COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The Omaha Storm Chasers flipped the script on the Sky Sox before a crowd of 4,848 in Sunday afternoon's 4-2 loss at Security Service Field.
Colorado Springs starter Drew Gagnon (1-2, 5.40) cruised through his first five innings of work, allowing just one run on three hits and one walk over that span. The right-hander would make one real mistake in the sixth inning that wound up being the difference in the ballgame. With one out and a runner on second in the top of the sixth, Gagnon left a ball up to Whit Merrifield that the Omaha third baseman would not miss, taking the offering over the left field wall for a two-run shot that gave his squad a 3-0 lead at the time.
Gagnon would get out of the sixth without anymore damage being done, finishing his solid outing having allowed three runs over six innings on five hits and two walks while striking out one. Gagnon was especially impressive in his groundout to flyout ratio, getting 10 of his 14 recorded outs on the ground on his way to a quality start.
Storm Chasers righty Aaron Brooks (2-2, 3.62) turned in a stellar start for his team, tossing seven innings of one-run ball on just four hits allowed while striking out a whopping eight Sky Sox batters.
Brooks' lone blemish came in the sixth inning after Matt Long's two-out triple to deep centerfield gave way to a Peter Orr RBI single in the very next at bat.
Making his way back from injury during a current minor league rehab assignment, former Brewers closer Jim Henderson made his Sky Sox debut when taking the mound in the seventh. Henderson would go two innings in relief of Gagnon, allowing one run on three hits.
The Sky Sox would threaten Omaha's 4-1 lead in the home eighth as Bryan Petersen and Nevin Ashley would string together consecutive singles off of Storm Chasers righty Mike Mariot. The reliever would strike out the next two Sox batters before walking Orr to load the bases for Luis Sardinas with two out in the frame. Sardinas could not come through with the big hit however, striking out on a ball in the dirt to end the scoring threat.
Brandon Kintzler came on in the top of the ninth, recording a scoreless inning with one strikeout to maintain the 4-1 score heading into the games final frame.
Continuing his hot-streak at the plate, Matt Clark sent a booming line drive off of the right field wall to leadoff the bottom of the ninth, giving the Colorado Springs faithful the hope for a comeback win. Shane Peterson would follow with an RBI groundout off of Mariot, cutting the Omaha lead to 4-2 with just one out.
Omaha would not let the game get away however, replacing Mariot with right-hander Louis Coleman to get the final two outs and secure a 4-2 win in the series finale.
With the loss, the Sky Sox split the four-game series with the defending back-to-back PCL champs and fall to 8-15 on the season.
The Sox will hit the road for an eight-game road trip starting in Memphis on Monday evening. Lefty Nick Additon (1-1, 3.94) gets the call in the series opener against Redbirds starter Tyler Lyons (2-1, 2.91) in a southpaw showdown at AutoZone Park. First pitch is slated for 6:05 PM MDT.