Storm Chasers starting pitcher Jorge Lopez struck out seven over five and two-thirds innings of shutout ball, while designated hitter Paulo Orlando and third baseman Ramon Torres each homered and first baseman Frank Schwindel extended his team-best hit streak to 15, as Omaha salvaged a series tie with a 5-0 shutout victory over the Salt Lake Bees on Tuesday afternoon at Werner Park.
The Storm Chasers franchise set a Werner Park attendance record for a seven-game homestand by welcoming 47,325 fans from August 1-7, an average of 6,761 fans per home date. That total, which included over 8,000 fans on consecutive nights from August 3-4, bested the previous top mark of 46,357 set in 2013 from June 26 through July 3.
Lopez (5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 7 K) earned his first victory since being acquired by the Royals organization from the Milwaukee Brewers on July 27. He retired 17 of 21 batters faced, including 13 of the first 15.
Five Omaha relievers combined for the final 3.1 frames to complete the shutout, including Royals right-handers Jesse Hahn(0.2 IP, H, 2 K) and Blaine Boyer (1.1 IP, 2 H, BB, K) on Major League Rehab Assignments. Salt Lake starter Jose Suarez (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 7 K) suffered the defeat. It was the tenth shutout win of the season for Omaha, the most of any Pacific Coast League team in 2018.
3B Humberto Arteaga put Omaha on the board by lacing an RBI double down the left field line in the second, before Orlando crushed his seventh longball with the Chasers, a solo shot, in the fourth. The two-run margin would remain until a trio of insurance tallies in the eighth, with Schwindel capping the scoring with his run-scoring knock to right that pressed his hitting streak on to 15.
Orlando (2-4, R, HR, RBI) and Arteaga (2-4, 2B, RBI) collected two knocks apiece to pace the Storm Chasers offense, while SS Luis Rengifo (2-3, 2B, BB) was the lone Bees batter to tally a multi-hit effort. Schwindel during his 15-game hit streak has accumulated a .400 average (26-65) with 13 runs, ten doubles, five homers and 15 RBI.
Following an off day on Wednesday, the Storm Chasers begin a four-game road trip in Texas, facing the Round Rock Express. First pitch of the series opener on Thursday evening is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT. Omaha is anticipated to send RHPArnaldo Hernandez (2-1, 5.33) to the hill, while Round Rock has not yet announced their starter.
Omaha returns to Werner Park on Monday, August 13 to begin a four-game home series with the Oklahoma City Dodgers. First pitch that evening is set for 7:05 p.m. CT.
Tickets are still available all Storm Chasers contests throughout the 2018 season, and may be purchased at www.omahastormchasers.com/tickets as well as by calling the Werner Park Ticket Office at (402) 738-5100. To view Ticket Office hours, please click here.