NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Will Smith pitched six strong innings and Omaha erupted for nine runs in the sixth inning Monday night for a 12-3 victory over Nashville that moved the Storm Chasers back into first place in the PCL’s American Conference North.
Johnny Giavotella had three hits and drove in three runs, David Lough went 2 for 5 for a fourth straight multi-hit game and Brandon Wood slugged a three-run homer for Omaha (11-7).
Memphis lost 5-2 to Iowa to drop a half-game behind the Chasers.
Smith, who spent Sunday in Boston on the Kansas City roster (big-league clubs are allowed to carry one extra player for doubleheaders), rejoined the Class AAA Chasers and allowed one run on five hits, with no walks and eight strikeouts.
The left-hander improved to 2-1 while dropping his ERA to 2.45.
Nashville starter Zach Kroenke, the former Omaha Northwest and Nebraska star, dropped to 0-2 after allowing three runs on four hits in 413 innings.
Leading 3-0, Omaha went to work against relievers Michael Olmsted and Kyle Heckathorn in the sixth.
Giavotella’s two-run double made it 5-0, then Xavier Nady greeted Heckathorn with a two-run single. Adam Moore drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 8-0, then another run scored on a wild pitch.
Wood then hit a three-run homer, his first of the season.
Former Kansas City farmhand Jeff Bianchi homered in the sixth for Nashville’s first run, the only one allowed by Smith.
After a 0-for-12 start to the season, Lough is batting .393 over his past 14 games to improve his average to .324. Over his past four games, Lough is hitting .611 (11 for 18). His second-inning RBI single gave him 200 RBIs in an Omaha uniform, giving him sole possession of 10th place on the franchise’s all-time list.
Omaha has won 5 of 7 in the season series with the Sounds.
The series concludes with Tuesday’s 11:05 a.m. game, with Omaha left-hander Ryan Verdugo (0-1, 6.00 ERA) facing Nashville right-hander Frankie De La Cruz (1-1, 3.09). After an off day Wednesday, Omaha returns home to Werner Park for a 6:35 p.m. game Thursday against Iowa.