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BASEBALL

Samir Duenez’s HR in Triple-A debut not enough for Storm Chasers

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Royals prospect Samir Duenez launched a 414-foot, two-run home run in his Triple-A debut Thursday.

Unfortunately for Omaha, it came when the home team was already down by four runs at Werner Park.

Jamie Ritchie and Alex De Goti hit back-to-back solo home runs in the second inning, and Astros prospect Kyle Tucker added a two-run shot in the fifth, as first-place Round Rock topped the Storm Chasers 8-6.

Both teams scored in each of the first three innings of a game that lasted 3 hours, 31 minutes.

Jorge Bonifacio had a pair of run- scoring doubles early for Omaha, which trailed 5-4 after three. Tucker, one of the top prospects in the minors, then padded the lead with a two-run blast off Brian Flynn.

Round Rock tacked on a run in the next inning, then had its 8-4 cut in half when Duenez went deep. The first baseman was promoted to Omaha for the first time after Frank Schwindel went on the injured list.

The Chasers loaded the bases in the eighth, thanks to two Express errors. Reliever Brady Rodgers got out of trouble, however, by getting Nicky Lopez to foul out to third.

Josh Staumont (0-2) suffered the loss for Omaha by allowing two unearned runs in the first. Rodgers improved to 4-0 for Round Rock.

The teams wrap up their four-game series at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Forrest Whitley, the top pitching prospect in baseball, is scheduled to start for Round Rock, while former Royals first-round draft pick Kyle Zimmer opens for Omaha. Eight-time MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry is slated to appear at Werner Park.

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