Left-hander Chris Narveson allowed one run on four hits in six innings, and New Orleans ended a four-game losing streak by beating Tacoma on Friday at Zephyr Field in the series opener.
JoJo Reyes and Craig Breslow, both also left-handers, didn’t allow a hit the rest of the way as Narveson (1-1) got his first win of the season. The Zephyrs (20-27) had blown late leads in the past two games against the Reno Aces.
For the third consecutive game, the Zephyrs got off to a good start, taking a 3-1 lead against Brad Mills on the strength of solo shots in the third by designated hitter Tomas Telis - his first homer of the season - and third baseman Matt Yuengel.
Austin Nola Bobblehead Night will be the feature attraction for Saturday’s game.
“It’s the first time it’s been done,” said Nola, a middle infielder with the Zephyrs and former LSU standout. “Never before, not at LSU, not at (Class Double-A) Jacksonville. So, we’re pretty excited.”
Nola said more than 40 relatives and friends will be on hand to get the souvenier. Nola will get a number of them he said. He wants to send a few to his brother, Aaron, the Philadelphia Phillies pitcher.
“Aaron had a bobblehead night in Double-A,” Austin said. “That was pretty cool.”
Nola, 26, may be able to give his contingent a treat. He is on a four-game hitting streak that started in the final game of the series at Albuquerque. He he has hit 5-for-15 (.333) during the streak, and in three games of the recent home series vs. Reno, he went 3-for-10 (.300).
At home is where Nola has flourished, hitting safely in 13 of 16 games and batting .293 (17-for-58). That’s 54 points higher than his season’s avearge (.239). Moreover, Nola is hitting just .202 on the road. In two seasons with the Z’s, he’s batting .315 at home and .215 on the road.
He would like to close the gap and become more consistent. That could be key to a call-up by the Marlins.
“I hit the ball on the road,” he said. “I need more to drop in.”
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Tacoma center fielder Boog Powell is rated by Baseball America as Seattle’s top prospect on the Rainers, and the Mariners’ No. 8 overall prospect.
He is batting a modest .272 with two home runs, but he led the Class AA Southern league in hitting (.328) last season with the Montgomery Biscuits. However, Powell, drafted in the 20th round in 2012 by the Oakland Athletics, has just eight home runs in his Minor League career.
Powell, whose actual name is Herschel Mack Powell, says he knows that the original Boog Powell is a former Baltimore Orioles slugging first baseman (339 career homers, 1970 MVP).
“When I was a little kid, I was called ‘Mack,’” he said. “My dad was coaching a Little League team, and he started calling me Boog. By my senior year of high school, I was ‘Boog’ to everybody, even the teachers.”