Former LSU center fielder Jared Mitchell and shortstop Angel Rosa hit consecutive two-out doubles in the seventh inning, producing the go-ahead run, and Matt Joyce hit a two-run homer in the eighth, lifting Salt Lake on Sunday at Zephyr Field.
The uprising came against reliever Craig Stem (0-2) in the Zephyrs’ final home game of the season. New Orleans (55-81) finished with a 29-43 home record.
“Our bullpen has just been stretched out a big, and we didn’t get enough hits,” said manager Andy Haines. “But winning the series was great.”
Salt Lake (54-82) avoided a sweep and ended the Zephyrs’ three-game winning streak. The Z’s had won four of their past six games after a 15-game losing streak. They had last won a series July 24-27.
Bees starter Adam Wilk (7-10) held the Z’s to four hits in seven innings, striking out five. The lone run against him came in the first inning when center fielder Isaac Galloway led off with a single, stole second and scored on Brady Shoemaker’s two-out double to left field.
However, The Z’s got just two more hits — Donovan Solano’s two-out single in the fourth and Austin Wates’ two-out double to left in the fifth.
Oh, those two
The Zephyrs end the season with four games at Memphis starting Monday, followed by four at Colorado Springs.
It provides an opportunity for a little payback and to end the season on a good note. New Orleans needs to go 5-3 to avoid tying or surpassing the worst record in franchise history, 59-85, set in 1999.
Immediately after the All-Star break, the Zephyrs were swept by Colorado Springs then Memphis in back-to-back series. That started their horrendous slide to the second half of the season.
“Colorado Springs competed hard, and we had some good games, and Memphis was really playing well at the time,” Haines said. “But I could not foresee any tough stretch coming.”
Colorado Springs was — and still is – in last place in the American Northern Division. Losing four games at home to the Sky Sox “really hurt our morale,” Vinny Rottino said.
Since those series, the Redbirds (67-69) have gone 16-23, including 10-20 in August. They have lost four of their past five games.
Heading into Sunday’s game, Colorado Springs has gone 20-23 overall, 14-16 in August. They had lost three of their past four.
After Saturday’s win against Salt Lake’s Jo-Jo Reyes, the Z’s had a 23-21 record against left-handed pitchers. Counting Sunday’s game against Wilk, they were scheduled to face lefties in their next three games and four of their next five. … Reid Brignac was rested Sunday. After going on a 19-game hitting streak, he went 0-for-8 Thursday and Friday combined before getting a big hit in Saturday’s victory. … September call-ups can begin Tuesday, but with their minor league system already depleted by Marlins’ injuries, they are not expected to bring up many, a Marlins source said. “Brignac, (Tomas) Telis and (left-hander) Chris Reed were in the discussion” to be called up, he said.