Storm Chasers blasted by Sounds in first game following All-Star break

Storm Chasers blasted by Sounds in first game following All-Star break
World-Herald News Service

Omaha entered the All-Star break last in its division, 141⁄2 games out of first.

It opened the second half of the season without its Nos. 2 and 3 hitters.

The Storm Chasers placed outfielder Bubba Starling, in the midst of a career year, on the disabled list with a torn oblique before Thursday’s game with Nashville. Shortstop Raul Mondesi, who missed the Triple-A All-Star Game due to a back injury, wasn’t available, either.

“That’s the way it is right now,” Chasers manager Brian Poldberg said. “We’ve just got to find a way to get through it.”

Both injuries occurred at Iowa on Sunday. Starling is expected to be out three or four weeks, Poldberg said. Mondesi is in a wait-and-see situation, depending on how his back feels day to day. Without them, the Sounds hammered the Chasers 10-1 at Werner Park.

Nashville roughed up Omaha starter Yender Caramo (2-7) in front of 6,638. Mark Canha doubled twice, scored twice and drove in two runs as the Sounds led 5-0 behind a four-run third.

Oakland prospect Matt Olson then blasted a Caramo offering 426 feet to dead center in the fifth. The two-run home run, his 18th of the season, gave Nashville starter Ben Bracewell a six-run advantage. Bracewell (1-1) limited the Chasers to a run on two hits in six innings.

Omaha managed singles by Frank Schwindel, Terrance Gore and Ryan O’Hearn against the starter and three relievers.

Gore accounted for the lone Chaser run in the third inning, when he drew a leadoff walk, stole second, advanced on a groundout and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Billy Burns. Omaha didn’t have a runner in scoring position the rest of the night.

“When we get down early, we’re scoring one or two,” Poldberg said. “If we’re averaging three runs a game, it’s only because of the three games where I think we scored 10. For the most part, if we’re winning, three or four runs is a big output for us.”

On the bright side for the Chasers, oft-injured pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer demonstrated increased velocity in a relief appearance. Plagued by arm trouble, he topped out at 97 miles per hour with his fastball.

Nashville’s Kenny Wilson laced one of Zimmer’s fastballs to the gap in right-center with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, however, to cap the rout. The Sounds finished with 15 hits. “They’ve got one of the better hitting teams,” Poldberg said. “They’ve got a very good lineup. When you make mistakes, they’re going to make you pay. And they did that tonight.”

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