The Omaha Storm Chasers scored 10 runs in the first four innings, including a five-run rally in the fourth inning, sending the Oklahoma City Dodgers to a 10-2 loss Thursday night at Werner Park.
Last season the Storm Chasers (14-7) hit .331 in the season series against OKC and averaged over five runs per game. They began the 2016 season series with another strong night at the plate, totaling 13 hits , including six extra-base hits. Going back to last season, the Storm Chasers have won 10 of the last 11 meetings with the Dodgers, including the last five straight.
The Storm Chasers jumped out a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning. Whit Merrifield drew a leadoff walk, and Jorge Bonifacio followed with a two-run homer out to right-center field. Cheslor Cuthbert stepped up next and hit a single, and eventually advanced to second base on an errant pickoff throw by OKC pitcher Zach Lee. Cuthbert scored two batters later when Travis Snider grounded into a fielder’s choice.
A base running blunder cost the Dodgers a chance to score in the second inning. With Jose Tabata at second base and two out, Rico Noel lined a single to left field. Tabata was held at third base, but Noel took an aggressive turn past first base and eventually was caught in a rundown. Noel was tagged out before Tabata crossed the plate, keeping the Dodgers scoreless.
However, OKC would get on the board in the third inning. Alex Hassan knocked a two-out RBI double to the left-center field gap to plate Elian Herrera and make it 3-1.
The Storm Chasers got the run back, plus another, in the bottom of the inning. Brett Eibner followed Bonifacio’s lead with a two-run homer to the short porch in right-center field, giving Omaha a 5-1 edge.
Omaha continued to pour it on with five runs in the fourth inning. The Storm Chasers sent 10 men to the plate and collected six hits during the rally. At one point the Storm Chasers tallied four consecutive hits, and Snider finished the scoring by hitting a two-run double with the bases loaded to get Omaha into double digits.
James Ramsey stroked a RBI triple to right-center field in the sixth to score OKC’s second run of the night. Ramsey has now collected eight hits total this season, with seven going for extra bases.
Omaha starting pitcher Miguel Almonte earned his first win of the season, holding the Dodgers to two runs and five hits over 5.2 innings. Almonte (1-2) walked three and struck out eight.
Lee (3-1) was roughed up in his first start in 10 days, surrendering a career-high 10 runs (nine earned) over 3.1 innings. He allowed nine hits, with two walks and two strikeouts. Entering Thursday’s start, Lee had allowed five runs total in four career meetings with the Storm Chasers. After allowing just one home run in his previous 17 starts with OKC, Lee gave up a pair of homers Thursday.
Julio Urias piggybacked Lee’s start and pitched the final three innings. He kept Omaha scoreless and allowed three hits, with one walk and three strikeouts.
The Dodgers continue their series in Omaha Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Live coverage begins 15 minutes before the first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.