Gallen tames Grizzlies with 11 strikeouts in 5-1 Baby Cakes win

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METAIRIE – Zac Gallen tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in seven innings of four-hit ball, and Wilkin Castillo and Isan Diaz homered to lead the New Orleans Baby Cakes to a 5-1 win over the Fresno Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

Gallen, who set his personal best during seven hitless innings on Opening Night, rebounded from a bumpy start to retire 16 of the final 19 batters he faced. After issuing leadoff walks in the first two innings, with Fresno capitalizing to plate a run on Alec Keller’s ground out in the second, Gallen whiffed the next four he faced and came within one pitch of an immaculate third inning.

Gallen (8-1) worked around a leadoff double in the fourth by Yadiel Hernandez, who was then picked off second base to end the inning, and lowered his season ERA to 1.67 through 12 starts. At home, Gallen has a 1.00 ERA.

Castillo’s second home run in his last four games cleared the wall in straightaway center field in the second inning to even the score, and Diaz propelled New Orleans into the lead an inning later with his team-leading 12th homer of the year and seventh in his last 13 contests.

The ‘Cakes opened the game up by sending eight batters to the plate in the sixth inning. Gabriel Guerrero delivered an RBI double, one of his three hits on the night, and Micah Brown added a run-scoring single in the frame.

Jose Quijada and Parker Bugg chipped in scoreless innings to polish off the Baby Cakes’ fifth win in six games, lifting them seven games above the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 2012 season.

Kevin McGowan (1-1) gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings and took the loss for Fresno.

The ‘Cakes and Grizzlies continue the three-game set on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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