The Oklahoma City RedHawks collected 11 hits, including two home runs, but were unable to catch up to the Omaha Storm Chasers in a 7-4 loss Saturday in front of a crowd of 9,919 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Whit Merrifield collected four hits and scored three runs for the Storm Chasers (44-37), who jumped out at an early lead and never trailed as they clinched a winning season series between the teams.
The RedHawks (43-40) lost for the sixth time in seven games, as they fell to 19-20 at home.
Omaha outhit the RedHawks, 15-11, and extended out to a three-run lead three separate times in the game.
The RedHawks cut the score to 6-4 in the sixth inning on Preston Tucker's first Triple-A home run, but were unable to complete a comeback.
The Storm Chasers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. A fielding error by RedHawks shortstop Gregorio Petit on a grounder by Johnny Giavotella allowed Merrifield to score the first run of the night. Merrifield had doubled to lead off the game.
With two outs later in the inning, a RBI single by former RedHawk Jimmy Paredes put Omaha ahead by two runs.
Marc Krauss answered in the bottom of the frame with a one-out RBI single to right field to cut the Omaha lead in half. Krauss collected his 20th RBI in 21 games with Oklahoma City this season.
Domingo Santana followed with a double on a fly ball to deep right field. Krauss ran toward home, but was tagged out at the plate on the throw from right fielder Paredes to first baseman Matt Fields to catcher Francisco Pena to keep the RedHawks from tying the game.
The Storm Chasers extended to a 3-1 lead in the second inning when a fielder's choice grounder by Christian Colon scored Francisco Pena. A wild pitch by RedHawks starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski allowed Christian Colon to score for a 4-1 Omaha advantage.
Robbie Grossman led off the bottom of the third inning with a homer to left field that just cleared the wall to cut the Omaha lead to 4-2. Petit followed with a double. Ronny Torreyes entered the game later in the inning to pinch run for Petit, who suffered an apparent leg injury while running the bases on a Santana single. A sac fly by Kiké Hernandez brought home Torreyes for another RedHawks run in the third to cut the Omaha lead to 4-3.
A RBI single by Matt Fields extended Omaha to a 5-3 lead in the top of the fourth inning, and a RBI double by Paulo Orlando pushed the Storm Chasers ahead, 6-3, in the sixth inning.
Tucker hit his first homer with the RedHawks over the high wall in right field to cut the Omaha lead to 6-4 in the sixth with two outs.
Matt Duffy followed with a single. Later in the inning, Joe Sclafani singled up the middle, but a sliding Duffy was tagged out at home to keep Omaha in front by two runs.
Omaha answered with a solo home run by Carlos Peguero in the seventh inning to put Omaha ahead by three runs once again.
Wojciechowski (0-1) pitched four innings. He allowed five runs (four earned) and nine hits over four innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Omaha starting pitcher Aaron Brooks (7-2) earned the win. He allowed four runs and nine hits, walked three and struck out four.
The Storm Chasers took a 9-6 lead against the RedHawks in the season series, which concludes at 6:05 p.m. Sunday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Select players will be available for autographs in the Team Store prior to every Sunday home game. Also after every Sunday home game, kids can run the bases.