The Nashville Sounds hit four home runs in building a 7-1 lead before surviving a four-run ninth by the New Orleans Baby Cakes in a 7-5 win in the series opener Friday at the Shrine on Airline.
It was the sixth loss in a row by the Baby Cakes (38-61), who had won eight of 10 before the current slide.
Shortstop Franklin Barreto, a top Oakland Athletics prospect, hit the game's first pitch for a home run against William Cuevas (1-3). Catcher Ryan Lavarnway homered leading off the third, and second baseman Chad Pinder hit one leading off the sixth for a 4-0 lead. Left fielder Yairo Munoz hit a one-out solo shot in the seventh.
Barreto was hit by a pitch from Cuevas with one out in the third. Cuevas was ejected, and Cakes manager Arnie Beyeler and pitching coach Scott Budner also were tossed for vehemently arguing the call.
Looking to bounce back
The Baby Cakes had just come off their best stretch of the season, winning eight of 10 games.
“We had some come-from-behind wins, and guys were playing with a lot of energy coming off the All-Star break,” said manager Artie Beyeler, whose team is last in the Pacific Coast League's American South Division. “It was very encouraging. It was a streak type of thing and not just go one up, one down.”
Then came their just-completed four-game series at Round Rock, and they were swept for the first time this season in losing five in a row. It had been somewhat of a Cakes badge of honor that even through 21 non-winning series, they had not been swept.
Now, playing a home series against the Nashville Sounds, the Baby Cakes look to get back on track. It is New Orleans' first home series in two weeks, and playing the Sounds (47-52) offers hope in another way.
“We started playing real good baseball during our series at Nashville (June 17-20),” Beyeler said.
New Orleans won three of five games at Nashville, but one was the continuation of a game suspended on May 30 due to rain. However, the players say the series gave them renewed confidence. After losing a series at Memphis to start July, the Cakes won three consecutive series.
“We caught some teams shorthanded,” Beyeler said. “This time of year, a lot of (Major League) teams are running guys up and down. But you still have to take advantage of it, and we've been able to do that.”
Reliever Brian Ellington (1-0, 2.29 ERA, five saves) was called up by the Marlins for the third time this season. He has a 7.71 ERA in 11 appearances with Miami this season. Right-hander Tayron Guerreo was promoted from Double A Jacksonville. He made 17 relief appearances with the Jumbo Shrimp and had a 3.38 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 16 innings. … Third baseman Brian Anderson, rated as the top hitter in the Marlins' system, was promoted from Jacksonville on July 15 and had gotten a hit in five of his first six career Triple A games. Heading into Friday, he was 7-for-20 (.350) with two home runs and six RBI. … Monday's game was scheduled for 11 a.m. but has been changed to 10:30 to allow more time for travel, the Baby Cakes said. Immediately after the game, the Cakes are flying to Fresno for the start of an eight-game West Coast trip. The change was initiated by Cakes general manager Augusto “Cookie” Rojas and had to be approved by the PCL, the Marlins and the Oakland A's, Nashville's parent club.