Second baseman Christian Adames hit a three-run triple off reliever Keyvius Sampson in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Albuquerque Isotopes to a 5-2 win over the New Orleans Baby Cakes on Wednesday in Metairie.
The Isotopes (58-59) chased reliever Tayron Guerrero with three consecutive two-out singles in the inning to tie the score.
The Baby Cakes (45-71) were vying for a season-high fifth consecutive win and also clinching their fifth consecutive home series, only the third time in franchise history that has happened, both times coming in 1994.
Chris Parmelee hit his first home run with the Cakes, a two-run shot in the first inning after Brandon Barnes singled with one out.
Starter Tom Koehler allowed five hits in leaving the Cakes with a 2-1 lead entering the seventh.
Albuquerque, which entered the series one game behind Pacific South leader Salt Lake, ended a four-game losing streak.
New approach suits Cuevas
Baby Cakes pitching coach Scott Budner said he had a talk with right-hander William Cuevas about being nastier on the mound after a string of unimpressive performances.
That seems to have sunk in. Cuevas allowed one hit, struck out eight and didn't walk a batter in six innings in Tuesday's 9-0 win against Albuquerque. He threw just 73 pitches. A rain delay came after the sixth, and Cuevas was relieved. However, he said, he was scheduled for six.
“He wasn't just very good; he was really freakin' good,” Budner said.
Cuevas (2-4) had not won a game since June 25 vs. Colorado Springs. He lost four of his previous six outings, with two no decisions as his ERA rose from 3.27 to 4.24. In beating the Isotopes, he bounced back from allowing four runs on five hits in four innings at Sacramento on Aug. 1.
“I was focusing on being aggressive, and all of my pitches were working pretty good, so I could mix them pretty good,” said Cueveas, 26, who is from Venezuela. “And, I had a fast tempo. I worked fast.”
Cuevas had a fastball-slider-changeup mix that he threw in and out and, for the most part, low. His slider was particularly impressive, breaking sharply.
“It's sort of a slider-curve,” he said. “I worked on the corners (of the plate). If you can hit the corners well, you're usually going to do OK.
“I didn't have to use all my pitches. I didn't throw my curve or my cutter.”
Cuevas was signed to a minor league contract by Miami after he opted for free agency when Detroit outrighted him on May 27, meaning he had to clear waivers. The Marlins signed him as depth for their starting rotation.
Budner said Cuevas needs to repeat Tuesday night's performance, although a one-hitter is not expected. Cuevas has shown flashes of brilliance only to have a string of unimpressive outings.
“It was the way he did it; it was the approach he had,” Budner said. “He had an attitude of attacking and getting after it, and the energy was there. He was on a mission to get a lot of outs. It was a clinic.
“It's not uncommon for pitchers to get in careful mode, and that's what happened to him. But the major leagues is no place for that.”
Left fielder Moises Sierra, who has not played since the second game of Sunday's double-header against El Paso, said he has a sore knee. He said the plan was for him to be available to pinch-hit in Wednesday's game then return to the starting lineup Thursday. Sierra came up limping when going from first to third on Chris Parmelee's two-out double in the fourth inning. He scored on Brian Anderson's double.