Reid Brignac’s two-run single capped a three-run seventh inning, and New Orleans won its third consecutive game in the series Saturday night at Zephyr Field.
Zephyrs starter Trevor Williams shut out the Bees on four hits over five innings. Chris Reed (1-0) and Scott McGough preserved the shutout.
“As a staff we threw very well,” said Williams, who had allowed four runs in three innings in his Triple-A debut vs. Round Rock on Aug. 23. “We got some timely hits. I hope we can keep this going.”
The victory clinched New Orleans’ first series win since it swept four games at Nashville on July 24-27.
Brignac’s two-out hit off reliever Mike Morin scored Juan Diaz and Austin Wates, giving the Zephyrs (55-80) a 4-0 lead. The Zs scored the inning’s first run on Wates’ double past third base that brought in Austin Nola, who led off the inning with a walk.
Donovan Solano scored the Zephyrs’ first run on an error by Salt Lake right fielder Roger Kieschnick in the sixth. Solano was on second when Tomas Telis singled off Bees starter Jo-Jo Reyes (3-5). Solano scored when Kieschnick bobbled the ball while trying to field the hit and come up with the throw.
The Zephyrs were playing the last games of their final homestand, with a doubleheader scheduled 10 years ago Saturday against the Iowa Cubs.
However, the games were canceled, and the team bused 13 hours to Oklahoma City, the site of its next series, which began two days later.
“The thing I’ll never forget is the players watching the news in the clubhouse before the games focused on what was going on in New Orleans, although none of them were from here,” Zephyrs General Manager Mike Schline said. “They’d been in New Orleans only five months, but the look on their faces …”
Ten days later, they returned, and Schline remembers the devastation to Zephyr Field, even though Metairie was not flooded like New Orleans. All five parking lots surrounding the stadium were occupied by Army Corps of Engineers personnel, with tents everywhere. It was their headquarters for the metro area.
“The auxiliary scoreboard had fallen into the seating bowl, the Party Shack was completely blown away, outfield wall padding was completely ripped out, scoreboard panels were out,” he said. “The roof (overhang) was completely off.”
That was the main damage, $2 million worth. However, there also was approximately $1 million in looting.
“We made the decision right away to announce that the team was coming back,” he said. “The stadium structure was still there.
“When I think about Katrina, I think about opening day, 2006, and how baseball was something for the 15 to 17 people who worked here to focus on and give them purpose.”
Pitcher Scott McGough returned to the Zs from the Marlins. He was called up Aug. 20, when he made his major league debut against Philadelphia. He made three appearances and allowed three runs in 3.2 innings. Z’s left-hander Jorge DeLeon was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. … Donovan Solano singled leading off the bottom of the first inning Saturday, giving him a seven-game hitting streak. He has gotten at least one hit in 12 of his past 14 games. … Catcher Tomas Telis also extended his streak to seven games, all since coming to the Z’s from the Marlins on Aug. 23. … When Pat Urckfitz (1-5) won Friday’s game in relief, it not only was his first victory of the season, it was his first win since May 12, 2014, when he pitched for Double-A Corpus Christi.