Round Rock pounced on starter Asher Wojciechowski for seven runs in first three innings on Tuesday at Zephyr Field.
“They’re a good-hitting team with a lot of left-handed hitters, and he fell behind in the count early,” manager Arnie Beyeler said. “It just looked like he didn’t command his stuff tonight.”
The Express (46-40) scored four runs in the first inning on three singles, a hit batsman, a bases-loaded walk, a passed ball and a sacrifice fly. In the second inning, shortstop Doug Bernier crushed a home run to left field leading off, and first baseman Drew Robinson hit a one-out blast. Left fielder Justin Ruggiano led off the third with another towering homer against Wojciechowski (2-3).
New Orleans (39-44) had won its past two games, including Monday’s series opener.
Mistakes in bunches
On June 20, before the Zephyrs left on their 12-game, 13-day road trip, they led all of Minor League Baseball with a .987 fielding percentage.
That was on pace to shatter the franchise record of .982 set by last year’s team.
However, coming into Tuesday, New Orleans had committed 11 errors in its last five games, including five in one game against Colorado Springs. Even with a stretch of games with errors earlier in the season, the Z’s had just 37.
“We have been working on taking fielding since coming back from the road trip,” Beyeler said. “But lately, it hasn’t so much been fielding. We’ve been catchers and that’s all.”
In the Fouth of July series opener, the Zephyrs committed two throwing errors — by catcher Carlos Corporan and first baseman Xavier Scruggs — that enabled Round Rock to take a 2-0 lead in the seventh.
During the five-game stretch, 12 unearned runs were scored. The Z’s had allowed just 18 in the previous 77 games.
Could’ve been a Tiger
Delino DeShields, the son of former 13-year veteran Delino DeShields, was optioned to Round Rock from the parent Texas Rangers on May 2 “to find the joy in playing again.”
DeShields has hit .249 with three homers and nine doubles in 43 games with Round Rock. A 2010 first-round pick by the Houston Astros, DeShields batted .261 in 121 games with the Rangers. However, he hit just .217 in 30 games with Texas this season before being sent down.
However, before being drafted out of Woodward Academy in College Park, Ga., DeShields had committed to play baseball and football at LSU.
Reliever Tyler Bremer (0-0, 6.48 ERA, 8.1 innings) was was sent back to Double-A Jacksonville after Monday’s game. Reliever Jo-Jo Reyes is expected to rejoin the Zephyrs this week. Reyes was called up to Miami on June 28 but was designated for assignment on July 2 and finally outrighted on Monday.