For the second straight day, the Oklahoma City RedHawks got off to a hot start at the plate, building an early lead that lasted in a 4-3 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers Sunday afternoon at Werner Park.
After dropping the first two games of the series, the RedHawks (34-30) won the final two, earning a split. The RedHawks still have not lost any of their first nine road series this season. With the win, the RedHawks also surpassed Omaha for first place in the American Northern Division.
The RedHawks took a quick lead in the first inning. Kiké Hernandez led off the game with the single and was moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Ronny Torreyes. Domingo Santana stepped up next and knocked a RBI single to make it 1-0.
The lead grew in the second inning when Matt Duffy connected on his first Triple-A home run. His line drive, two-run shot into the left field bleachers gave Oklahoma City a 3-0 advantage.
However, the Storm Chasers (33-30) would answer with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Omaha started off the inning with four straight singles, including a RBI single by Brian Bocock.
The Storm Chasers loaded the bases with none out, but Jake Buchanan was able to limit the damage from there, allowing just one run to score on double play.
After being held scoreless in the third, the RedHawks scored again in the fourth. A two-out RBI single by Joe Sclafani put the RedHawks ahead 4-2.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the seventh. Omaha cashed in on a leadoff double by Brett Eibner, who scored on a RBI groundout by Francisco Pena to get the Storm Chasers within one.
The bullpen nailed things down over the final two innings. Alex White worked a scoreless eighth before Josh Zeid closed things out for the second consecutive day with a scoreless ninth to preserve the win. Zeid allowed a two-out walk to put the tying run on, but he got Pena to pop out to end the game. Zeid now leads the team with seven saves.
RedHawks starting pitcher Jake Buchanan completed his fourth start of the season of at least seven innings. He allowed three runs and nine hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Buchanan (5-4) earned his fifth win of the year, tying him for the team lead.
Making a rehab start, Bruce Chen took the loss for Omaha. The RedHawks tallied four runs and 10 hits against Chen (0-1) over four innings. He finished with no walks and one strikeout.
Clayton Mortensen followed Chen and shut down the RedHawks for the remainder of the game. He tossed five scoreless innings, allowing two hits with no a walk and six strikeouts.
The RedHawks return to Oklahoma City to begin an eight-game homestand Monday night when they meet the Salt Lake Bees at 7:05 p.m.