‘Cakes rally falls short in opener at Memphis
METAIRIE – Wilkin Castillo drove in four runs, but the rest of the New Orleans Baby Cakes’ lineup fell silent as the they lost their series opener at the Memphis Redbirds 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Memphis starter Mike Hauschild (1-2) retired the side in order in each of the first four innings before allowing a leadoff single to Lewis Brinson in the fifth. Brinson advanced to second on a wild pitch, to third on Peter O’Brien’s single, and scored on Wilkin Castillo’s groundout.
But as cold as the ‘Cakes’ bats were, the Redbirds’ were equally as hot. After threatening with two base runners in the first but coming up empty, they ambushed New Orleans starter Robert Dugger in the second with six runs, highlighted by John Nogowski’s grand slam with one out.
Nogowski’s bench-clearing long ball was only the second grand slam surrendered by New Orleans pitching this season. Iowa’s Dixon Machado launched the other in game two of a doubleheader on May 16.
Dugger (2-2) took the loss after allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits in six innings of work. Brian Moran and Tyler Kinley each threw a scoreless inning of relief.
The ‘Cakes remained quiet until the seventh, when Castillo launched a three-run homer to right-center, punishing Hauschild for walking Isan Diaz and plunking Brinson.
Castillo had not recorded four RBI in a game since August 28, 2012. His career high is six, for the Gwinnett Braves on April 24, 2011. It was his fourth home run in July, a new career-high for a single month.
Diaz hit a ground rule double in the eighth, extending his hit streak it to 10 games. It is his second double-digit streak of the season, joining his 17-gamer from May 29 to June 16, the longest by a ‘Cake this season and the fifth longest in the PCL. Diaz recorded New Orleans’s only hit in a 13-0 blowout at the hands of the Round Rock Express in its last game on Saturday.
Former Baby Cake Hunter Cervenka locked down the save in the ninth, his third of the season.
New Orleans dropped its fourth straight road game dating back to last Wednesday, after entering the stretch having previously not lost more than two in a row away from home.
The ‘Cakes and Redbirds meet again on Wednesday night. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., and can be heard on Sports 1280 AM.
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