Storm Chasers’ Sparkman shuts down Baby Cakes; Orlando stars at plate

METAIRIE, La. — Glenn Sparkman struck out a season-high eight and scattered six hits over seven scoreless innings Friday as the Omaha Storm Chasers opened their final series of the season with a 3-0 win over New Orleans.

Sparkman (5-1) logged his third start of at least seven innings and the first in which he didn’t allow a run.

The Chasers scored the game’s only runs on back-to-back doubles in the top of the first. With two on and two outs, designated hitter Paulo Orlando lined a 3-2 pitch to left field, scoring Ramon Torres and Nicky Lopez. It was Orlando’s 17th double of the season.

Humberto Arteaga then took a 2-0 offering from Baby Cakes starter Zac Gallen (8-9) to left for his 19th double, scoring Orlando.

It was all Sparkman would need. The right-hander retired 13 of the final 15 batters he faced. He also pitched his way out of a jam with two on and one out in the first inning, inducing a double play from Peter O’Brien.

Richard Lovelady pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn his eighth save.

Torres was 2 for 4 and Arteaga was 2 for 3 for the Storm Chasers (64-73).

Gallen allowed three runs on three hits while striking out nine for the Baby Cakes (68-68). The Chasers had a runner on second with one out in both the fourth and fifth, but in both innings Gallen got out of trouble.

Luis Villegas struck out and Jack Lopez flied out to end the threat in the fourth. Frank Schwindel popped out to first and Orlando grounded out to end the fifth.

The Storm Chasers and Baby Cakes continue their series Saturday at 6 p.m.

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