Left-hander Edwin Escobar shut out New Orleans on six hits over six innings, and center fielder Todd Glaesmann hit a grand slam in the second inning, leading Reno on Tuesday at Zephyr Field before a ffranchise record-low crowd of 560.
“(Starter Jarred) Cosart did a nice job for the most part,” manager Arnie Beyeler said. “A two-out walk, then couple of things happen, and one swing of the bat …”
It was the second consecutive win against the Zephyrs for the Aces (21-23), who can clinch the series in the third game on Wednesday. New Orleans (19-25) came into the series having swept four games at Albuquerque.
The Zephyrs had gotten the first two batters out in the second. However, Cosart (1-3) walked third baseman Ed Lucas, catcher Tuffy Grosewisch followed with a single, and Escobar reached on second baseman Austin Nola’s error of a routine ground ball. Up came Glaesmann, whose homer just cleared the left-field fence.
Glaesmann led off the game with a standup double to the left-field corner. He singled off the glove of Zephyrs third baseman Matt Juengel in the fifth.
When second baseman Austin Nola mishandled a routine grounder in the second inning Tuesday, it was the ninth Zephyrs error in four games.
When the Zephyrs committed two errors on Saturday at Albuquerque, it stood out. The Zephyrs were leading all of Minor League Baseball with a .989 fielding percentage, having made just 16 errors.
It stood out when the Zephyrs committed two errors Saturday at Albuquerque. The next night, however, on their way to sweeping the Isotopes, New Orleans made three. Then, on Monday night in the home series opener against Reno, the Z’s again hadcommitted three errors.
In recent games, the Zephyrs have been playing Matt Juengel more at third base. However, Austin Nola, Elliot Soto and Robert Andino have mostly manned the infield.
On Monday, two of the Zephyrs’ errors — by Nola at shortstop and Soto at second — came after each tried to shovel the ball with their gloves and missed the other covering second base. The other came on a dropped ball by Soto on a steal of second inning.
Soto said the spate of errors won’t last.
“We have a lot of pride in our defense, guys who just can’t stand to make errors,” he said.
In the swing
When Andino returned to the lineup at shortstop Tuesday after sitting out Monday’s game, he got a hit in his first at-bat – a single with one out in the first after Nola walked.
It continued improved hitting by Andino that began on the just-completed road trip. Andino got a hit in seven of the eight games, including multiple hits in six. He came into the trip batting .178 but went 17-of-38 (.447) with three home runs and 10 RBIs.
Part of why the Zephyrs have had difficulty scoring is that leadoff hitter Kenny Wilson and cleanup hitter Destin Hood have not hit well in May.
The Zepyrs are batting .225 this month. Wilson is hitting .157 and Hood .145, the two lowest averages in the league this month among those who have enough plate appearances to qualify.
“You have to make adjustments at the plate,” manager Arnie Beyeler said.
On in the road trip West, where averages often increase, neither did well but hit higher than their current averages. Wilson went 8-for-37 (.216) on the road trip and Hood 6-of-31 (.194). Both went 0-for-3 in Monday’s opener. Hood singled Tuesday in the sixth.