A stellar pitching performance and a home run from Josh Rodriguez has quickly become a winning combination for the New Orleans Zephyrs, which opened their homestand with a 3-0 win Saturday over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at Zephyr Field.
The Zephyrs jumped on Sky Sox starter Yohan Flande (0-3) early with a triple by Brian Bogusevic followed by a sacrifice fly out from Jake Marisnick to give starting pitcher a 1-0 lead after he had set Colorado Springs down in order in the top half of the inning.
Evans helped himself with a single to lead off the third inning, and Rodriguez blasted a 2-0 pitch from Flande over the left-center field wall in the next at-bat to give Evans and the Zephyrs their 3-0 cushion.
Evans (2-1) took that lead and dominated the Sky Sox over 6.1 innings, allowing one hit to Angelys Nina in the second inning while striking out six. He did walk two hitters in the fourth inning, and three overall, but pitched out of the jam by striking out Kyle Parker and Nina.
Evans also led the team in hits, as he went 2-for-2 with singles to lead off the third and fifth innings. The rest of the team was 4-for-26 with singles by Justin Bour and Kyle Jensen, who each went 1-for-3.
Bogusevic's triple was his first three-bagger of the season. He finished 1-for-4, as did Rodriguez, who has homered in each of the team's past two games. He also hit doubles in the two games beforehand and has a four-game hitting streak in which he is batting .353 (6-for-17).
Chaz Roe took over for Evans with one out and a runner on first in the seventh inning, and he induced two fly outs to end the inning.
Zephyrs closer Chris Hatcher came on two pitch the final two innings and allowed just one hit with three strikeouts for his third save of the season and first since April 11 against Oklahoma City.
Zephyrs hitters managed six hits off of Flande, who lasted six innings and had three strikeouts, and none off of Dan Houston in the seventh or eighth, although he did walk Rob Brantly to lead off the seventh.
Brantly went 0-for-2 on the night to end his hitting streak at four games, but Zephyrs pitchers have carried the team the past two games. They allowed exactly two hits for the second game in a row after a 1-0 victory with Brian Flynn on the mound Friday against the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines, Iowa.
The win also broke the Z's seven-game home losing streak that had stretched back to the season-opening game they won 2-1 April 3 over Colorado Springs.
The Zephyrs are now 5-11 for the season and will face Colorado Springs again at 1 p.m. Sunday at Zephyr Field in a contest that will feature a couple of lefties in Adam Conley (1-1, 7.63 ERA) of the Zephyrs against Christian Friedrich (0-2, 7.71 ERA) of the Sky Sox.