ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Brian Flynn pitched seven shutout innings as the New Orleans Zephyrs held off a late rally from Albuquerque to defeat the Albuquerque Isotopes 3-2 in front of 6,598 fans at Isotopes Park.
The wins snapped a three-game slide for the Zephyrs, who improved to 53-56 and eight games back of first-place Albuquerque in the Pacific Coast League.
Flynn allowed four hits over seven innings and struck out seven to earn his fourth win of the season. Flynn has not allowed a run in his last two starts, spanning 14.2 innings.
Gil Velazquez led off the fourth inning with a walk, Jordan Brown followed with a double and Velazquez scored on an errant throw to the infield from right fielder Alex Castellanos. The run was unearned for starter Steven Fife, who suffered the defeat.
The Z’s added a run in the seventh inning as Jake Smolinski doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Kyle Jensen sacrifice fly. Smolinski drilled a ninth-inning home run to extend the lead to 3-0.
In the ninth, the Isotopes rallied scoring a pair of runs. Scott Van Slyke led off the inning with a walk off Chris Hatcher. Chili Buss lined a single into left field and Justin Sellers drove both home on a double into right field. Sellers advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt. Hatcher induced John Baker to an infield pop fly and Rusty Ryal struck out looking to end the game.
Hatcher earned his league leading 28th save. The Isotopes lead the series 2-1 with the finale on Monday afternoon.
The Z’s have homered in 11 of their past 12 games. ... The Z’s are now 24-19 in one run games and 61 of the Zephyrs’ 109 games have been decided by two runs or less. ... Kevin Kouzmanoff snapped a seven-game hit streak. The Marlins promoted pitcher Steven Ames and the Z’s added reliever Scott McGough. ... The Zephyrs and Albuquerque meet in the final game of the four game set at 1:05 p.m. Monday. The Z’s will start RH Doug Mathis (5-7, 3.64 ERA) vs. LH Jonathan Sanchez (3-1, 5.87). The game will be broadcasted on WMTI-FM, 106.1.