Round Rock scored two runs in the top of the eighth on left fielder Travis Snider's sacrifice fly and a two-out, run-scoring single by first baseman Ronald Guzman on Tuesday in Metairie, giving the Express a 5-2 win over the New Orleans Baby Cakes.
New Orleans (22-41) had taken a 2-1 lead in the third inning on Chad Hinshaw's one-out double and Moises Sierra's two-out home run off knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa. Those were the Cakes' only hits.
Round Rock's Drew Stubbs led off the sixth with a homer to center field off Cakes reliever Odrisamer Despaigne, tying the score. Stubbs also homered in the ninth for the final run.
Miami Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler, pitching on a rehabilitation assignment, allowed a home run to Drew Robinson leading off the game. Koehler pitched 3.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits, with eight strikeouts and one walk.
CAKES GOIN' DEEP
New Orleans Baby Cakes outfielder Moises Sierra said he is in the midst of his hottest hitting stretch of the season.
“I've stayed consistent with my work in the (batting) cage, and I've had a lot of at-bats now this season,” he said.
Sierra entered Tuesday's series opener against Round Rock on a six-game hitting streak in which he has hit .476 (10 for 21) with two home runs, two doubles, seven runs and four RBIs. In his previous 10 games, he hit .389 (14 for 36) with three homers, 10 RBI and nine runs.
Sierra, 28, was hitting .237 on May 11. Since then, he had gone 33 for 103 (.320).
The Baby Cakes also have been hitting the long ball of late. New Orleans hit 32 home runs in May, third-most in the Pacific Coast League behind Nashville (44) and Oklahoma City (38).
The Cakes have hit 62 home runs in 62 games. Last season, when New Orleans finished with 98, it hit its 62nd homer July 6 against Round Rock on July 6, the 84th game.
“When a guy on our team hits a home run, it makes you want to hit one,” Sierra said.
It has been good for team morale, he said, in a season in which the franchise is on pace to have its most losses since coming to New Orleans. The 1996 Zephyrs went 58-84.
“The home runs have been good for the clubhouse,” he said. “The clubhouse is happy when we hit like that. We hit four Sunday (at Omaha) and five (May 24 at) Colorado Springs.”
Sierra, 28, who is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, played parts of three major league seasons (2012-14) with the Toronto Blue Jays and one (2014) with the Chicago White Sox (2014), hitting .243.
He is hoping continued strong hitting can get him back to the majors. Sierra, who had an injury-plagued MLB career, spent 2015 with Omaha, hitting .289. Last season, the Marlins signed him, and he batted .336 with Double-A Jacksonville.
Brian Ellington wasn't the only reliever optioned from Miami to New Orleans over the weekend. Right-hander William Cuevas was brought from the Marlins' extended spring training in Jupiter, Florida. He was signed last week after being designated for assignment by the Detroit Tigers and chose free agency. Cuevas was 4-2 in nine starts with Detroit's Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens. “He's not a pitcher with a lot of velocity,” Baby Cakes pitching coach Scott Budner said. “He's at 89 (mph), but he has a lot of good breaking pitches, and he knows how to pitch.” Cuevas has been both a starter and reliever. He was scheduled to relieve Tom Koehler (rehab assignment) in Tuesday night's game, then have a start next week in Nashville, Budner said.