Colorado Springs took charge with a three-run second inning, highlited by catcher Juan Centeno’s double to left field, and first baseman Jason Rogers hit a grand slam in the fourth on Friday night at Zephyr Field.
The loss was the sixth in seven games for New Orleans (42-50). Colorado Springs (36-54), which has the Pacific Coast League’s second-worst record, has won the first two games of the series and three games in a row overall.
“When it rains, it pours,” Zephyrs manager Andy Haines said. “When starter (Jarred Cosart) goes an inning-and-a-third, it puts your team in a tough spot. … (Reliever) Travis Blackley got backed into a corner by the hottest hitter on the planet.”
Rogers hit two homers in the series opener, Thursday’s 5-2 win.
He is on a 10-game hitting streak since coming from the parent Milwaukee Brewers and came into the game hitting .382 in the previous nine.
Cosart exits early
Cosart left the game in the top of the second inning after throwing just 30 pitches. Sweating profusely, he had problems standing up and was assisted from the field by Haines and trainer Chris Olson. Cosart has battled vertigo, a condition in which the afflicted experiences dizziness.
“We thought he was over it, but if flared up again,” Haines said. “It’s unfortunate for Cosart. The most important thing is him and his health. I think we’re going to re-evaluate it and see if we can prevent it from happening.”
Cosart, who the Marlins obtained in a multi-player trade with Houston last season, was in Miami’s rotation when the season began but went 1-3 with a 4.08 earned-run average. On May 19, he was placed on the disabled list with vertigo.
He appeared in games on June 11 (Omaha, two runs on nine hits, 5.2 innings) and June 16 (at Round Rock, four runs, seven hits, in 5.1) before being sent down to Double-A Jacksonville. He gave up one run on three hits at Charlotte on June 21.
He returned to the Marlins on July 4 but was sent to the Z’s on July 8 and pitched four inings at Round Rock on July 10, allowing two runs on three hits in four innings.
Clark looks to get hot
By Matt Clark’s admission, it’s been “an up and down season.”
Clark, who played at LSU in 2007 and ’08, is in his eighth pro season since being drafted in the 12th round by the San Diego Padres. Heading into Friday’s game, he was batting .262 (79-for-302) with 12 home runs, 16 doubles, 42 RBIs and 27 walks.
“It’s been hard to be consistent,” said Clark, who has played first base and left field with the Sky Sox. “I’ve had back and forearm injuries that have been bothering me.”
Not to mention The Shift. A left-handed pull hitter with power, Clark increasingly has gone against defensive alignments shifted heavily to right field. He usually sees the second baseman in right field, the shortstop shifted over to second base and the third baseman at shortstop.
“Sometimes I lay down a bunt” down the third-base line, he said. “It’s a hit. But I’m not going to change too much. I figure if I hit it over the fence, there’s nothing they can do.”
In the swing
The Marlins were expected to call starting center fielder Marcell Ozuna back up to Miami.
Ozuna, who was hitting just .249 when sent down to New Orleans on July 8, has gotten a hit in all seven of his games with the Zephyrs. He went 3-for-4 Friday, lifting his average from .320 to an eye-popping .379 (11-of-29) with the Z’s. Before that, he had home runs in consecutive games, although they were spaced out between Sunday and Thursday by the All-Star break.