Mulvey pitches Zephyrs into Finals

Limits Sounds to four hits over seven innings in second PCL start

(Mike Strasinger)

September 8, 2007 9:51 PM

Kevin Mulvey is making a habit of coming up big.

Mulvey allowed four hits over seven innings Saturday to pitch the New Orleans Zephyrs into the Pacific Coast League Championship Series with a 6-0 blanking of the Nashville Sounds.

The 22-year-old right-hander scattered four hits and fanned eight, retiring the final eight batters he faced.

"I was working off my fastball," Mulvey said. "I have a good defense behind me here, they pick up all of the ground balls. Everybody was excited, you could feel it. Everybody wanted to win."

Mulvey (1-0), who was called up from Double-A Binghamton on Aug. 31, blanked Round Rock for six innings in his Triple-A debut to clinch the PCL American South Division title.

"Coming up from Binghamton, it means a lot to help a team that's in the playoffs," he said. "It's all happened real quick. In both games, I've had a lot of run support."

His teammates staked him to an early 4-0 lead, which allowed Mulvey to relax, throw his pitches and get ahead of the Sounds' hitters.

"Both teams know how the game is played when you're up four runs," he said. "You can never [count a team out] in baseball until the last out is recorded. Everybody got to celebrate together, and I've never got to do that before."

New Orleans took the best-of-5 series in four games and moved onto the PCL Championship Series for the first time since 2001, when they shared the title with Tacoma. Their last outright championship came in 1998 when they defeated the Calgary Cannons. The Zephyrs face the winner of the Sacramento-Salt Lake series on Tuesday in New Orleans.

Zephyrs reliever Carlos Muniz struck out two over two perfect innings.

Jesus Feliciano went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in the eighth, three RBIs and two runs scored. Chip Ambres doubled twice, scored a run and plated another, while rehabbing Ramon Castro went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for New Orleans.

Nashville starter Zach Jackson (0-1) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits while fanning six and walking one over 4 2/3 frames.

Chris Barnwell singled in the third and was the lone member of the Sounds with a hit in all four games.

Michael Blinn is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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