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RedHawks Take Omaha Opener

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PAPILLION, Nebraska -

Jon Singleton broke a tie game with his 10th home run of the season and the Oklahoma City RedHawks bullpen turned in six scoreless innings to guide the way to a 3-1 over the Omaha Storm Chasers at Werner Park Friday night.

With the win, the RedHawks (16-13) improved to 11-6 on the road and have now won all five of their road series openers this season.

Omaha (11-16) scored first and jumped out to quick lead. On the third pitch of the bottom of the first inning, Brett Eibner sent a line drive over the right-center field fence for a leadoff home run.

The RedHawks evened the score in the top of the second inning. With runners at the corners, Ronny Torreyes knocked an RBI single to right field to make it 1-1.

Andy Simunic followed with a walk to load the bases with one out, but Omaha pitcher Brett Tomko struck out Erik Castro and Robbie Grossman to get out of the jam and keep the game tied.

Omaha had a good opportunity to take the lead in the bottom of the third. Francisco Pena led off the inning with a double and advanced to third after an error by left fielder Domingo Santana. However, RedHawks pitcher David Martinez was able to retire the next three batters without allowing Pena to score.

It would end up being the final inning for Martinez, who left the game after the third with an apparent injury. He allowed one run on four hits with no walks or strikeouts, throwing just 36 pitches.

Thrust into emergency long relief, Richard Rodriguez kept the Storm Chasers scoreless over three innings, making his first appearance above the High-A level. Just added to the roster earlier Friday, Rodriguez (1-0) gave up four hits with no walks and two strikeouts. He stranded a runner in scoring position each inning, earning his first win of the season.

Singleton broke the tie in the sixth inning when he connected on a solo shot to right-center field, giving the RedHawks their first lead at 2-1, and pulling Singleton into a tie for the overall Minor League home run lead.

The RedHawks tacked on another run in the seventh with an RBI double by Simunic.

Jason Stoffel followed Rodriguez with two scoreless innings, and Josh Zeid wrapped things up by retiring the side in order in the ninth to record his fourth save.

The trio of relievers combined to pitch six scoreless frames, and over the past five games, the RedHawks bullpen has allowed two runs over 25 innings of work. Overall, the RedHawks pitching staff held Omaha 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

For the first time in his extensive career Tomko (1-3) lost to the RedHawks. Tomko pitched a season-high seven innings and allowed three runs and six hits, with a season-high five strikeouts and two walks. In six prior outings, he was 4-0 against Oklahoma City.

The RedHawks continue their series in Omaha at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night.

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