First baseman Brady Shoemaker went 3-for-4, drove in three runs and scored one on Saturday at Zephyr Field as New Orleans broke a three-game losing streak.
Shoemaker homered off Jason Lane (3-3) leading off the bottom of the sixth inning, snapping a 2-2 tie, as the Z’s (20-20) also ended a four-game home losing streak. Shoemaker singled up the middle the next inning, scoring Cole Gillespie to give New Orleans a two-run lead.
“Offensively, Shoemaker was the story of the day, and I thought Justin Nicolino just had a crisp performance,” manager Andy Haines said.
Nicolino (4-1), the Miami Marlins’ top minor-league pitching prospect, allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out four. First baseman Cody Decker’s one-out solo homer in the fifth that brought the Chihuahuas (22-20) to 2-1 was the first run off Nicolino in a home game in 28 innings.
New Orleans took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Gillespie scored on Shoemaker’s one-out infield single and Derek Dietrich came in on Scott Sizemore’s double off the left-field wall.
Marlins call up pair
Right-handers Andre Rienzo and Vin Mazzaro were called up by Miami to replace Marlins starters Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder inflamation) and Mat Latos (left knee inflamation), both of whom were placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday.
Rienzo (0-3, 3.15 ERA, 40 innings) and Mazzaro (3-0, 3.15, 20) may give the Marlins flexibility as both can be effective as starters or coming out of the bullpen.
Left-handers Greg Nappo and Travis Blackey joined the Z’s. Nappo came up from Double-A Jacksonville. Blackley, who signed a minor league contract with Miami on April 25, has not pitched in a game this season.
Nappo spent five games with New Orleans last season, pitching 5.0 innings. He was 1-0 with a 9.0 earned-run average. However, this season with the Suns, he was 3-0 with a 2.04 ERA in 10 games. He had 25 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.
He pitched for Z’s manager Haines in Single-A Greensboro in 2011 and ’12 and with Advanced-A Jupiter in ’13. He also spent two games with New Orleans in ’13, but didn’t make an appearance.
Catcher Jeff Mathis will join the Z’s on Sunday on a rehab assignment from Miami. He has been out since April 13 with a broken right ring finger. Mathis, who is in his third season with the Marlins, played two games with New Orleans in 2013. He went 2-for-9 but hit a double and a homer. Before being injured this season, he was competing with J.T. Realmuto for the starting job. … The Zephyrs, who lead the PCL in fielding percentage (.988), comitted an error for the second time in three games in this series. They have 19 errors this season. … Nappo pitched the eighth inning and didn’t allow a base-runner, striking out one. “We threw him right in the fire and he pitched well,” Haines said. ... Nicolino entered Saturday’s game with a home-game ERA of 0.63 after not allowing an earned run in his past four games at Zephyr Field. He is fourth in the PCL with a 2.09 ERA.