PAPILLION, Neb. -- Third baseman MJ Melendez hit a two-run homer in first inning and centerfielder Kyle Isbel hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning to help the Omaha Storm Chasers defeat the Toledo Mud Hens, 6-4, on Friday at Werner Park. Omaha (60-44) earned its 60th win
PAPILLION, Neb. -- Third baseman MJ Melendez hit a two-run homer in first inning and centerfielder Kyle Isbel hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning to help the Omaha Storm Chasers defeat the Toledo Mud Hens, 6-4, on Friday at Werner Park. Omaha (60-44) earned its 60th win of the season and now trails Toledo (61-45) by just 1.0 game in the Midwest Division standings.
Melendez came to the plate with two outs and designated hitter Bobby Witt Jr. on first after reaching on an infield single, and smacked a 1-0 pitch from right-hander Drew Hutchison over the right-field fence to give the Chasers a 2-0 lead. It was Melendez' seventh home run at the Triple-A level and 35th of the season, tying him for the most in Minor League Baseball.
The Mud Hens cut the Chasers' lead in half in the second inning, when Kody Clemens hit a solo home run against right-hander Ronald Bolaños.
Omaha came back with two more runs in the third inning. Witt Jr. hit a line drive to left-center for a double, then scored from second on a grounder to the right side that Clemens failed to field. Melendez, who reached on the error, moved to second on a wild pitch before scoring on a single by shortstop Erick Mejia.
Bolaños made his first start for Omaha since June 1, allowing one run on four hits in 5.0 innings with five strikeouts and one walk on 72 pitches in his first rehab start at the Triple-A level.
Toledo made it a one-run game in the sixth, scoring two runs on three hits and a walk. Spencer Torkelson singled and moved to second on a walk by Clemens before scoring on a single from Isaac Paredes. Clemens later scored on a double from Josh Lester. Torkelson knotted the score in the eighth inning, hitting an opposite-field home run against left-hander Gabe Speier (Win, 3-0).
Isbel's home run put the Storm Chasers in front for good. With Mejia at first base and one out, Isbel ripped a line-drive homer down the right-field line against right-hander Wladimir Pinto (Loss, 1-3) to deliver the lead.
Right-hander Dylan Coleman (Save, 1) struck out two batters in a perfect ninth inning to earn his first career Triple-A save.
The Storm Chasers continue their series against the Toledo Mud Hens on Friday, when left-hander Foster Griffin (0-0, 3.97) starts for Omaha. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. CT with the Sarpy County Tourism Pregame Show on 1180 The Zone.
For tickets and more information, visit omahastormchasers.com or call the Werner Park Ticket Office at (402) 738-5100 and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.