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Z's Down Birds 5-2

July 18, 2010 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - New Orleans Baby Cakes News Release

Hector Luna homered and drove in three runs, and the New Orleans Zephyrs beat the Memphis Redbirds 5-2 on Sunday night, taking three of four games in the series.

Memphis jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning when Joe Mather launched a towering home run to left against Z's starter Rick VandenHurk.

The lead was short-lived, however, as New Orleans plated three runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning, as well as two runs in the fifth.

Scott Cousins and Brian Barden hit back-to-back singles to lead off the fourth, and with one out, Luna's ground ball to Memphis second baseman Ruben Gotay was misplayed into an error, allowing Cousins to score.

Gookie Dawkins then continued his hot hand at Zephyr Field by singling, driving home Barden to take the 2-1 advantage.

Two batters later, Tim Torres walked with the bases loaded to give the Z's a 3-1 lead.

New Orleans expanded their leading the bottom of the fifth, when Luna drove a two-run homer deep to left-center field, giving NOLA the 5-1 lead.

The five runs of support would prove to be more than enough for VandenHurk (6-4), who allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out five over six innings.

Memphis starter Brandon Dickson (9-6) gave up five runs - three earned - in five innings to take the loss.

Scott Strickland closed the door for his 11th save of the year and third in four days, pitching a perfect ninth inning.

The Zephyrs hit the road for a 10-game road trip with Round Rock and Omaha. Before six games in four days against the Omaha Royals (including back-to-back doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday), the Z's and Express will meet for four games at the Dell Diamond, beginning Monday as righties Brian Lawrence (8-6, 3.87) and Josh Banks (8-6, 2.98) face off.

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