Right-hander Dillon Gee shut out New Orleans on seven hits over seven innings, and Las Vegas got home runs by Brandon Allen and Darrell Ceciliani on Tuesday at Zephyr Field.
The Zephyrs (52-79) finished with 10 hits, but went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine. The Z’s are batting .242 in RISP, last in the league.
“Runners in scoring position and two-out runs are always a determining factor,” said shortstop Austin Nola, who went 3-for-4. “We just have to get better at it.”
The win gave the 51s (72-59) a two games to one lead in the series with the finale Wednesday. The Zephyrs, who snapped a franchise-record 15-game losing streak with a 5-0 win Monday, lost for the 22nd time in its past 27 home games.
Las Vegas took a 1-0 lead in the third against reliever Pat Urckfitz in the third inning with the aid of two Zephyr throwing errors on one play after Eric Campbell singled to center field following a walk by Ceciliani. Allen led off the fourth with a homer against Urckfitz, and Ceciliani hit a one-out solo shot off reliever Chris Reed in the fifth.
Zephyrs left-fielder Reid Brignac lined a single to center field in the third, stretching his hitting streak to 18 games.
A lot of tools
Having played in two games with the Zephyrs since being sent down from Miami on Sunday, Tomas Telis has that impressive look.
First of all, he’s a switching catcher, and he’s batted 5-for-11 (.455) with an RBI. Combined with one game in played with the Z’s (Aug. 2 at Oklahoma City) after being optained in the Sam Dyson trade with the Texas Rangers, he’s batting .461 (6-for-13). But that’s a small sample size.
First of all, he’s a switch-hitting catcher, and he’s batted 3-for-8 (.375) with an RBI. Combined with one game in played with the Z’s (Aug. 2 at Oklahoma City) after being optained in the Sam Dyson trade with the Texas Rangers, he’s batting .400 (4-for-10). But that’s a small sample size.
Another reason Telis was obtained was on display in Monday night’s win that snapped the Z’s 15-game franchise losing streak. Pitcher Ivan Pineyro credited the catcher for calling a good game.
“After he told me his best pitch was his changeup,” Telis said, “I had him throw the fastball, then we’d come with the changeup because his changeup looks just like his fastball. Then we’d go to the curve and come back to the change-up.”
That may seem pretty routine, but Pineyro “pitches backward,” not throwing his fastball early because of a lack of confidence in it, pitching coach John Duffy said.
After being called up this season from Round Rock to the Rangers, Telis became the first catcher since Jason Kendall in 1996 to catch a shutout in his major league debut.
Craig Stem started Tuesday’s game, but was relieved in the third by Pat Urckfitz, and the Zephyrs allowed a series of relievers to pitch two innings each. The strategy was directly related to Marlins starting pitcher Kendry Flores going on the disabled list Tuesday with right shoulder inflammation. Knowing they would have to call up yet another pitcher from the Zephyrs to replace Flores, the Marlins called and said not to use a starter because they wanted to leave their options open. … Marlins vice president for player development Marty Scott and director of player development Brian Chattin are visiting the team during this series. With all the changes in New Orleans’ roster, they wanted to get an up-close look at the team’s prospects to help with the decision of whom to bring to Miami for the September call-ups. Players can be called up on Sept. 1. The Z’s season ends Sept. 7. Asked who may be prime prospects to go up, Scott quipped, “I don’t know. It seems everybody’s already up (from the Zephyrs).”