April 19, 2013 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - New Orleans Baby Cakes
Matt Diaz hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, and five Zephyrs pitchers combined to shut out the Memphis Redbirds, 4-0 on Friday night at Zephyr Field.
The Zephyrs salvaged the finale of the four-game series with Memphis, avoiding the first-ever series sweep at home against the Redbirds. The Z's wrapped up their opening homestand of the season with a split of the eight games.
With the game scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, pinch hitter Kevin Mattison led off with a bunt single. Following a two-out walk to Bryan Petersen, Ben Lasater sent a ground ball through the hole at short to score Mattison with the game's first run, and the first run for the Zephyrs in the last 14 innings.
Diaz then sent the first offering from Memphis starter Tyler Lyons deep over the left field wall, giving New Orleans a 4-0 lead. It was the first home run of the season for Diaz, who leads the club with a .353 batting average.
With Friday's scheduled starter, Tom Koehler, promoted to the Miami Marlins earlier in the day, the burden fell on the Zephyrs' bullpen to log innings, and A.J. Battisto came through with four scoreless frames in the first start of his career when not on a rehab assignment. Battisto struck out three, walked one and allowed two hits.
David Aardsma (1-0) worked scoreless fifth and sixth innings, and was credited with the win. Left-handers Zach Phillips and Dan Jennings turned in spotless innings, and Chris Hatcher closed the door in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts for his league-leading sixth save of the year.
Lyons (2-1) took the loss for Memphis, surrendering four runs and seven hits in six innings.
New Orleans now heads on the road for an eight-game trip, beginning Saturday at 7:05 against the Round Rock Express.