Jarred Cosart scattered six hits, and Don Kelly lined a single to right field in the sixth inning that scored Kenny Wilson with the go-ahead run in the New Orleans Zephyrs’ 2-1 win over the Tacoma Rainiers on Sunday at Zephyr Field.
New Orleans (21-28) had been victimized by opponents’ big innings while losing five of its past six games. That didn’t happen Sunday. Cosart (2-3) allowed a run in the sixth after giving up a leadoff double to Efrene Navarro but got out of a two-on, one-out jam by inducing an inning-ending double-play grounder.
“We did a good job of mixing my pitches,” Cosart said. “My fastball wasn’t working early, but my curve and change-up were working and allowed me to get back to my fastball later.
“Now we have a chance to get some momentum before we go on the road.”
The win gave the Zephyrs a two games to one series lead with the final game Monday against Tacoma (30-20), which has the best record in the Pacific Coast League. Paul Clemens (4-4) will start for the Z’s against Joe Wieland (4-3).
The Zephyrs begin a four-game Southern Division series at Memphis on Tuesday.
A .243 batting average obviously is not impressive.
However, consider where Zephyrs third baseman Matt Juengel was before arriving at what now looks like a lofty number. Brought up from Double-A Jacksonville on April 30, Juengel had just eight hits in his first 43 at-bats (.186), his first two weeks in Triple-A.
His next two weeks have been totally different. In a 10-game stretch heading into Sunday’s game, Juengel went 14-for-37 (.378). Half of his hits went for extra bases — four doubles, two home runs and a triple — and he drove in seven runs.
“He’s just settling in to the Triple-A level,” Zephyrs manager Arnie Beyeler said. “We’re starting to see what we knew he had.”
Juengel needed to settle in defensively, too. Although he played third base in high school and at Texas A&M, he’d mostly played left field in the minor leagues after being drafted in the 24th round in 2012 by Miami. But after he hit 14 home runs and 22 doubles in 2013 at Class A Greenboro, underscoring what he did in college, his right-handed power bat has been seen as his way to the big leagues — and the Marlins’ outfield is set.
Wilson scored after stealing second base in the sixth. It was his 14th steal, putting him two behind teammate Isaac Galloway and Omaha’s Whit Merrifield, the league leaders. … Relief pitcher Craig Breslow pitched the seventh and eighth innings Sunday, and Cody Hall, a former Southern University standout, pitched the ninth and got the save. Neither pitcher allowed a run or a hit. … Infielder Don Kelly left the game in the sixth after injuring an ankle while stealing second. Pinch-runner Elliot Soto replaced Kelly.
Who: Rainiers at Zephyrs
When: 1 p.m.
Where: Zephyr Field
Probable starters: Rainiers RHP Joe Wieland (4-3, 7.68 ERA) vs. Zephyrs RHP Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.05)
Radio: WODT-AM, 1280