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Lough, Hayes stay hot to lead Chasers

Lough, Hayes stay hot to lead Chasers

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — David Lough continued his red-hot hitting, Brett Hayes produced his second two-homer game in nine days and Ryan Verdugo pitched seven shutout innings as Omaha clubbed Nashville 7-1 Tuesday to complete a 3-1 road trip.

Lough, 15 for 23 over the past five games to raise his average from .220 to .356, singled and scored in the first inning, tripled and scored in the third inning, then doubled in the fourth inning to move a homer away from the cycle. He singled in the fifth and settled for a 4-for-5 game for his fifth straight multi-hit game.

Hayes hit solo homers in the fifth and seventh innings, extending the Omaha lead to 5-0 and 7-0. Hayes homered twice against Nashville on April 14.

Omaha, 12-7 and in first place in the PCL’s American Conference North, outscored Nashville 27-7 while winning the final three games of the series. Omaha is 6-2 against the Sounds this season.

Verdugo (1-1), pitching on three days of rest to allow the Omaha starting rotation to realign following a Friday doubleheader, allowed four singles and one double in his seven innings of work. The left-hander didn’t walk a batter, induced three ground-ball double plays while not allowing a runner past second base, and struck out three while his ERA shrank to 3.79. Over his last three starts, Verdugo has posted an ERA of 1.13.

Omaha roughed up Nashville starter Frankie De La Cruz (1-2) for four runs — three earned — on six hits in 313 innings.

Hunter Morris hit his fourth homer of the season in the ninth inning for Nashville.

Omaha has won four consecutive series for the first time since 2005.

The Storm Chasers have Wednesday off, then return home to open a four-game series with Iowa at 6:35 p.m. Thursday at Werner Park.

NOTE: Omaha has placed left-handed reliever Atahualpa Severino (left heel contusion) on the disabled list.

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