Las Vegas ripped starter Robert Morey for eight runs on nine hits through four innings in finishing off New Orleans in the series, three games to one, Wednesday at Zephyr Field.
The Zephyrs (52-80), banged out 15 hits, but lost for the 17th time in 18 games and the 23rd game in their past 28 at home in reaching 80 losses for the first time since 2009. The franchise record of 85 losses was set in 1999. The Z’s have 12 games left this season — four each vs. Salt Lake and at Memphis and Colorado Springs.
The 51s (73-59), who lead the Pacific South Division, scored three runs in both the first and second innings in taking a 6-1 lead. It reached 10-2 in the fifth.
Morey allowed a triple, two doubles and a home run. He was under consideration to be called up by the parent Miami Marlins to replace starting pitcher Kendry Flores, who went on the disabled list Tuesday with an inflamed right shoulder.
Reid Brignac went 2-for-4 with an RBI in extending his hitting streak to 19 games. Kila Ka’aihue went a season-high 4-for-5 with a run.
PULLING FOR BRIGNAC
When second baseman/left fielder Reid Brignac singled to right field during the fourth inning Wednesday, it pushed his hitting streak to 19 games.
That put him three behind the franchise record, held by current teammate Donovan Solano. However, when asked about it before Wednesday’s game, Solano said he didn’t know he had the mark of 22 consecutive games.
It began May 13, 2012, and ended on June 30, 2013. In between, he was called up and played for the Miami Marlins.
“I remember now that I had gotten 17 before I got called up,” he said after being told of the number of consecutive games he got a hit.
Solano said he was pulling for Brignac to better his mark.
“Why not?” he said. “I hope he gets 50 (consecutive games). What I did has already happened, so if somebody can do better, that would be great.”
Solano has had other things on his mind of late. On Tuesday, he played first base for the first time in his career, spanning more than 1,144 games. Part of it is in keeping with Miami’s philosophy of making their players versatile. Part of it also is that first base for years has not been a strong spot for the Marlins, and they want to have a lot of options there.
“I’ve played third, short, second and now first in the infield, and left field when I was with the Marlins,” he said, smiling.
WITTGREN A HIT
When closer Nick Wittgren’s turn to bat came up leading off the ninth inning Tuesday, manager Andy Haines didn’t call for a pinch hitter in a game the Z’s were trailing 3-0.
“I’d already (used Brady) Shoemaker (as a pinch-hitter), and I decided to let Nick bat,” Haines said. “He’s capable of getting hits.”
Wittgren didn’t disappoint, getting a single. Haines said he wasn’t surprised.
“He’s had a couple of them this season,” Haines said. “He got one in the 10th inning (July 19) in a game,” a 3-1 loss in 13 innings at home to Colorado Springs.
Wittgren’s first hit came on June 19, also against the Sky Sox but at Colorado Springs in a 4-0 win in which he got the save.
Kila Ka’aihue got three hits, including a seventh-inning double, for the first time since July 3 at Omaha. … He came into the game batting .180. … Shoemaker, who can be used as a pinch hitter, has an ailing right shoulder that prevents him from playing in the field. According to Haines, the injury is from wear and tear, Haines said, and Shoemaker has been taking antibiotics. … The Zephyrs host the Salt Lake Bees (Angels) from Thursday to Sunday. The Zephyrs and Bees, 52-79 and in last place in the heading into Wednesday’s game vs. Round Rock, have not played this season.
UP NEXT: Thursday
Bees at Zephyrs
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Zephyr Field
Probable pitchers: Bees TBD; Zephyrs RHP Jake Esch (0-1, 4.50)
Radio: WMTI-FM, 106.1