Marlins blank Zephyrs in MLB's return

By New Orleans Zephyrs | March 30, 2013 1:17 PM ET

Placido Polanco homered twice and drove in five runs, leading the Miami Marlins to a 7-0 win over the New Orleans Zephyrs on Saturday afternoon at Zephyr Field in the final exhibition game before the start of the 2013 season.

The Marlins made a quick first impression on a crowd of 9,032 who turned out for the first visit to New Orleans by a Major League club since the Z's hosted the Houston Astros in 1999. Juan Pierre laced a single up the middle off Zephyrs starter Brad Hand to lead off the game, and Placido Polanco followed with a towering drive over the left field fence to give Miami a 2-0 lead.

Polanco struck again in the fourth inning, connecting off Hand for a three-run shot to extend the lead to 6-0, after Pierre plated a run with a bases-loaded ground out.

Isaac Galloway added a solo home run in the seventh against James Nygren, extending Miami's advantage to 7-0.

Meanwhile, Wade LeBlanc eased through the Zephyrs' lineup. The Lake Charles, La. native, who went 5-5 with a 3.74 ERA in 16 starts for the Zephyrs last season before a midseason promotion, retired all 12 batters he faced, including three via strikeout, in his final tune-up for the regular season.

New Orleans finally broke into the hit column on a dribbler up the third base line by Matt Diaz in the fifth inning, but that was the Zephyrs' lone baserunner until the eighth, when Wilson Valdez and Kyle Skipworth had back-to-back singles against A.J. Ramos.

Seven Marlins pitchers combined to strike out 10 batters, including at least one strikeout from each of the seven hurlers used by Miami manager Mike Redmond.

Hand was charged with six runs and eight hits in four innings. The Zephyrs' bullpen combined to allow one run and two hits over the final five frames.

The Marlins move on to Washington, D.C. to open their season on Monday against the Nationals, while the Zephyrs begin the minor league campaign on Thursday in Nashville.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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