Storm Chasers second baseman Nicky Lopez continue his hot stretch at the plate with his fourth straight multi-hit effort and drove in two runs, while southpaw Jake Kalish tossed three and two-thirds shutout frames to notch his first Triple-A save in Omaha’s 5-3 victory over the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Thursday evening at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Kalish (3.2 IP, 3 H, BB, 5 K) combined with starter Foster Griffin (5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 9 K) for a 2019 team-high 14 strikeouts. Griffin earned his first Triple-A victory after fanning nine batters over five-plus frames, while Kalish notched his first career Triple-A save. Dodgers starter Dennis Santana (2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) suffered the defeat.
Lopez (2-4, R, 2 RBI, BB) extended his hit streak to eight and has collected two or more knocks in six of those matchups. During that eight-game stretch he owns a .500 average (17-34) with ten runs, three doubles, one triple, two homers and seven RBI.
He also scored the first run of the game, coming across in the opening frame when 1B Cheslor Cuthbertreached on a Dodgers error. DH Jorge Bonifacio ‘s RBI single doubled the advantage to two. Omaha would strike for a pair of tallies again one inning later when Lopez slapped a two-run single to right, extending the margin to 4-0.
Oklahoma City got on the board in the fourth courtesy of 1B Edwin Rios ‘ run-scoring knock to left, while CFPaulo Orlando narrowed the deficit to two with a two-run single in the sixth. Omaha C Nick Dini , however, reached on an infield single in the eight to send LF Brett Phillips home to cap the scoring at 5-3.
Cuthbert (2-5, 2B) upped his own hit streak to ten with a multi-hit effort, joined by DH Jorge Bonifacio (2-5, RBI) and CF Bubba Starling (2-4, 2B) in posting two knocks. RF Brett Phillips reached base twice while stealing two bases, and now paces the Pacific Coast League with six thefts. Rios (2-4, R, 2B, RBI) and SSDaniel Castro (2-4, BB) each collected a pair of hits for Oklahoma City.
The Storm Chasers continue their seven-game road trip with a four-game series versus the New Orleans Baby Cakes on Friday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00pm CT. Omaha is slated to send RHP Ben Lively (1-1, 3.86) to the hill, with New Orleans expected to give the nod to RHP Nick Neidert (1-1, 3.60).
Following their seven-game road trip, Omaha returns to Werner Park on Wednesday, April 24. First pitch that evening versus the Memphis Redbirds is scheduled for 6:35pm CT.