New Orleans starter Andre Rienzo (1-4) shut out Round Rock on three hits through seven innings for his first victory of the season, and third baseman Juan Diaz capped the victory with a three-run homer in the eighth in the series opener Tuesday at Zephyr Field.
“When you look at his numbers (2.65 earned-run average), he deserves more than one win,” Zephyrs manager Andy Haines said. “He throws a lot of different pitches, and he had command of them tonight.”
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak to the Express Rock (42-28), which swept the Zephyrs (32-37) last week in Round Rock, Texas.
Shortstop Miguel Rojas led off the first with an infield single against Round Rock starter Alec Asher (2-3), went to third on left fielder Jordany Valdespin’s double down the right field line and scored on Cole Gillespie’s groundout.
Rojas led off the eighth with a triple against reliever Neftali Feliz and scored on Cole Gillespie’s one-out single. Michael Morse blooped a single, Diaz followed with a shot to right field.
Tiger on the mound
Former LSU right-hander Anthony Ranaudo will be the starting pitcher for Round Rock in Wednesday’s game, which will begin at 11 a.m. on Camp Day.
Drafted in the first round (39th overall) in 2010 by the Boston Red Sox, Ranaudo is in his first season in the Texas Rangers’ organization. He has had two spot starts with the Major League team, including Thursday when he shut out the Los Angles Dodgers over 6.2 innings.
Most of his time has been spent with the Triple-A team, however, and he has been sterling. Ranaudo is 7-1, having made 11 starts, and has a 2.45 earned-run average, which is fourth in the Pacific Coast League.
Ranaudo pitched on LSU’s 2009 NCAA championship team.
Working into form
Miami Marlins starting first baseman Michael Morse is on a rehab assignment with the Zephyrs. He is expected to be in New Orleans through the Round Rock series, which ends Thursday.
“We’re hoping he can give us some much-needed power in the middle of our lineup,” said Haines, whose team ranks second-to-last in the PCL in home runs, 13th in hitting.
Morse landed on the disabled list on May 24 with a sprained ring finger. That’s when Justin Bour was called up from the Z’s.
Morse took batting practice for the first time since on June 15 since the injury occurred. He played in a rehab game on June 18 at the Marlins’ spring training facility in Jupiter, Fla., but struck out three times.
However, he went 5-for-9 with a double, home run and three RBIs in his last three games of a five-game stay with Double-A Jacksonville before coming to the Zephyrs.
With the Marlins, he was hitting .211 when the injury occurred, and reports out of Miami suggest one of the reasons he may not have been rushed back is that Bour had done well, hitting six home runs. However, in his past seven games, he has hit 5-of-23 (.217), lowering his average to .270. Bour has gone 2-of-10 in his past three games.