler Greene then came up and cleared the bases with a double to centerfield, giving the Chihuahuas their first lead of the game. It was only Omaha’s second loss at home this season when leading after eight innings (18-2).
The Storm Chasers built up the 5-3 lead with a three-run third inning, as Whit Merrifield doubled in two and Johnny Giavotella collected his sixth RBI in the last three games. With that RBI, Giavotella moved into sole possession of eighth place on the Omaha all-time RBI list at 222 in his 353 games with the Chasers. Matt Fields finished the Omaha scoring for the day with a solo homer in the seventh, his team-leading 12th long ball on the season.
The loss spoiled a solid outing from Sugar Ray Marimon, as the right-hander tossed his team-leading seventh quality start of the season. Marimon has allowed three runs or less in six of his eight starts this season at Werner Park, including four quality starts. Omaha is now 23-32 all-time in non-conference games at home, and have no winning records against any of the nine Pacific Conference teams that have played in Papillion.
Omaha will now head out on the road, with a record of 14-3 in their last 17 road games, as a four-game series at division rival Oklahoma City begins Thursday. In the series opener Omaha will send out RHP Clayton Mortensen (2-0, 0.41 ERA), who has allowed only one earned run in 22.0 innings, against RedHawks RHP Mike Foltynewicz (6-4, 4.21 ERA). First pitch on 1180 Zone 2 The Deuce and Cox Channel 126 is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.