The three errors the New Orleans Zephyrs committed Thursday did not cost them in their series-opening win against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, but the Zephyrs paid for their defensive mistakes Friday in a 7-5 defeat at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Z's made three errors for the second consecutive game, and this time they led to four unearned runs.
New Orleans had battled back from a 4-1 deficit after the sixth inning to trail 5-4 in the eighth, but third baseman Josh Rodriguez misplayed a ground ball hit by Rafael Ynoa in the eighth inning that allowed Ben Paulsen to score and put the Sky Sox ahead 6-4.
Ynoa scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by relief pitcher Chad Bettis to Arquimedes Caminero to give Colorado Springs back a three-run lead it had held twice before.
Paulsen had also given the Sky Sox their 4-1 lead in the sixth inning when he scored on a squeeze bunt by Angelys Nina against Z's reliever Dan Jennings before Jake Marisnick tripled and scored in the seventh to cut the lead to 4-2.
Jason Pridie put the Sky Sox back in front by three runs with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh off of Josh Spence.
Zephyrs starter Bryan Evans (4-2) allowed only one earned run in five innings with five hits allowed, three walks and four strikeouts, but he left the game with the Z's behind 3-1 because Colorado Springs scored two unearned runs in the third inning on Rodriguez's first error of the game.
Rodriguez threw wide of first base on a bunt by Pridie, which allowed Tim Wheeler to score from first base and Pridie to reach third. Pridie scored one play later when Josh Rutledge hit a sacrifice fly to left field.
Rodriguez's fielding troubles did not affect him offensively, however. He doubled and scored on a Justin Bour double in the first inning to give the Z's a 1-0 lead and he again doubled in the eighth inning to drive in Jordany Valdespin as part of a 3-for-5 night with the run batted in and two runs scored.
Mark Canha drove home Rodriguez later in the eighth on a ground out to shortstop, and Marisnick and Juan Diaz each finished 2-for-4, as part of an 11-hit attack that was the Z's fifth double-digit hit total in their last six games.
Sky Sox starter Pedro Hernandez (3-0) earned the win, allowing one run on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts six innings, while Bettis earned his first save of the season, although he pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Three of those hits came in the ninth inning, as Marisnick led off the ninth with a single, moved to second on a base hit by Diaz after Rob Brantly flew out and scored on a single by pinch hitter Matt Angle.
The Z's had runners on first and second with one out, but Valdespin flew out to center field and Rodriguez struck out to end the game.
The Zephyrs and Sky Sox will begin the second half of their four-game series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Security Service Field.