OKLAHOMA CITY – Robinson Cancel's home run in the bottom of the eighth inning sent the Oklahoma City RedHawks to a 7-5 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers Thursday and extended their winning streak to four games.
The RedHawks (38-50) controlled the game for most of the night and carried a 4-1 lead into the sixth inning. But the Storm Chasers (48-40) put together a four runs – three of which came with two outs – in the sixth to take their first lead of the night 5-4.
Oklahoma City could not muster any offense in the next two frames and seemed to be doomed by one inning, but it returned the favor in the eighth.
Omaha pitchers combined to walk two of the first three batters they faced in the inning, putting both the tying and go-ahead runs on base with only one out. The Storm Chasers elected to change pitchers in consecutive at-bats, but their third pitcher of the inning fared worst of all.
Jesse Chavez took the mound and the first batter he faced was Cancel, who worked a full count before launching a three-run home run to give OKC a two-run lead. Chavez settled down after that, but by then it was too late.
Mickey Storey took over for the RedHawks in the ninth inning and make quick work of the Storm Chasers to seal the win and earn his first save of the season.
Omaha's big sixth inning ruined Brad Hennessey's chance for a win despite a strong start. He exited the game after the fifth and allowed one run on just two hits. But that all unraveled when Daniel Meszaros entered and gave up four runs on five hits while only retiring two batters.
Douglas Arguello (3-5) ended up with a win after holding Omaha scoreless on one hit in 2.1 innings of work.
Meanwhile, Brandon Sisk – Omaha's second of its three pitchers in the eighth inning – finished with a loss despite only facing one batter. He walked that batter, which turned out to be the go-ahead run after Cancel's homer.
The RedHawks now are on a hot streak as the first half of the season nears its conclusion. They have won four straight games, all of which have been decided by two runs or fewer. They have three games left before hitting the All-Star break and will face Omaha again at 7:05 p.m. Friday.