Nashville's Zach Neal shut out New Orleans on three hits over seven innings, and catcher Beau Taylor hit a two-run home run to right field in the ninth for a 3-0 win in the season finale over the New Orleans Baby Cakes on Monday.
The victory gave the Sounds (68-71) a sweep of the season-ending four-game series. The Baby Cakes (55-83) ended the season tied for the fewest wins since the franchise moved to New Orleans from Denver in 1993. The 1999 team went 55-85.
“We gave away three games, didn't pitch very well late in the games,” Baby Cakes manager Arnie Beyeler said. “But they got bigger hits than we did. It was similar to how the season went, kind of sums of what we've been going through all year, for the most part.”
After splitting the previous series at Oklahoma City, Beyeler said he was disappointed in how the season ended for his team. The Cakes were shut out for the 13th time this season and swept for the fourth time.
Perez brought 'life'
When outfielder Eury Perez came to the New Orleans Baby Cakes through a trade, he brought a .336 batting average with him.
Perez, 27, had played 50 games with Triple-A Indianapolis, but the parent Pittsburgh Pirates wanted to make room for younger, more promising prospects.
Outside of third baseman Brian Anderson, who was called up last week to the Miami Marlins, Perez arguably has been the Baby Cakes' best player. He hit .375 (39-for-194) in 27 games before leaving Sunday's game after being hit on the left hand by a pitch.
Hitting coach Kevin Witt said Perez has brought more than his batting average. A speedy player, he has brought excitement to a ballpark that often had a sparse crowd and even less enthusiasm.
“Eury brings a lot of life to the offense,” Witt said. “He's going to get on base; you just don't know how. It could be by way of bunt. He could drive something in the gaps. Or, he could get you an infield hit.
“The good thing for him is that when he puts the ball in play, he has a pretty good chance of getting on base, and he showed that.”
When Perez came to the Cakes on Aug. 4, in effect he replaced center fielder Isaac Galloway, another speedy outfielder but who is a better defensive player than Perez. Galloway injured his left knee sliding into home plate on May 17 shortly after being selected Pacific Coast League Player of the Week.
Perez was part of a handful of newcomers who made the Baby Cakes manager and the team feel as though their season was being turned around, as the Cakes had their only winning month of the season in August, going 17-13.
Perez has played 73 MLB games with three teams (.254), including 47 with Atlanta in 2015 when he batted .269. However, he hasn't been able to stick.
“In the big leagues, he's facing much better pitching more consistently,” Witt said. “Twenty-seven games provides enough at-bats to show what you can do. I'm sure he helped himself here and a lot of (MLB) teams will be interested.”
X-rays came back negative Monday on Perez's hand. “The pitch hit the meat part of his hand, near the bottom,” Beyeler said. “He could have played, but we decided to keep him out. But he's OK.” … When Steve Lombardozzi singled to right field leading off the seventh inning, his hitting streak reached a season-high nine games. … Nashville finished the season 11-5 against the Cakes.