Here’s a recipe for losing despite doubling your opponent’s hit total.
Take a couple of weak groundouts, add a couple of faulty routes on fly balls, toss in three off-target throws, mix two hit batters and a bases-loaded walk, and top it all off with a wild pitch. Play in 75-degree temperatures for 3 hours, 4 minutes.
Omaha lost to New Orleans 6-3 Tuesday night despite outhitting the Zephyrs 12-5 before 6,384 at Werner Park.
Two errors ran Omaha’s total for the season to 85, second-most in the Pacific Coast League.
“Again, we threw some balls around and it hurt us,” Omaha manager Mike Jirschele said.
New Orleans scored three seventh-inning runs on just one hit to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead, and then got an unearned run in the eighth without the benefit of a hit.
The Zephyrs’ first two runs had come on weak infield groundouts in innings that included an off-target throw on a potential out at third base that was scored a fielder’s choice, and a circuitous route on a fly ball that turned into a ground-rule double.
Kansas City prospect Yordano Ventura (2-2) probably deserved a better fate than getting charged with five runs — four earned — while pitching into the seventh inning, but the flamethrower also helped set up the three-run seventh by hitting two of the first three batters with pitches.
Between the hit batters, catcher Manny Pina made a high throw to second base on a tapper in front of the plate — after the game the ruling was changed from a fielder’s choice to an error.
“Ventura was (efficient through six innings), but in the seventh I thought he overthrew and lost his command,” Jirschele said. “And I thought he got flustered when a couple of things went bad. That’s where young kids have to learn to keep their composure, keep their mound presence and go about their business.”
Buddy Baumann came on in relief and got a strikeout, but he walked in Gil Velazquez to force in the tying run, and Bryan Petersen followed with a two-run double to make it 5-3.
Ventura dialed down his velocity while seeking better control — he hit 100 mph just once while mostly working at 96 to 98 mph. He gave up only three hits while walking two and striking out six.
In the Zephyrs’ eighth, Nick Green drew a one-out walk, moved to third as Matt Downs reached on a two-out throwing error by shortstop Chris Getz, then scored on a wild pitch by reliever Maikel Cleto.
Omaha loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but reliever Rett Varner came on and got Irving Falu to fly out to end the game.
The Chasers, who lost the heart of their order on Saturday when Johnny Giavotella was called up and Xavier Nady received his release to join the Colorado organization, were held to three runs or less for the third straight game and the fifth time in six games on the homestand.
But they also managed more than 10 hits for a second straight game and the third time in four games.
“After losing all the hitting that we did, these guys have continued to battle and they have gotten some hits,” Jirschele said. “But 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position (Tuesday), that isn’t real good.”
After four scoreless innings, New Orleans pushed a run across in the fifth as Kyle Jensen doubled, advanced on a sacrifice bunt as Pina’s throw to third was off the mark, and then scored on Downs’ groundout.
The strong-armed Pina, playing his second game since his return from Class AA, might have gotten Jensen with a better throw.
“Those plays hurt,” Jirschele said. “He throws well, there’s no doubt. Maybe he just rushed his throws a bit.”
Omaha answered with all three of its runs in the bottom of the inning.
Paulo Orlando doubled and scored on Christian Colon’s one-out single. Colon scored on Anthony Seratelli’s double to the left field corner.
Then Seratelli, known for his daring baserunning, advanced to third as shortstop Velazquez made a diving stop on a Max Ramirez grounder on the edge of the outfield grass. And then Seratelli got a great jump and scored with relative ease on Falu’s grounder to first base.
New Orleans got another run back with a soft grounder in the sixth, pulling within 3-2. Velazquez walked, moved to third on Petersen’s ground-rule double and then — after nearly getting picked off at third by Pina — scored on Joe Mahoney’s grounder to second.
STORM TRACKING: Omaha reliever Louis Coleman has been named to the Pacific Coast League team for the Class AAA all-star game. Coleman is 3-1 with 1.44 ERA and six saves while holding opponents to a .213 average and striking out 52 in 43 innings. In 110 Class AAA innings dating to 2010, the 27-year-old right-hander has a 2.20 ERA and 142 strikeouts. ... Due to the large crowd expected for Wednesday's Fireworks Night game, Storm Chasers officials are encouraging fans to arrive early. Only berm seats were available as of late Tuesday. ... Over his last 11 games, Colon is 15 for 45 (.333) to raise his average to .239.