Omaha right fielder Elier Hernandez crushed a two-run home run and third baseman Kelvin Gutierrezdrove in two runs, however Iowa starter Alec Mills tossed a quality start and was supported by three longballs in the Cubs’ 5-4 win over the Storm Chasers on Wednesday night at Principal Park.
Iowa raced ahead with a three-run second boosted by big flies from LF Robel Garcia and 2B Trent Giambrone , while 3B Phillip Evans ‘ sacrifice fly one inning later made it 4-0. Hernandez’s homer in the fifth cut the deficit to two, though SS Dixon Machado mashed a solo shot in the last of the fifth to increase the margin to 5-2. Gutierrez narrowed the Cubs’ lead to one via a two-run single in the seventh, however Omaha was unable to even the game from that point on.
Giambrone (2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and DH Mark Zagunis (2-4) each tallied multi-hit efforts for Iowa, while Hernandez (2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI), C Nick Dini (2-4, R, 2B) and LF Jorge Bonifacio (2-3) recorded two knocks apiece.
Mills (6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) earned his fourth victory with his quality outing, while Dillon Maples(1.1 IP, 2 K) notched his third save. Omaha starter Zach Lovvorn (6.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), meanwhile, suffered the defeat.
The two teams are set to continue their four-game series on Thursday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 7:08pm CT.
Omaha returns to Werner Park on Thursday July 4 to start a four-game set with the Nashville Sounds, with that night’s series opener featuring the “Biggest Fireworks in the Omaha Metro” as part of the 51st Annual First National Bank Independence Fireworks Spectacular. First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 7:05pm CT.