The New Orleans Baby Cakes left last Friday feeling good about themselves after taking two of three games against Round Rock, which gave them a franchise-record sixth consecutive home-series victory.
The Cakes (52-75) return home much the same way after splitting a series at American South Division leader Memphis, which has the best record in the Pacific Coast League.
“You look at Memphis' record and where we played; the guys played well,” said manager Arnie Beyeler, whose team will begin a four-game series against Colorado Springs (72-53) at 7 p.m. Thursday. “We got some big hits against good pitching, and we pitched well, too, and played good defense.”
The Cakes now have gone five series in a row overall without losing, last dropping one on Aug. 3 at Sacramento. A key series in New Orleans going 12-6 since Aug. 3 was at Colorado Springs. The Sky Sox lead the American Northern Division by nine games.
“Colorado Springs, like Memphis, is one of the top teams in the league,” Beyeler said. “We played well against them, then against Round Rock at home. It's been a nice turnaround, and things are starting to go our way that weren't happening early in the season.”
The Baby Cakes' split in Memphis — after going 4-8 against the Redbirds this season — came with third baseman Brian Anderson out because of concussion protocol, which mandates that a player miss a week. Anderson is batting .354 with New Orleans, including .484 (16-for-33) in his past nine games.
Anderson had what was to be a final checkup Wednesday and was waiting notification from Major League Baseball. He is expected back in the lineup on Thursday.
“He went through a workout (Tuesday) in Memphis,” Beyeler said. “He's a very consistent player with a lot of ability, and he just lengthens our lineup out.”
Infielder Grant Green was assigned to the Baby Cakes on Saturday. Green was drafted from USC in the first round in 2009 by the Oakland Athletics. This season, he was released by Washington from Triple-A Syracuse (40 games) and later by the Chicago White Sox from Triple-A Charlotte (28) after hitting .232. He was brought in after Anderson was sidelined by the concussion, and played in all four games at Memphis. Green went 7-for-13 (.538), including 4-for-5 with three RBIs on Tuesday. He has played in 129 MLB games with Oakland, the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco since 2013. … New Orleans is second in the PCL in earned-run average (4.23). Colorado Springs is sixth (4.61). The Sky Sox are third in batting average (.291). New Orleans is last (.254). … The Baby Cakes are 7-5 against Colorado Springs, which comes in with a 34-29 road record, second to Memphis. The Cakes and Sky Sox split a four-game series June 22-25.
Baby Cakes LH Mike Kickham (2-2, 6.14 ERA) vs. Sky Sox RH Brandon Woodruff (6-5, 4.46).
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