Thursday: Zephyrs 4, Redbirds 1 _lowres


Darnell Sweeney had two hits, scored three runs and drove in another run to pace the Oklahoma City Dodgers to a 6-4 win over the New Orleans Zephyrs on Thursday night.

The Zephyrs had their five-game winning streak at home ended, and failed to move a season-high four games above the .500 mark.

After the Zephyrs jumped out to a 2-0 lead through three innings, Sweeney got the Dodgers on the board with an RBI single in the fourth. He and Elliot Johnson then scored on a double by Austin Barnes to give Oklahoma City the lead.

The Z’s responded in their half of the inning, as Vinny Rottino led off with a single and scored on a two-out double into the left field corner by Isaac Galloway.

But the Dodgers went back in front in the fifth on a single by Johnson, and added to the lead an inning later when Sweeney stroked a leadoff single, stole his Pacific Coast League-leading 17th base, and scored on Corey Seager’s liner to right field.

Sweeney reached base again in the eighth on an error by shortstop Miguel Rojas, scoring an insurance run on a Chris Heisey single. The Z’s inched back to within two runs in the bottom of the eighth on a Brady Shoemaker sacrifice fly, but David Aardsma pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to nail down his 10th save.

New Orleans got three hits from Rottino, including a RBI single in the first to open the scoring. The Zephyrs’ lead doubled an inning later on Juan Diaz’s first home run of the year.

Steve Smith (3-0) pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Randy Fontanez to pick up the win.

Adam Conley (3-2) was charged with four runs on 10 hits in five innings to suffer the loss. He stuck out six and walked one.

The Zephyrs conclude the brief four-game homestand on Friday at 7 p.m.


The Zephyrs went into Wednesday’s game riding a five-game home win streak and having won nine of their last 12 games in May. It’s the first time the Zephyrs have won five in a row at home since April 22-27 of last season. Starting pitcher Adam Conley went into Thursday’s game with a three-game win streak after notching back-to-back victories over Memphis. He gave up just two runs on three hits in six innings on Saturday and reached 100 pitches in a game for the first time since July 28, 2013 when he was with AA Jacksonville.

He left the game after the fifth inning, trailing 4-3 after giving up 10 hits with six strike outs. Shortstop Miguel Rojas went into the game with his second 12-game hitting streak, the third longest active streak in the PCL and tied for the sixth-longest in the league. He went 0-for-2 in his first two at-bats, but extended his hit streak to 13 with a single in the fifth. Right fielder Cole Gillespie riding a 10-game hitting streak with six multi-hit games and nine runs scored. He kept it alive with a single to the shortstop in the third inning. He had at least one hit in 25 of 27 games this season

New in town

The Zephyrs on Thursday added Jesus Flores, who was signed by the Marlins on May 2. Flores was released by the Atlanta Braves at the end of spring training after hitting .179. Also, infielder Danny Black was reassigned to Batavia.

Extra innings

Zephyrs third baseman Juan Diaz hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot over the right field wall, in the second inning of Wednesday night’s game to give the Zephyrs a 2-0 lead. Diaz went into the game hitting .171. … There was no rain delay on Wednesday, but there was a bit of rain, lightning and thunder. About 90 minutes before game time, a single dark cloud rolled over Zephyr Field, forcing the grounds crew to roll the tarp. After a brief downpour — which chased the pros into the club house, but not the Little Leaguers holding practice — the crew rolled the tarp back off about 30 minutes before game time. … There were no termite swarms.