‘Cakes bullpen squanders Neidert’s gem

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METAIRIE – The Omaha Storm Chasers stormed from behind with seven runs over their final three at-bats to defeat the New Orleans Baby Cakes in 10 innings on Tuesday night, 7-5.

Leading 4-0 in the eighth, back-to-back two-out RBI singles by Chase d’Arnaud and Erich Weiss cashed in a pair of walks by Baby Cakes reliever R.J. Alvarez to open the frame.

Looking for his fifth save in as many opportunities, Brett Graves walked the leadoff batter in the ninth and Taylor Featherston launched a game-tying home run.

Graves (2-1) returned to the mound in the 10th and allowed a single to put runners on the corners before d’Arnaud hit his 10th home run to give Omaha the lead.

The ‘Cakes loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 10th, but Gabriel Guerrero bounced into a double play as a runner scored and Austin Dean flied out to end the game as Jonathan Dziedzic nailed down his first save.

The New Orleans bullpen, which had pitched to a 2.20 ERA in August, suffered its 24th blown save of the year and wasted a brilliant outing by starter Nick Neidert, who gave up four hits without issuing a walk, retiring 10 of 11 batters between the third and sixth innings. He struck out Adalberto Mondesi three times, and caught Jorge Bonifacio looking for his 10th strikeout to end his outing.

It was the eighth career double-digit strikeout performance for Neidert, who owns a 1.96 ERA in four starts since returning from the disabled list.

The ‘Cakes hit three home runs, including a pair on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning to take the lead. Eddy Alvarez blasted his 11th of the season, a two-run shot off Omaha starter Jake Kalish to break the ice, and Rosell Herrera sent Kalish’s next offering over the left field field fence for the Baby Cakes’ ninth set of back-to-back home runs.

Yadiel Rivera clubbed his career-high 14th long ball leading off the seventh inning to expand the lead to 4-0.

Kalish allowed just one other hit across his seven innings, and Connor Greene (1-0) tossed two hitless innings to pick up the victory.

The Baby Cakes have lost four in a row for the first time this season heading into the third game of the series on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m.

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