Scott Van Slyke's sacrifice fly to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Braxton Lee, giving the New Orleans Cakes a 9-8 win and sweep of the Sacramento River Cats on Tuesday at the Shrine on Airline.
The victory came after the Baby Cakes (35-36) blew a 5-0, fifth-inning lead and one of 7-5 heading into the ninth.
“I'm glad we batted last,” manager Arnie Beyeler said. “But we battled back twice after their guys came back against a big deficit. We continued to fight.”
It was New Orleans' first home sweep of at least three games since taking four against Omaha on June 9-12, 2016, and their first against Sacramento (33-39) since June 2-4, 2016. It also is the team's first sweep this season since winning four at Omaha on May 4-7.
New Orleans trailed 8-7 entering the bottom of the ninth. The Cakes loaded the bases on Isaac Galloway's walk, Austin Lee's single and an intentional walk to Tomas Telis. Galloway scored on a walk to Eric Campbell before Van Slyke's RBI fly.
Mooney eyes strong finish
Shortstop Peter Mooney went 3-for-3 Monday in just his second game back with the Cakes.
Through the first 11 games of the season, he was batting .294 and fielding the ball well, as usual. Then, on April 16 at Oklahoma City, Dodgers leadoff hitter Tim Locastro smashed a hard grounder. Mooney fielded the ball, but the tip of his right ring finger was shattered and the third joint dislocated.
“I was going to body it up because I didn't want it to get past me, and the hop came up to my face,” he said. “It was either my face or my finger. I put my hand up.”
It put him on the disabled list for two months of what seemed to be promising season for Mooney. He had been among the last players cut by Miami after batting .394 (16-for-44) in spring training. And, with Marlins starter JT Riddle rehabbing an injury, Mooney was first in line to be called up if another injury hit the Marlins' infield.
“I'd had a good spring, and I'd gotten a hit in (nine of 11 games with the Cakes) I'd played in,” he said. “Now I have to start all over and get my timing and the speed of the game back.”
The only good thing was that the Marlins' rehab center is in his home town of Jupiter, Florida. However, that didn't go smoothly. He was in Jupiter near draft time, so the Marlins didn't have any extended spring training going on.
He was transferred to Double A Jacksonville last week and played in four games. He went 0-for-13.
“To be out two months and then try to get your timing back against Double-A flame-throwers was not easy,” he said. “But if I had to pick a finger to be injured, I'd pick the ring finger. I hold the ball with my index and middle finger, and when I swing the bat, my pinky is on the bottom. The ring finger doesn't play into anything except grip strength, so I'm ready to go.”
Mooney brings a lot of range in an infield where the only other such player is Cito Culver.
“I feel like I'm at spring training again,” Mooney said. “But, it's just timing. It shouldn't take too long.”
Right-hander Nick Wittgren was sent to the Cakes on a major league rehab assignment after having a bruised finger. He pitched in seven games this season with New Orleans before being called up to Miami, where he went 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 17⅔ innings spanning 18 games.