Ball Star

Omaha stays alive in playoff race after astonishing comeback

Updated: 2013-09-02T04:25:57Z

By PETE GRATHOFF

The Kansas City Star

Technically, Class AAA Omaha is still alive in the postseason hunt.

But in reality, the playoffs have started. And, wow, are the Storm Chasers fortunate to be in the race for the Pacific Coast League’s American Northern Division title.

Omaha entered Sunday one game out of first and needing to win its final two games and have Memphis lose twice to win the division, because the Redbirds hold the tie-breaker.

The Storm Chasers did their part winning 6-1 against Round Rock.

Memphis was stunned 5-4 at Oklahoma City. The Redbirds held a 4-0 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but the RedHawks scored four times and tied the game, then won in 11 innings.

So today, the Storm Chasers must win and hope Memphis suffers from a hangover in its game against Oklahoma City.

As for Omaha’s win on Sunday, Chris Dwyer overcame a bout of wildness to get his 10th win of the season. He allowed just one run on three hits with seven walks and seven strikeouts. Little bit of Nuke LaLoosh there.

Johnny Giavotella, playing in left field, went three for three with a walk and scored twice. Right fielder Paulo Orlando had three-run homer and catcher Manny Pina hit a solo shot, doubled and knocked two runs.

Omaha plays Round Rock at 12:05 this afternoon, while Memphis’ game is an hour earlier.

Class AA Northwest Arkansas

Sugar Ray Marimon allowed two runs on two hits in seven innings, but he took the loss as the Naturals fell 2-0 at Arkansas.

Marimon, 6-14, struck out seven and walked two. The Naturals had just three hits in the game.

Class A-Advanced Wilmington

Leonel Santiago and two relievers combined on a six-hitter as the Blue Rocks beat Winston-Salem 1-0.

Santiago, 4-3, gave up three hits, walked one and struck out three. Daniel Hernandez struck out four in two innings and allowed three hits. Andrew Edwards got his first save with a hitless ninth.

The Blue Rocks got their run on an RBI single by Yem Prades that scored Yowill Espinal.

Class A Lexington

The Legends lost twice as West Virginia won the completion of a suspended game 4-3, then took the regularly scheduled game 1-0.

In the second game, Lexington starter Miguel Almonte gave up one run on three hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. However, the Legends were limited to just five hits, including two by Raul Mondesi.

Lexington catcher Chad Johnson had two doubles, scored a run and knocked in a run in the first game. Second baseman Ramon Torres and center fielder Terrance Gore each had two hits.

Starter Matthew Murray allowed one run on two hits in three innings with three strikeouts and two walks. Zeb Sneed, 1-2, gave up three runs on four hits and two walks with one strikeout.

Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls

Noel Arguelles gave up three runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief and took the loss as the Chukars fell 9-8 at Orem.

The Owlz cut Idaho Falls’ lead in the Pioneer League South Division to 1 1/2 games.

Arguelles, on a rehab assignment after pitching at Northwest Arkansas, yielded three hits, walked one and had one strikeout. Just two of the runs were earned.

He came on in relief of starter Jake Junis, who gave up six runs on seven hits in four innings. Junis served up three home runs.

Idaho Falls had 14 hits, including three by designated hitter Michael Antonio, who doubled twice, knocked in a pair of runs and scored twice. Daniel Rockett (two hits, three RBIs), Cody Stubbs (two hits, two runs, two RBIs) and Carlos Garcia (two hits, one RBI) also had big nights.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/pgrathoff

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