Fresno rallied for four runs with two out in the eighth inning in gaining a split of the series with the Zephyrs on Friday at Zephyr Field before a crowd of 10,363, the second-largest of the season.
The damage began after reliever Jesus Sanchez’s wild pitch enabled Joe Panik to score the go-ahead run, 3-2. After that Nick Noonan doubled in Adam Duvall and Chris Dominguez singled home Noonan, chasing Sanchez. When the inning was over, Fresno (38-38) had scored four runs on six hits in taking a 6-2 lead.
Fresno starter Mike Kickham had a one-hit shutout entering the sixth. However, the Zephyrs (40-35) tied the score 2-2 in the inning after Kyle Skipworth was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and Jordany Valdespin walked.
After Matt Angle’s sacrifice, Skipworth scored on Donovan Solano’s grounder to second, and Valdespin came home on Mark Cahna’s single to center field.
WHAT: New Orleans Zephyrs vs. Sacramento River Cats
WHERE: Zephyr Field, Metairie
WHEN: 6 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHERS: Zephyrs LH Brian Flynn (6-5, 3.69) vs. River Cats RH Matt Buschmann (5-2, 4.88)
BROADCASTS: WMTI 106.1 FM, MiLB.tv
After the first two months of the season, Flynn appeared to be coming on.
However, he has not won a game in June, going 0-2. In the game in which he did not get a decision, at El Paso on June 11, just two of the five runs scored against him were earned.
However, in his last outing at Albuquerque on Monday, the Isotopes got 10 hits in five innings, scoring eight runs, seven earned.
Of late, it appears he’s had problems with the command of his fastball. He has been going to other pitches, such as his slider, to compensate. Since his May 15 start at Colorado, he has had 18 walks and 16 strikeouts in seven games.
His ERA in his three June games is 6.75 over 16 innings, with 24 runs, 16 hits — including two home runs — and six walks.
Alex Sanabia, the Z’s starter in Friday’s series finale vs. Fresno, struck out seven Grizzlies in the first two innings. He fanned four in the second inning, including opposing pitcher Mike Kickham on a wild pitch. Kickham reached first base … The series against Sacramento features a showdown between two division-leading teams. This will be the first meeting between the teams this season. The Zephyrs have led the American Southern since June 14 and have won nine of their past 13 and four of their past six heading into Friday night. The ascension has coincided with a seven-game losing streak by the Nashville Sounds, who were in first place when the Z’s sent on an eight-game road trip on June 9. The 2 ½ game lead by the Z’s on Thursday was the first time the franchise lead by as much since Aug. 16, 2007, the year it won the division. … Sacramento, which led the Pacific Northern Division by a game heading into Friday, was 7-11 in June. The Z’s are 12-6. The River Cats are paced by third baseman Tyler Ladendorf, who is hitting .317, 12th in the PCL.