Metairie, LA - Kyle Skipworth belted two solo home runs to power New Orleans to a 4-2 win over Omaha Sunday afternoon to complete a four-game sweep at Zephyr Field. The Storm Chasers suffered their sixth straight loss on the road to slip to 10-13 on the season and were swept in New Orleans for the first time since August 11-14, 2006.
The Zephyrs scored in the first inning for the fourth straight game on a two-run home run by Josh Rodriguez, his second of the series, and added another run in third on a lead off long ball by Skipworth. The three early runs gave the Z's 28 for the series, the most they have scored in a four or five-game set against Omaha on home soil in the two teams PCL history against one another.
The visitors snapped their 16-inning scoreless streak with back-to-back homers from Melky Mesa and Francisco Pena to draw within 3-2 in the fourth but would not advance a runner past first base the rest of the way in falling for the 12th time in their last 14 games in New Orleans.
NOLA starter Elih Villanueva grabbed the win after giving up those two runs on six hits while walking one and fanning three over six innings. Sam Dyson followed with two hitless, scoreless frames and turned the ball over to Chris Hatcher, who yielded a single to Matt Fields to open the ninth before striking out the next three hitters to preserve the victory and register the save.
Omaha's John Lamb brushed off a rough beginning to last six innings during which he allowed four hits, walked two and struck out seven but suffered the loss to fall to 0-5. Justin Marks took over in the seventh and gave up another solo shot to Skipworth, who had entered the game with only four hits in 32 at-bats. Kansas City's Tim Collins retired all three hitters he faced in the eighth in his second rehab appearance.
Omaha opens a four-game series in Des Moines on Monday evening with right-hander Sugar Ray Marimon taking the hill against Iowa lefty Eric Jokisch. Coverage of the game gets underway at 6:15 pm and can be heard locally on 1180 Zone 2 The Deuce and online at omahastormchasers.com.