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Z's fall to Memphis in spring opener03/18/2010 10:30 PM ET
The New Orleans Zephyrs opened spring training play on Thursday, falling to the Memphis Redbirds 6-5 at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.
John Baker, the Florida Marlins' regular catcher who has been slowed most of the spring by an injury, was used as the Zephyrs' designated hitter and homered in his first at-bat, capping a three-run first inning for the Z's.
Baker was also hit by a pitch, struck out, and singled.
Brandon Tripp, an outfielder who spent last season with Class A Jupiter, went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Third baseman Lee Mitchell chipped in two hits and scored a run.
Chris Schroder started for the Zephyrs, and allowed one run and four hits in two innings. Jarrett Santos yielded two unearned runs in two innings, while Brad Stone gave up three hits and walked two but escaped unscathed in 1 2/3 innings.
Chris Mobley struggled while trying to protect a 5-4 lead in the seventh, walking three, allowing two hits and throwing a wild pitch as Memphis tied the game.
The Redbirds plated the eventual winning run the following inning against Adalberto Mendez, after Donovan Solano led off with a single and scored on a triple by Amary Cazana.
The Z's continue their spring schedule Friday when they travel to Port St. Lucie to face the Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.