Former LSU player Matt Clark hit a two-run home run with two out and a full count in the top of the 13th inning, lifting Colorado Springs over the New Orleans Zephyrs 3-1 on Friday night at Zephyr Field in Metairie.
The blast came against reliever Scott McGough, who got out the first two hitters of the inning, then walked slugger Jason Rogers on a 3-2 pitch. Jaye Chapman pitched the bottom of the inning for the save.
The win was the second consecutive for the Sky Sox (43-61) against the Zephyrs (49-56) and gave them a split of the four-game series. New Orleans was seeking to win back-to-back series for the first time this season. Colorado Springs had ended the Z’s seven-game winning streak on Thursday.
The Zephyrs tied the score in the sixth against Rob Wooten on Jhonatan Solana’s sacrifice fly that plated Vinny Rottino. New Orleans had gotten one it against starter Nick Additon before that.
The Z’s, though, squandered opportunities in the eighth, 10th and 11th innings, each of which they had two runners on base.
Marlins recall Conley
Zephyrs All-Star pitcher Adam Conley was called up by Miami on Friday morning. Conley, a starter with the Z’s, will pitch out of the bullpen with the Marlins.
“I can go either way,” he said. “I pitched more out of the bullpen in college (Washington State) than I did start, but ever since signing professionally — until being called up (earlier) — I’ve been used only as a starter.”
Conley (9-3, 2.52 ERA) tied for the Pacific Coast League in wins with his 5-2 victory over Colorado Springs on Tuesday.
He’s had three appearances with the Marlins this season. He gave up two home runs and four runs on March 8 at St. Louis, pitched a 1-2-3 inning at Toronto on June 10 and allowed two runs in five innings on July 11 against Cincinnati in getting the victory in his first major league start.
Conley, a left-hander, said he has been working on bettering his slider against left-handed hitters.
“Against right-handers, I throw a fastball that goes down at their back foot,” he said. “When I throw my slider, it looks a lot like the fastball, which makes it an effective pitch.
Reid Brignac had batted just 17-for-115 (.148) since June 19 when he homered leading off the seventh inning Thursday during the completion of Wednesday’s game suspended by rain.
That gave New Orleans a 1-0 lead and broke up a no-hitter in a game it won 3-2 to extend its winning streak to seven games.
“I felt great,” said Brignac, who is from St. Amant. “I’d been hitting the ball hard, but having balls caught at the wall or in the gaps. I finally hit one they couldn’t get to.”
Entering Friday, Brignac was hitting .181 in July, second-lowest in the league. However, the homer was his third this month and he also has had four doubles. He said he’s been over rib and back injuries for a few weeks, and his swing is coming back.
He was hitting .320 on June 19 and has seen his average plummet to .229.
However, Manager Andy Haines has had Brignac in the leadoff position since Miguel Rojas was called up to Miami on June 27.
“He’s got some power, and he has as almost as many walks (31) as strikeouts (38),” Haines said. “He’s been in the big leagues the past few years as a backup, so he hasn’t gotten a lot of at-bats. So I’m hoping that with more at-bats, he’ll start to take off.”
Zephyrs 3-5, Sky Sox 2-6
Isaac Galloway hit a pinch-hit single up the middle against Colorado Spring’s drawn-in infield, scoring Jordany Valdespin from third base in the bottom of the 10th inning as New Orleans won 3-2 for its seventh consecutive game Thursday at Zephyr Field.
Playing in the resumption of Wednesday’s game suspended by rain, the Zephyrs (49-56) gained the franchise’s longest winning streak since July 26-Aug. 1, 2012.
But the Sky Sox (42-61) won the second game, as right fielder Matt Long doubled home the go-ahead run in the third inning, then hit a two-run single in the fifth for a 6-3 lead, before settling for a 6-5 victory.
In the first game, the Zephyrs trailed 2-1 entering the 10th. Marcell Ozuna led off by reaching on an error on a grounder to shortstop Luis Sardinas. Jordany Valdespin then hit a one-out double to the right field corner. Reliever Jay Chapman (2-2) walked former LSU standout Austin Nola intentionally to load the bases and get to catcher Jhonatan Solana (.192 batting average) and set up double-play possibilities at all bases.
However, Solano was hit by a pitch, scoring Ozuna, and Galloway followed with his game-winning hit.
WHO: Zephyrs at Oklahoma City Dodgers
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Oklahoma City
PROBABLE PITCHERS: N.O.: TBA vs. OKC: Trevor Cahill (0-2, 7.82 ERA)
RADIO: WMTI-FM, 106.1