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Omaha takes series behind Pino's gem

Three Storm Chasers pitchers combine on two-hit shutout
April 12, 2015

Yohan Pino allowed one hit in seven innings, and the Omaha Storm Chasers used three pitchers to blank the New Orleans Zephyrs on Sunday afternoon, 4-0 to take three out of four games in the series.

For the second straight game, Omaha jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. After Z's starter Andre Rienzo retired the Storm Chasers in order on eight pitches in the first inning, he issued a leadoff walk to Moises Sierra in the second and Cheslor Cuthbert followed with a single to put runners at the corners.

Sierra scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Fields, and two batters later, Gabriel Noriega blooped a single into shallow center field between a trio of Zephyrs to bring in two more runs.

Rienzo settled in to retire the next nine Storm Chasers batters, and exited after allowing four hits in five innings with four strikeouts and one walk.

Meanwhile, the Zephyrs managed little against Omaha pitching. Luke Hochevar, on a rehab assignment from the Kansas City Royals, breezed through a scoreless first inning before the scheduled starter, Pino, took over.

Pino set down 21 of the 22 batters he faced, surrendering only an infield single on a swinging bunt by Brady Shoemaker leading off the third inning. Pino, who went 10-2 last year at Triple-A with Rochester en route to making his big league debut with the Minnesota Twins, struck out six without a walk to get the win.

Miguel Rojas drilled a one-out single to center in the ninth against Buddy Baumann, who then induced a game-ending double play from Austin Wates.

Rienzo (0-1) was charged with three runs - two earned - on four hits in five innings to take the loss. He struck out four and walked one.

Relievers Grant Dayton, and Fabian Williamson combined to limit Omaha to one hit in three shutout frames until Cuthbert led off the ninth with a home run against Ryan Chaffee.

The Zephyrs continue their homestand on Monday with the opener of a four-game set against the Iowa Cubs. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.