The New Orleans Baby Cakes pounced on the Nashville Sounds' Kendall Graveman, an Oakland Athletics pitcher making a rehabilitation start, in their second consecutive dominant victory Monday, an 8-0 win in Metairie.
Baby Cakes right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (2-4) had his third good start in a row, allowing just two hits in six innings with three strikeouts and no walks. In his past three starts, Despaigne has allowed two runs on eight hits in 17 innings, with one walk and 11 strikeouts.
Relievers Drew Steckenrider, Kyle Lobstein and Kelvin Marte allowed just two hits the rest of the way as the bullpen preserved a shutout for the second consecutive game.
“We knew (Graveman) was coming in and wanted to pound the zone with strikes and try to work on (his) stuff,” said hitting coach Kevin Witt, who filled in as manager with Arnie Beyeler serving a two-game suspension for his run-in with home-plate umpire Clay Park in Friday's series opener. “At the same time, it was a 10:30 (a.m.) game, it was hot and we wanted to come out swinging. It worked out for us.”
The Cakes (40-61) totalled seven runs in the first two innings. They all but sealed the victory by scoring four runs in the second after a two-out error by Sounds third baseman Renato Nunez on a grounder by Tomas Telis.
Impressive so far
Brian Anderson, a 24-year-old third baseman, said he came to the Baby Cakes confident, with no doubts he could hit Triple-A pitching.
That approach has worked well so far. Since arriving from Double-A Jacksonville on July 15, Anderson has hit .357 (10 of 28) with two home runs, six RBIs and four runs.
“When I got called up, my first game (at Oklahoma City) was near my hometown (of Edmond, Oklahoma), so that was pretty cool,” he said. “But I just focused on not trying to do too much, just go up there and have a good at-bat every time and stick with my approach.”
He got a hit in his first three games, including home runs in his first two. Since an 0-for-5 outing in the second game of the series at Round Rock on July 18, he was on a five-game hitting streak in which he went 7 for 18 (.389).
The series against Nashville was his first in front of Cakes fans. Obviously, Anderson, a third-round pick out of Arkansas in 2014, needs a little refinement.
“In two games, he had seven swings and misses (at pitches),” said an official from an American League East team scouting the series. “Generally, the swings and misses don't translate well (to the majors). But he had four hits and three hard-hit balls in nine at-bats.”
The Cakes scored the last 18 runs of the series, going back to the bottom of the ninth inning in Friday's opener. Nashville was shut out for the final 16 innings. … Left-hander Hunter Cervenka was called up to Miami during Monday's game. … Catcher Ramon Cabrera was activated and played in his first game after being on the disabled list since June 30 with a bruised left thumb. To make room, infielder KC Serna was sent back to Jacksonville. Serna batted .213 in 34 games after being promoted June 5.