New Orleans left fielder Eury Perez hit a two-out single past third base, scoring Brian Anderson for the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 6-5 victory over The Albuquerque Isotopes on Monday in Metairie.
It was the first walk-off win of the season for New Orleans (44-70), which has won three consecutive games and 12 of it past 16 home games. The Baby Cakes, who have won four straight home series, took a 1-0 series lead.
With two out, Anderson and Cal Towey hit back-to-back singles before Perez got his hit past a drawn in infield.
The Baby Cakes tied the score 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth when Albuquerque catcher Tony Wolters fielded Peter Mooney's bunt and made a bad throw to third base. That enabled Cal Towey to score. However, with the bases loaded and one out, Steve Lombardozzi lined out to right field and Perez, who tagged at third, was thrown out at home.
Perez said he was surprised when the Pittsburgh Pirates traded him to the Miami Marlins on Aug. 3. However, he said he also was glad.
“I was surprised because I was hitting the ball (.336) and stealing bases (league-leading 22),” said Perez, 27, who was obtained for cash considerations. “But I wasn't playing a lot (50 games). This is a better opportunity for me.”
Perez, who came from Triple-A Indianapolis, seems able to give the New Orleans Baby Cakes an aspect of what they've been missing much of this season. Perez is very fast.
Brandon Barnes has shown to be a good defensive center fielder, and he's also on a tear at the plate. However, the Cakes have not had Perez's type of outfield speed since center fielder Isaac Galloway injured his left knee sliding into home on May 17.
Destin Hood, perhaps the Cakes' best player, followed him on the disabled list exactly a month later with a wrist injury. They have been out since and likely won't return this season.
In the first game of Sunday's doubleheader against El Paso, Perez, playing left field, ran down a ball hit to the opposite field by Ryan Schimpf, leaped and caught it against the wall. Then, playing back against right-handed hitter Tony Cruz, Perez made a diving catch of a sinking liner.
Perez also may bring a dimension the Cakes could use offensively, hitting coach Kevin Witt said. New Orleans has been at the bottom in home runs the past two seasons, partly because balls don't carry well at the Shrine on Airline.
“He's the type of guy who hits line drives,” Witt said. “This is a big park. He could get a lot of doubles and some triples.”
Perez, signed as a free agent in 2007 from San Luis, Dominican Republic, has been in the Nationals, Braves, Astros and Pirates' organizations. One knock on him is that he doesn't get to use his base-stealing because he doesn't draw enough walks. That puts pressure on him to hit for a high average.
Perez and Hood were teammates for with the Nationals' Triple-A Syracuse team during the 2014 season. Perez played center field, and Hood played right and left fields. … Left fielder Moises Sierra left Sunday's second game of a doubleheader with what appeared to be pulled hamstring after going from first to third on a single. Cakes manager Arnie Beyeler said Hood is not injured. “He's a little sore, but he didn't pull a hamstring,” Beyeler said. “We're trying to mininmize some stuff with him. We had a couple of runs (lead) and just decided to take him out.” Sierra, who played both games of the doubleheader, was not in Monday's lineup.