Colorado Springs scored two runs in the top of the ninth, the winning run scoring on a high fly hit by Michael Reed that went for a double when right fielder Kenny Wilson misplayed the ball Monday at Zephyr Field.
New Orleans (25-31) was vying for a season-high fifth consecutive win. Colorado Springs (26-27) had not scored in 26.1 innings before the ninth-inning rally. The series’ final game is Tuesday, with the Zephyrs leading two games to one.
With starter Chris Narveson shutting out Colorado Springs on one hit through seven innings, the Z’s entered the ninth leading 1-0.
However, reliever Craig Breslow, who escaped a bases-loaded one-out jam in the eighth, gave up a run-scoring double to Sky Sox catcher Manny Pina. That tied the score at 1, bringing home former Barbe High School standout Garin Cecchini, who walked leading off the inning. Wilson appeared to make a leaping catch of Pina’s hit but dropped the ball when he hit the ground.
“He needs to get some work in, and we’re kind of short in the (bullpen),” manager Arnie Beyeler said when asked why Breslow was brought out for the ninth. “We had a tough play, but we’ve got to play some defense behind him.”
Reed’s hit came off Eric Jokisch, who relieved Breslow after Pina’s double.
Jose Urena will make his first start for the Zephyrs since April 18, when he allowed one hit and struck out five in shutting out Omaha through five innings in a 3-0 win.
Urena was called up to Miami three days later and appeared in 16 games, allowing 17 runs in 20.1 innings.
In his last two appearances, he gave up three runs on three hits in one inning at Atlanta on May 28, then four runs on three hits in an inning at home against Pittsburgh on June 1.
He was then sent back down to New Orleans, the Marlins calling up former Southern University right-hander Cody Hall.
Urena’s impressive start agiainst Omaha came after his first two appearances were in relief. Now, the Marlins are looking to bring him back in a bigger role, too. He’s being sent to the Zephyrs to “get stretched out” — throw six or seven innings per appearance as a starter. He will work on keeping the ball down.
Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Corey Knebel started the game on a rehab assignment with Colorado Springs for the second consecutive time.
Knebel, 23, has been working his way back since his left oblique was strained on April 2. It was his fourth appearance, and he is expected to return to the Brewers.
In Sunday’s game, he pitched an inning, throwing 13 pitches, before the game’s scheduled starter, Jorge Lopez, took over and went 5.2 innings. On Monday, Knebel went 1.2 innings, throwing 21 pitches. He was relieved for the final out by Drew Gagnon. Scheduled starter Hiram Burgos entered at the start of the second.
Knebel’s two starts were in keeping with a schedule he adhered to begin his rehab stint at High-A Brevard County on May 31. He pitched one inning then two the next day also.
Umpire Stu Scheurwater ejected Sky Sox shortstop Orlando Arcia and pitching coach Fred Dabney with one out in the top of the eighth inning, the bases loaded and Keon Broxton at the plate. Arcia is the top Brewers’ top prospect with Colorado Springs.