Vance Worley shut out the Iowa Cubs on two hits over seven innings, and the New Orleans Baby Cakes won the series opener 8-0 on Tuesday night.
Those eight runs and 15 hits were season highs.
The Baby Cakes (5-8) backed Worley with a three-run first inning. Matthew den Dekker hit a two-out triple that scored catcher Tomas Telis and Brandon Barnes. den Dekker scored when Cubs second baseman Chesny Young's throw sailed over the head of third baseman Jeimer Candelario. Telis, who went 4 for 5, had reached on a one-out single, and Barnes followed with a walk.
It marked the first time this season, the Cakes scored in the first inning. New Orleans had been outscored 11-0 in the first inning and 31-7 in the first three innings this season.
den Dekker starts fast
den Dekker didn't get a hit with the Baby Cakes on Opening Day.
Since then, he has gotten at least one hit in eight of the past 10 games, entering Tuesday. He went .297 (11 for 34) during the stretch, and his batting average was .286.
“I try not to think too much about those things; just try to have a good night at the plate every day,” said den Dekker, who has spent time in the major leagues the past four seasons. “I try to put together good at-bats, and those things seem to fall in place. I don't think I've ever gotten off to a great start. There's always things you can do better, and that's kind of my mindset.”
Entering Tuesday, den Dekker led the team in home runs (three), doubles (four) and RBIs (11). With last year's leading home run hitter, Xavier Scruggs, now playing in Korea, and 2016 All-Star Destin Hood still finding his way, den Dekker's start is an encouraging sign for a team that has lacked hitting in the past three seasons.
“I saw him a lot in Double-A and Triple-A when he was with the Mets (organization),” manager Arnie Beyeler said. “He's always been successful, and he's athletic — he can run, and he's got some pop.
“It hasn't translated to the big leagues yet. But from his point, I don't think he's gotten a lot of consistent time there. He's always been an up-and-down guy. But it's fun to watch him play. He's a speed-and-power dynamic guy, and he plays solid defense."
den Dekker played in 27 games (hitting .207) with the Mets in 2013 and 53 (.250) with New York in 2014. He played in 55 with the Nationals in 2015 (.253) and 19 with Washington last season (.176).
Reliever Nick Wittgren was optioned to the Cakes from the Marlins on Friday, and he was available for Tuesday's game.
Wittgren, who pitched for New Orleans the past two seasons, was was sent to Triple-A to make room for left-handed prospect Jarlin Garcia, who was brought up to Miami from Double-A Jacksonville to provide a fresh arm.
The Marlins bullpen was extended during its 16-inning loss to the New York Mets on Thursday. Wittgren hurled three perfect innings but threw 45 pitches.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he had little option except to send down Wittgren, who has a 2.70 ERA in 6.2 innings this season. He had a 3.14 ERA in 48 games (51.2 innings) last season.
“He was the only guy with (minor league) options,” Mattingly said.
Wittgren had a 3.03 ERA in 51 games with New Orleans in 2015 and 1.42 in 10 games last season with the then-Zephyrs.
“He gives us a big-league arm, and he has been a competitive guy on the (Marlins') staff,” Beyeler said. “He's a bulldog, a very good bullpen guy.”