Storm Chasers designated hitter Brett Phillips, left fielder Elier Hernandez and catcher Xavier Fernandez all bashed home runs, while manager Brian Poldberg recorded his 400th managerial victory with the club in Omaha’s 8-6 win over the Salt Lake Bees in front of 6,716 fans on Thursday evening at Werner Park.
Poldberg becomes only the second manager in Omaha franchise history to record 400 victories, joining longtime skipper Mike Jirschele. In total, Poldberg has accumulated 1,275 triumphs in his managerial career dating back to 1988.
The Storm Chasers surged ahead with a five-run first started by Phillips’ two-run blast to right, along with run-scoring knocks by 3B Kelvin Gutierrez and Hernandez. Phillips in the subsequent frame would smack a triple to right and then score on an error to make it 6-0.
After Salt Lake cut their deficit in half with a trio of tallies in the third, Hernandez smacked a solo shot in the third to make it 7-3. Fernandez’s solo blast in the sixth, his second homer in as many games, capped Omaha’s scoring at 8-3.
Phillips (2-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI), Hernandez (2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI) and 2B Jecksson Flores (2-4) each posted multi-hit efforts. Salt Lake CF Michael Hermosillo (2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI) crushed two longballs for the second straight evening, driving in five runs for the Bees in the defeat, while 2B Jose Rojas (2-4) also collected two hits. With their three big flies, Omaha has now gone deep in eight consecutive contests dating back to July 31, totaling 19 roundtrippers in that time frame.
Storm Chasers reliever Brian Flynn (3.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 3 K) earned the victory in support of HeathFillmyer (2.0 IP, H, BB, 3 K), who opened with two shutout frames. Bees starter Alex Klonowski (5.2 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) suffered the defeat.
The two teams are set to face off in the rubber match of their three-game set on Friday evening, with first pitch slated for 7:05pm CT.