Storm Chasers clip Zephyrs

Brett Hayes hit a one-out homer in the sixth inning broke a 3-3 tie, reliever Maikel Cleto shut out New Orleans the final three innings, and the Storm Chasers won the series finale on Sunday at Werner Stadium in Papillion, Neb.

The Zephyrs (68-68) won the series three games to two, however.

Hayes’ homer, his 17th of the season, was his fourth of the series. Former UNO standout Johnny Giavatella doubled, scored a run and drove in one.

Third baseman Audy Ciriaco, called up to the Zephyrs last week, homered with Chris Valaika aboard in the fifth, giving New Orleans a 3-2 lead.

Omaha tied the score on in the bottom of the inning when Christian Colon scored on Quintin Berry’s groundout.

MONDAY’S GAME

What: New Orleans Zephyrs vs. Memphis Redbirds

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Zephyr Field, Metairie

Probable pitchers: Zephyrs RH Jared Rogers (6-4, 4.88 ERA) vs. Redbirds RH Scott McGregor (5-9, 5.08)

Broadcast: WMTI-FM, 106.1.

PROMOTION: It’s Senior Citizens Day. Fans ages 60 and older are admitted to the game for $5.

PROSPECT

When right-hander Rogers came to the Zephyrs earlier this season, it appeared a big leap.

Rogers had been with Class A Jupiter, where he was 1-2 but had a promising 2.68 earned-run average in nine games, six of which were starts. However, he’d had just limited time in as high as AA, lasting one game last season at Jacksonville, in which he gave up three runs in three innings. He was sent to the Marlins’ rookie league team, where he began his career after being drafted in the 36th round from Rice in 2010.

He has had his ups and downs in his first foray into AAA, allowing 10 home runs in 15 games with the Z’s, 14 starts. He seemed to encounter trouble on the mound often with walks and getting behind hitters in the count, even though he worked out of it sometimes.

EXTRA BASES

A series victory against Memphis would give New Orleans three in a row for the first time this season. The Z’s are finishing the season with eight home games, four-game sets against Memphis and American South Division second-place team Albuquerque. The season ends Sept. 2. New Orleans has won seven of its past 10 games, and this home stand may provide a good opportunity to finish with a winning record and perhaps get out of the cellar. … The Zephyrs are 5-7 against the Redbirds this season, oddly 4-4 at Memphis and 1-3 in New Orleans. ... New Orleans continues to lead the Pacific Coast League in pitching with a 3.49 earned-run average, led by Brian Flynn’s league-leading 2.86.

Darrell Williams