MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jamie Romak drove in four runs against his former team to power Memphis to a much-needed 7-4 victory Monday night over Omaha in the fourth game of the five-game series between the top two teams in the PCL’s American Conference North.
The Storm Chasers (65-65) lost for the first time in the series and saw their lead over the Redbirds reduced to four games with 14 remaining. Omaha’s magic number to eliminate Memphis remained at 11.
Omaha jumped to a 3-0 first-inning lead as Gorkys Hernandez led off the game by hitting Nick Greenwood’s second pitch over the wall. It was Hernandez’s first homer in 24 games with Omaha.
Ben Broussard doubled and scored on a Brian Fletcher single, and then Fletcher moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Max Ramirez single.
But Romak broke out of a 6-for-50 slump with a two-run double in the bottom of the first, snapping Omaha starter Yordano Ventura’s 14-inning scoreless streak.
The Chasers loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth on a walk and two singles but could only manage one run on a Paulo Orlando sacrifice fly to regain the lead at 4-3.
Ventura somewhat labored through five innings as he yielded three runs on seven hits while walking three and fanning seven.
The right-hander finished by striking out Ryan Jackson to establish a franchise single-season team record for strikeouts. Omaha relievers added three more to push the total to 1,086.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out in the sixth for Brock Peterson, whose two-run double gave the Redbirds a 5-4 lead. Romak followed with a single that drove in two more runs.
Marks is pitcher of the week
Omaha left-hander Justin Marks, who went 1-0 with an 0.82 ERA while striking out 14 in 11 innings, has been named the PCL’s pitcher of the week.
Marks, 6-12 with a 4.82 ERA for the season, is 2-1 with a 1.88 ERA in August, striking out 34 in 24 innings while allowing just 12 hits and walking five.