Chasers at Zephyrs
When: 7 p.m. Thuarsday
Where: Zephyr Field.
Probable pitchers: Zephyrs left-hander Brian Flynn (1-1, 3.86 ERA) vs. Storm Chasers right-hander Brett Tomko (1-1, 3.38)
Radio: WMTI-FM, 106.1.
When Taylor Harbin got the two-run single that put the Zephyrs ahead and touched off a six-run eighth inning in Tuesday’s win against Colorado Springs, it was just what he needed.
Harbin, who had signed as a six-year free agent with the Miami Marlins, had a .063 batting average entering the game. In 32 at-bats, he’d gotten just two hits and struck out 15 times.
And he’d missed Monday’s game with a stomach virus. However, he went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs Tuesday.
“It was great to have some good at-bats and help the team,” he said. “This gives me some confidence. Hopefully, it will snowball from here, and I’ll be able to get some hits, drive in some runs and help the team win some games.”
The Miami Marlins signed Harbin as an insurance infielder. He said he thinks his struggles are the result of the pressure of trying to make his mark with a new team, “trying to do too much.”
And perhaps looking over his shoulder. Marlins second baseman Ed Lucas went on the disabled list on March 28 with a fractured left hand. That allowed Donovan Solano, who had a hot 17 games with the Zephyrs last season, to stay in Miami. However, Lucas could come off in the next two weeks, likely sending to Solano to New Orleans. That could put Harbin in a bad spot.
Hard-throwing right-hander Carter Capps was called up to the Miami Marlins, and Arquimedes Caminero sent down. Caminero was called up on April 9 when Marlins starter Jacob Turner was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder. Capps, who has allowed a run in just one game this season with the Zephyrs, was 0-1 with a 1.80 earned run average in 10 games spanning six appearances. He struck out 14 in 10 innings.
Zephyrs manager Andy Haines said he hopes Tuesday’s win was the start of the Zephyrs gaining some momentum. They are just 3-9 at home this season, but they have Flynn, their best pitcher, on the mound for Thursday’s game. However, the Zephyrs will have to score. The six-run, eight-inning outburst on Tuesday surpassed all of the runs previously scored in the series: four.
The Zephyrs, who have the worst home record (3-9), are 12-for-69 (.174) hitting with runners in scoring position. Opponents, however, have hit a .282 with RISP (29-of-103). Overall, the Zephyrs are batting .208 at home, and foes are hitting .233.
Omaha (10-9) beat Nashville 5-1 Friday to move out of last place in the American North Division. The Storm Chasers are tied with Iowa in second place, 1.5 games behind Oklahoma City.