The New Orleans Baby Cakes scored three runs in the seventh inning to beat the Round Rock Express 6-3 in the series opener Wednesday at the Shrine on Airline.
The Baby Cakes (49-72) scored in the inning on Eury Perez's RBI double, Lombardozzi's run-scoring single off the glove of reliever Joely Rodriguez and a two-out RBI single by Jake Elmore that produced a 6-2 lead. It was Elmore's first hit as a Baby Cake.
The Cakes, who ended a six-game losing streak to Round Rock (56-65), won for the fourth time in five games. It also was the sixth win in their past eight home games and lowered to seven the number needed to avoid the fewest wins since the franchise moved from Denver in 1993.
A memorable home run
New Orleans Baby Cakes third baseman Brian Anderson has hit 21 home runs this season, tops among Miami Marlins minor league players.
He will remember one for a while, though. That came last Friday in the series' first game at Colorado Springs. Anderson led off the 10th inning with an inside the park home run, and New Orleans ended a 13-game road losing streak.
“The ball nuckled off the end of my bat, and the wind was blowing in,” said Anderson, the Marlins' top hitting prospect. “That made the ball dance a little bit, and center fielder (Lewis Brinson) dove for it. When he missed it, I sort of turned on the burners. At that point, it was give it all you've got, and I slid head-first into home plate.
“I think I was winded for an hour after that. That Colorado altitude got me. I was getting a bunch of crap from all the guys — 'unhitch the trailer.' "
Anderson has been pulling a lot of weight with the Baby Cakes since being called up from Jacksonville on July 15. He has hit .340 in 26 games, with seven home runs and 21 RBIs.
His numbers are even more impressive since manager Arnie Beyeler moved him to the cleanup spot. The Cakes are 8-2, and Anderson has safely in eight consecutive games, batting 14-for-31 (.452) with two home runs and nine RBI.
“When I first came up, I got off to a good start (.320),” said Anderson, who is known for his fluid swing. “That was definitely as confidence-builder. Then we went on that tough (0-8) road trip (to California), and the second series, I was 0-for-the-series. I was swinging at breaking balls out of the zone, and getting myself out.
“That was humbling, a reality check. Since then, I've been more disciplined at the plate and worked on driving the ball again like I used to.”
Going forward, Anderson said he just wants to have quality at-bats every day and play consistent defense.
Tom Koehler broke the franchise strikeout record by fanning Round Rock's Ronald Guzman leading off the fourth inning Wednesday. It gave him 324 strikeouts, surpassing Elih Villanueva. … Outfielder/first baseman Chris Parmelee is out for the season with a broken hammate bone sustained on Saturday at Colorado Springs. Center fielder Brandon Barnes was placed on the DL with what Beyeler said is back stiffness. Barnes' leadership has been key in a difficult season, particularly of late as he has done consistently well at the plate and in the outfield. … The Cakes entered Wednesday's game having batted .291 in the first 12 games of August. That is second in the PCL to Reno's .306. … The Cakes were involved in eight weather delays in the previous 11 days, totaling six hours, 45 minutes.