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Chasers sweep Tacoma

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TACOMA, Wash. — Pedro Ciriaco drove in four runs, Christian Colon had four hits, and Omaha completed a four-game sweep of Tacoma with a 9-3 victory Friday night.

The Storm Chasers scored two runs in each of the first four innings to put the game out of reach early for starter Danny Duffy, who pitched five strong innings.

The Chasers (57-57) have won eight of their last nine games to reach .500 for the first time since May 23. They are 13-4 since the All-Star break and 22-10 since June 29.

Omaha also maintained its two-game lead over Memphis in the PCL's American Conference North, while third-place Iowa lost its eighth straight to fall six games out.

Duffy (3-0) struck out his Class AAA season-high of nine batters in five innings of work, allowing one run on five hits while walking three. Though his ERA in 10 Class AAA games is 4.21, in his last six appearances it is 2.19. He's struck out 39 in 37 innings during that stretch.

Ciriaco's two-run double gave Omaha an early lead, and a two-run double by Colon in the second doubled the advantage. Ciriaco hit a two-run homer in the fourth to make it 6-0, and then in the fourth Irving Falu homered and Manny Pina drew a bases-loaded walk.

Ty Kelly's RBI single in the fifth got Tacoma within 8-1, but an RBI single by Omaha's Paulo Orlando in the sixth restored the Chasers' eight-run lead.

Colon went 4 for 5 to raise his average to .264 and extended his hitting streak to 11 games, during which he's hit .450 (18 for 40).

Ciriaco went 2 for 4. In 15 games since Kansas City claimed him on waivers from San Diego and then passed him through waivers and outrighted him to Omaha, Ciriaco is hitting .305.

Ben Broussard extended his hitting streak to 10 games by going 1 for 4 — he's hitting .436 (17 for 39) during his hot streak.

Falu walked to lead off the game, extending his on-base streak to a team season-high 23 games.

Orlando and Quintin Berry were both 2 for 4 as the Omaha offense, so stagnant for much of June and early July, had 12 hits. It was the Chasers' fourth straight game with 10 or more hits and the sixth time in the last seven games.

Omaha did that even though two of its top hitters, Johnny Giavotella and Anthony Seratelli, remain out with injuries.

The Omaha pitching staff gave up just six runs in the sweep, and added to its league-leading strikeout total with another 15 — Omaha is on pace to shatter its franchise record.

Buddy Baumann followed Duffy and struck out five in three scoreless innings. Will Smith gave up two ninth-inning runs, and was ejected with two outs.

STORM TRACKING: Omaha completed a road sweep at Tacoma for a second straight time, having also done so on its last trip there in 2011. The Chasers have won nine in a row in Tacoma, dating to 2009.

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