Omaha will see some old friends on Tuesday.
The Storm Chasers face Durham in the Triple-A National Championship Game in Allentown, Pa., which will start at 6 p.m. and will be televised by the NBC Sports Network.
Durham, the Class AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, includes former Omaha pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery, and former Omaha outfielder Jason Bourgeois.
Odorizzi and Montgomery, along with 2012 minor league player of the year Wil Myers, were part of the package Kansas City used to trade for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis in the offseason.
Odorizzi, who has had a couple of starts with Tampa Bay, had a strong season for the Bulls, going 9-6 with a 3.33 ERA that ranked eighth in the International League. He was third in the IL with 124 strikeouts, third with a 1.13 WHIP ratio, second among starters with a .225 opponent batting average and second among starters with 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings.
The right-hander has made two playoff starts but hasn’t gotten a decision despite pitching 14 scoreless innings and allowing just five hits and four walks while striking out 16.
Montgomery was 7-8 with a 4.72 ERA in 20 games, 19 starts, during the regular season. He led the league with 15 wild pitches. Montgomery hasn’t appeared in the playoffs.
Bourgeois, who had a brief stay in the majors, hit .290 with two homers, 61 RBIs ad 22 stolen bases.
Clutch play from Navarro
Omaha infielder Rey Navarro, promoted from Class AA Northwest Arkansas only after the regular season ended, capped his strong postseason run by going 3 for 5 with an RBI.
He didn’t start the first game of the playoffs but did start the final six, finishing 9 for 22 for a .409 average and five RBIs.
Action from Jackson
Omaha manager Mike Jirschele stayed with left-handed sidewinder Zach Jackson as long as he could Saturday.
Jackson, 30, another late-season promotion from Class AA, had retired 15 of the 16 batters he’d faced in the postseason before extending that streak to 20 of 22 through two innings in Game 4. He issued a one-out walk in the seventh inning, but got an inning-ending double play.
However, after Omaha’s long six-run top of the eighth, Jackson ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth. Efren Navarro led off with the triple and scored on a Luis Rodriguez sacrifice fly. One out later, Drew Heid doubled and Jirschele called on reliever Buddy Baumann — against whom Heid eventually scored. That run was charged to Jackson.
Still, Jackson had a 2.25 ERA in 72⁄3 postseason innings.
» Omaha is the 10th team to win two PCL championships in a span of three seasons. The last was Sacramento, which won back-to-back titles in both 2007-08 and 2003-04.
» Omaha’s 70 regular-season wins are second fewest by any PCL championship team since the league consistently began having playoffs in 1963. Edmonton, which qualified in 1984 under the old half-season championship format, was 69-73.