Junior Lake and Ryan Dent hit home runs in the seventh inning off Zephyrs All-Star closer Nick Wittgren in the first game, and Iowa starter Jeffery Antigua didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning of the second game, as the Cubs swept a doubleheader Monday at Zephyr Field.
Heading into Monday’s games, Zephyrs pitchers had held Iowa scoreless for 23 consecutive innings. New Orleans (40-44) had won the first two games of the series and three in a row overall. Iowa (44-40) had lost its past three.
Iowa carried over its power surge into the second game, as catcher Taylor Davis hit a one-out homer in the second inning and left fielder Junior Lake followed with a two-out solo shot.
Antigua allowed a pinch-hit double to Juan Diaz leading off the bottom of the sixth then walked Donovan Solano with one out. Carl Edwards Jr. relieved and struck out Reid Brignac and got Vinny Rottino to fly out to right field.
In the first game, Cubs closer Brian Schlitter allowed a leadoff walk to Isaac Galloway in the bottom of the seventh, then stuck out Jhonatan Solano and Dovovan Solano around a ground out by Austin Wates to seal the victory.
More Conley honors
Only July 1, Zephyrs left-hander Adam Conley (8-2, 2.33 ERA) was selected to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team, tabbed as the starter against the International League on July 15 in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Omaha, Neb.
On Monday, Conley was chosen the PCL’s Pitcher of the Week for June 29-July 5. In notching two wins, he allowed only one run and three hits and struck out 14 in 13 innings. On Sunday, he pitched his second career shutout, 2-0 vs. Iowa.
Then, just before the start of Monday’s doubleheader manager Andy Haines headed to the locker room to tell Conley that he also had been selected as the Marlins’ organization Pitcher of the Month for June.
Over five games during the month, Conley started five games and went 3-0. He struck out 19 in 26.1 innings, allowing six runs on 16 hits and nine walks.
A shot of hope
When second baseman Reid Brignac homered on a 1-0 pitch leading off the bottom of the first inning, it came after he’d gone 3-for-41 (.073) since June 15.
The slump came after a 14-game hitting streak from May 29 to June 14 in which he’d gone 21-for-54 (.389). The homer was just his second of the season, the first one coming on May 30 at Reno, a series in which he batted 7-for-13 with a homer and six RBI in four games.
However, just before his hitting streak ended, during a home series against Omaha, Brignac, playing right field, dove for a ball hit in the gap, bruising his left ribs.
“I’m finally getting over the hump and starting to feel better and spending less time in the trainer’s room,” he said. “Throwing and swinging the bat was painful.”
He took off three days to allow it to heal, but it’s taken time.
“I still have about 150 at-bats left to get my average back up, so we’ll see,” he said.