Omaha right fielder Bubba Starling homered, drove in three runs, stole third base, threw out a baserunner at home plate and made a game-ending diving catch, while four Storm Chasers pitchers combined to yield a lone unearned run in a 4-1 victory to finish a series sweep of the Albuquerque Isotopes on Thursday night at Werner Park.
CF Erick Mejia put Omaha ahead 1-0 with an RBI double in the bottom of the first. After Albuquerque evened the contest at one in the top of the third, Starling smashed a two-run shot in the last of the frame, his fourth homer of the year, to push the Storm Chasers ahead 3-1. Starling would later drive in his third run of the tilt by slapping a run-scoring single to right.
Starling (2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, SB) was one of three Storm Chasers players to record a multi-hit effort, along with Mejia (2-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB) and 1B Lucas Duda (2-4, R) as part of his Major League Rehab Assignment. In addition to his strong game at the plate, Starling also excelled on defense, recording his fifth outfield assist of the season by nailing a runner at home plate in the eighth before ending the game with a sensational diving catch in right-center field on the warning track.
Omaha lefty Jake Kalish (5.0 IP, 3 H, R, 0 ER, 4 K) earned his fourth win after yielding a lone unearned run on three hits in five solid frames in support of Josh Staumont (2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 K), who fired the first two shutout frames. Relievers Tim Hill (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 K) and Ben Lively (1.0 IP, BB, 2 K) finished the job by combining for two shutout innings, with Lively notching his third save. Isotopes southpaw Kyle Freeland (5.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) suffered the defeat.
Following the series sweep, the Storm Chasers are set to continue their homestand by starting a four-game series versus the El Paso Chihuahuas. First pitch at Werner Park on Friday evening is set for 7:05pm CT. Omaha is anticipated to give the nod to RHP Arnaldo Hernandez (1-2, 8.51), while El Paso is expected to send LHP Dillon Overton (1-2, 6.08) to the hill.
Tickets for that game and all remaining Storm Chasers home contests can be purchased online at www.omahastormchasers.com, or by calling the Werner Park Ticket Office from noon until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at (402) 738-5100.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.