Thursday: Zephyrs 4, Redbirds 1 _lowres

Zephyrs

Elih Villanueva shut out Round Rock for 5.2 innings, and Derek Dietrich and Kyle Jensen each homered, leading New Orleans past the Express on Sunday at Zephyr Field.

The victory, which gave the Zephyrs (33-30) the series three games to one, pulled them to a half-game behind American South Division leader Nashville (34-30), which lost at Memphis on Sunday. The Zephyrs have won four consecutive series for the first time since July, 2007.

Monday’s game

WHAT: New Orleans Zephyrs at El Paso Chihuahuas

WHERE: Southwest University Park, El Paso, Texas

WHEN: 7:35 p.m.

PROBABLE PITCHERS: Zephyrs RH Alex Sanabia (2-2, 5.93 ERA) vs. Chihuahuas RH Keyvius Sampson (2-5, 6.71)

BROADCASTS: WMTI-FM, 106.1; MiLB.tv

Prospect

When the Zephyrs left for their previous road trip on July 27 for four games each against Colorado Springs and Nashville, Zack Cox was batting .208.

The Z’s left Sunday night for an eight-game trip to El Paso and Albuquerque with Cox having lifted his batting average 100 points.

“I’ve just been sticking to my batting practice routine, making sure I do fundamental things like keep my hands back, stuff like that,” Cox said.

Cox went 0-for3 Sunday, ending an eight-game hitting streak. However, he had six consecutive games of multiple hits that included all five of his home runs this season. He batted .516 during the streak, with six doubles along with the homers, 11 RBIs and nine runs scored.

The Express, no doubt, is glad to see Cox gone. Before Sunday’s game, he’d hit .538 (14-for-29) with three homers and nine RBIs in eight games.

It remains to be seen if the addition of Dietrich will have an effect on Cox, however. Manager Andy Haines said Dietrich will play exclusively at second base to get ready for his return to the Marlins.

Darrell Williams