BABY CAKES 10, STORM CHASERS 0
Dustin Beggs scattered seven hits in his Triple A debut, and the New Orleans Baby Cakes exploded for eight runs in the seventh and eighth innings to blank the Omaha Storm Chasers 10-0 on Sunday.
New Orleans (9-8) took a 2-1 series lead with the final game Monday. Beggs, promoted from Double-A Jacksonville on Saturday, struck out seven, had no walks and allowed one hit over his last four innings.
“I really wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be,” he said. “I think the key was (catcher Bryan) Holaday was calling a really good game. I think I only shook him off one time.”
The Baby Cakes led 2-0 entering the seventh. Second baseman Isan Diaz hit and RBI double and Austin Dean followed with an RBI single. One batter later, first baseman Peter O'Brien hit a three-run homer. Diaz' two-run single highlighted a three-run eighth.
O'Brien hitting stride
The home run for O'Brien was his second in three games since being optioned to the Baby Cakes on April 12 after going 3-for-27 (.111) with one home run in nine games with the Miami Marlins.
“We were hoping for the power from Pete,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We thought that brought another dimension for us. We haven't been able to get it yet, but hopefully that will get there for us as the season goes.”
O'Brien, 28, was understandably very happy when he went 3-for-4 with a home run on Friday against Omaha.
“It felt good. It felt nice just to get back to it and get on a bit of a roll again and show that the work I'm putting in is showing some dividends,” OBrien said.
He came to New Orleans on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he played in a doubleheader against Iowa and went a combined 1-for-7. He was 1-for-10 with six strikeouts before he had the big game against Omaha.
“I just feel that was a small sample size,” he said.
As far as Mattingly's wish for more power, O'Brien said he considers himself a quality hitter. Last season, he had 13 home runs in 43 games with Double-A Jacksonville, 10 in 36 games with the Cakes and four with Miami.
“Power is something I bring to the the table, so the more good swings I put on the baseball, the more it's going to happen,” said O'Brien, who went 2-for-3 Sunday. “Being up there (in the Major Leagues), you can't make any mistakes. You're in the game, and you miss your pitch, it's tough to do. The Marlins want me to be in good position and make consistent contact.
“They told me to do my thing and get hot again.”
The top five in the Cakes' batting order Sunday went 12-for-20 (.600) with two homers, two doubles, all 10 RBIs and eight runs with one strikeout. … In the past two games, center fielder Monte Harrison reached base seven consecutive times, five of which were hits. He reached base five times Sunday — 3-for-3 hitting and two walks. … Dean rejoined the Cakes on Sunday and was in the starting lineup at designated hitter. After being called up on April 12, Dean started out 5-for-6 with Miami. However, he was in a 1-for-16 slump when he was optioned to New Orleans, finishing at 6-for-22 (.227) in six games. Dean batted .375 with the Cakes before the call-up. … Before Saturday's 4-3 win, the Cakes were 0-5 when trailing after the sixth inning. It also was the first time this season they overcame a deficit of three runs or more to win. … Saturday's game also was the first time the bullpen did not allow an earned run in a nine-inning game.