Metairie, LA - Vin Mazzaro was solid for six innings on the hill and Irving Falu delivered the game's biggest hit as Omaha opened a five-game series with a 4-1 rain-shortened win over New Orleans at Zephyr Field. The Storm Chasers improved to 74-57 and reduced their magic number to clinch their first division title since 1999 to eight.
The game was called after a 35-minute delay with two outs, nobody on and Zach Miner pitching to Chris Coghlan in the home seventh.
Omaha loaded the bases with three singles in the first inning before Kila Ka'aihue popped out for the second out of the frame. However, Falu followed with a double that cleared the bases and staked the visitors to a 3-0 lead.
David Lough led off the sixth with a home run, his ninth of the year and first since August 4, to extend the margin to 4-0. Chris Sampson of the Zephyrs suffered just his second loss of the season in 10 decisions after yielding four runs on six hits while striking out three over six frames.
Mazzaro worked around two walks and a hit batter in the first inning with the aid of a double play grounder and stranded another pair of runners in the fourth. He also induced Joe Thurston to bounce into an inning-ending twin-killing with two runners aboard in the fifth before being touched for the hosts lone run in the sixth on Alex Romero's RBI double. He allowed four hits, walked four and fanned two to win for the first time since July 10 at Oklahoma City.
The series continues Thursday with Omaha left-hander Mike Montgomery taking the hill against New Orleans right-hander Elih Villanueva. Coverage of the game gets underway at 6:40 pm and can be heard locally on KOIL AM 1180 and online at omahastormchasers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.