Zephyrs rally in eighth to top Isotopes

Velazquez caps eighth-inning rally with two-run single

By New Orleans Zephyrs | August 31, 2013 5:48 PM ET

The New Orleans Zephyrs scored three times in the eighth inning, capped by a tiebreaking two-run single by Gil Velazquez, to rally past the Albuquerque Isotopes 3-1 on Saturday night.

With the victory, the Zephyrs' 11th win in their last 14 home games, the Z's have moved two games above the .500 mark for the first time since they were 6-4 on April 15.

Rob Brantly led off the eighth with a single and pinch-hitter Kyle Jensen drew a walk. Kevin Mattison then laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Palmer's throw to third base got past Brian Barden, allowing Brantly to score and putting runners at second and third.

Velazquez then ripped a two-run single up the middle to give the Zephyrs the lead and knock Isotopes starter Matt Palmer from the game.

A one-out double by Eliezer Alfonzo, a fielding error by Jordan Brown and a two-out walk to Justin Sellers in the ninth loaded the bases for Albuquerque against Josh Wall, but James Leverton came on to strike out John Baker for the final out, earning his second save.

Chili Buss took Zephyrs starter Jared Rogers deep over the right field wall leading off the fourth inning for his 17th home run of the season, putting the Isotopes on top 1-0. It gave Buss 100 runs batted in for the year, tops in the Pacific Coast League. His previous career high was 63 RBI for Class A Great Lakes in 2009.

Rogers worked out of a first-inning jam, putting runners at the corners with two outs before striking out Buss. He also stranded a pair of baserunners in the third, but settled in to retire the final nine batters he faced after the Buss home run and struck out the side in the fifth.

But the Zephyrs failed to mount any serious threat to Palmer over the first seven innings. The Z's got two runners on in the second courtesy of a walk and a two-out single by Jake Smolinski, but Brantly struck out to end the inning.

Palmer then set down the next 12 Zephyrs batters until a single by Velazquez in the sixth. Velazquez got into scoring position by stealing second base, but was stranded when Bryan Petersen struck out.

Rogers allowed four hits in six innings and struck out five without issuing a walk. In his Triple-A debut, Arquimedes Caminero (1-0) pitched two perfect innings of relief to earn the win.

Palmer (6-8) was charged with three runs and three hits in seven innings to take the loss.

The Zephyrs host Fan Appreciation Night in the third game of the series on Sunday at 6 p.m., with fireworks following the game.

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

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