Bats power Chasers in the opener, then pitching prevails to complete doubleheader sweep

Bats power Chasers in the opener, then pitching prevails to complete doubleheader sweep
World-Herald News Service

After powering its way to a win, Omaha backed it up with a strong pitching performance to complete a doubleheader sweep of Oklahoma City on Wednesday for its fifth win in six games.

The Storm Chasers got eight runs on three swings in Game 1 for an 11-8 win, then eked out a 2-1 victory in the nightcap in front of 4,310 at Werner Park.

Bubba Starling hit a solo homer in the second inning of the opener, Frank Schwindel sparked a six-run fourth with a grand slam and Hunter Dozer added a three-run blast in the sixth to give Omaha an 11-6 lead heading into the final inning.

The Chasers needed that insurance as Oklahoma City cut the lead to 11-8 in the seventh and loaded the bases with the go-ahead run at the plate. But Kevin McCarthy got Kyle Farmer to pop out to second to end the game.

McCarthy, who was optioned from Kansas City to Omaha earlier in the day, earned his second save of the season with the Chasers.

Omaha starter Onelki Garcia (7-2) wasn’t sharp, but he was good enough to earn the win. Garcia went 52⁄3 innings and surrendered six runs on 12 hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

Omaha manager Brian Poldberg said he wished Garcia had stuck with his hard stuff more.

“Garcia I think used his off-speed stuff a little too much and got away from his fastball,” Poldberg said. “We got it done, but it wasn’t pretty.”

It didn’t take the Dodgers long to get on the board in the first game. Tim Locastro led off with a homer to left and O’Koyea Dickson added an RBI single later in the inning to give Oklahoma City a 2-0 lead.

After Starling cut it to 2-1 off former Chaser Justin Marks with his seventh home run of the season, Raul Mondesi tripled to left.

He scored a batter later on a Jorge Soler single to tie it 2-2.

The Dodgers got two more in the fourth, but Omaha responded in the bottom of the inning with six runs.

The Chasers loaded the bases before reliever Joe Broussard walked Ramon Torres to force Billy Burns home.

Mondesi followed with a hit to score Corey Toups, tying the game 4-4 and bring up Omaha’s hottest hitter in Schwindel, who had hit safely in 29 of the previous 30 games.

Schwindel didn’t disappoint, blasting his 15th home run of the year and the Chasers’ PCL-leading seventh grand slam of the season for an 8-4 lead.

Oklahoma City (65-58), cut the Chaser lead to 8-6 with two runs in the sixth, but Omaha (60-64) responded again with Dozier’s three-run blast, his first homer of the season.

“Dozier gave us a little breathing room, and we needed every little bit of it,” Poldberg said.

In the nightcap, Fabio Castillo retired the first nine Chasers he faced before Ramon Torres led off the fourth with an infield single. After Burns sacrificed Torres to second, Paulo Orlando doubled to left to drive in Torres for a 1-0 lead.

Omaha’s Fabio Castillo, making his first start of the season after six relief appearances, tossed five shutout innings. He allowed four hits while striking out two and walking one.

Orlando drove in Torres again in the sixth inning for the Chasers’ second run.

The Dodgers scored their only run in the seventh and stranded the tying run on second.

The teams meet again at 7 Thursday at Werner Park.

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