Hernandez halts OKC offense

PAPILLION, Neb.–  Arnaldo Hernandez pitched his first career nine-inning complete game, holding the Oklahoma City Dodgers to one run and five hits, leading the Omaha Storm Chasers to a 3-1 win Wednesday night at Werner Park.

Hernandez threw 97 pitches to complete his nine innings, including 80 strikes. He never threw more than 13 pitches in an inning and did not have a three-ball count all night. After giving up back-to-back hits with one out in the second inning, Hernandez (4-1) proceeded to retire 21 of the next 23 batters and 22 of the final 25 Dodgers that stepped to the plate. He finished with six strikeouts.

It was the first time in exactly three years an OKC Dodgers opponent threw a nine-inning complete game. The previous to do it was Chien-Ming Wang with Tacoma in a game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Aug. 15, 2015.

The Storm Chasers (57-64) struck for one run in the bottom of the first inning. Billy Burns led off with a single and later scored on two out on a RBI single by Frank Schwindel.

The Dodgers (63-56) responded in their next at-bat. Following a single by Kyle Farmer and double by Edwin Ríos,Henry Ramos picked up a RBI groundout to make it 1-1.

It turned out it was final time the Dodgers had a runner reach scoring position.

Omaha regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Burns sent a two-out RBI single up the middle.

The Storm Chasers threated to extend the lead in the fifth inning, putting runners at second and third base with none out. Dodgers pitcher Kyle Lobstein escaped the jam by getting a strikeout, a flyout to shallow right field and a groundout to keep the Dodgers down by just one run.

But one pitch into the bottom of the sixth, the Storm Chasers made it a two-run lead. Jack Lopez jumped on the first pitch from Tyler Pill and sent a solo home run to left field.

Whereas the Dodgers only had five runners reach base, the Storm Chasers had 14 runners reach base. But the Dodgers pitching staff did a respectable job to give the offense a chance, holding Omaha 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranding 11 runners on.

Farmer tallied three of the Dodgers’ five hits on the night. Outside of the Farmer, the rest of the team went a combined 2-for-28. Going back to Tuesday, the Dodgers have scored one run over the last 19 innings are 5-for-the-last-48. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, they’ve gone 2-for-20 with runners on base and 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position while totaling two extra-base hits – both doubles by Ríos.

Although he allowed seven hits and four walks, Lobstein limited the Storm Chasers to two runs over his five innings of work. The lefty notched three strikeouts and fell to 0-4 in his four starts with OKC.

The Dodgers will look for a series split when they finish their four-game set in Omaha at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. Live radio coverage begins 15 minutes before first pitch on AM 1340 “The Game,” 1340thegame.com, or through the free iHeartRadio mobile app.

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