OMAHA, Neb. - The Omaha Storm Chasers defeated the Reno Aces, 4-2, on Thursday night to win their fifth consecutive contest. Tony Abreu went two-for-four at the plate with a three-run bomb in the fifth inning while left-hander Ryan Verdugo earned his eighth win of the year as held the Aces to two runs over four hits in 6.0 innings on the hill. With the victory, the Storm Chasers shrink their magic number to clinch their second-straight division crown to 16 games.
Irving Falu led-off the bottom of the first with a single, stole second and scored on a Johnny Giavotella single up the middle to give Omaha (68-45) a 1-0 lead over Reno (65-48).
The Aces knotted the game at 1-1 when they carved out a run in the third but the Chasers leapt ahead after a three-run fifth inning. Falu started the frame off with a bunt single and moved to third after a double by Giavotella set up Abreu for his three-run jack.
Reno added a solo home run in the sixth to cut the home team's lead in half at 4-2 but Verdugo would finish out the inning and hold the lead. From there, Francisley Bueno worked scoreless seventh and eighth innings while Vin Mazzaro yielded two hits in the ninth but did not allow a run to score to preserve the victory for Omaha. The save was Mazzaro's fifth of the year.
The Storm Chasers will look to push their winning-streak to six games tomorrow as they play host to Reno for game three of this four-game series. Friday's game is slated for a 7:05 start and will feature post-game fireworks presented by American Family Insurance as well as "Pink Out the Park" Night sponsored by the Nebraska Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the ballgame. Breast cancer survivors will be able to partake in a special pre-game parade/balloon release on the field and a limited number of pink shirts will be available for free, pre-game. Friday's activities are presented by our partners at American Family Insurance, Nebraska Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Power 106.9 and The Reader. Be sure to tune in locally on the radio at 1180 The Zone 2 - The Deuce and online at omahastormchasers.com to listen to your Omaha Storm Chasers in action.