July 2012

Stars shine tonight

Zephyrs fans can watch pitcher Tom Koehler tonight on MLB Network when he and the rest of the Pacific Coast League All-Stars take on the International League squad in the Triple-A All-Star game in Buffalo, New York. The game can be seen live beginning at 6 p.m. Central.

Koehler is the first Zephyrs starting pitcher since 2002 to be named an All-Star. That year, both Wayne Franklin and Jeriome Robertson received All-Star nods. At the break, Koehler ranks third in the PCL with nine wins, fourth with 96 strikeouts and fifth with a 3.54 ERA.

Gaby active

Gaby Sanchez is active and in tonight’s lineup for the Zephyrs, who are looking to bounce back from a tough 11-inning loss to Oklahoma City last night. The Z’s have been stuck between 4.5 and 6 games out of first place for the last three weeks, so now would be an ideal time to string together a few wins. Adding Sanchez to a lineup that has been hitting the ball very well recently will surely help.

RF Petersen
2B Murphy
CF Coghlan
3B Cervenak
SS Green
1B Sanchez
C Montz
LF Aguila
P Koehler

Second verse, same as the first

After piling up 11 runs and 13 hits last night, it only makes sense for the Zephyrs to roll the same lineup onto the field for the third game of the series with Oklahoma City. Luke Montz has hit five home runs in his last 11 games, and has moved into a tie for fourth place in the PCL with 16 bombs overall.

CF Mattison
2B Velazquez
LF Coghlan
1B Cervenak
RF Petersen
3B Green
SS Murphy
C Montz
P Poveda

11,778

A huge crowd of 11,778 turned out on the 4th of July to see the Zephyrs face Oklahoma City last night – the second-largest crowd in Zephyrs history, just 147 people shy of the record, set in 2003! Big thanks to Zephyrs fans for the great turnout, it was a great game (despite the loss), great fireworks show, and an all-around fun night at the park. The players sure seemed appreciative of the support.

Lots of other off-the field news, as before the game, news broke of third baseman Matt Dominguez getting traded to Houston in a deal for Carlos Lee. Dominguez has always been known for his Gold Glove-caliber defense, and even though his bat has been slow to catch up to his glove, he still led the Zephyrs this season with 46 RBI. The good news for Matt: he’s going straight to the big leagues, as he’ll join the Astros tonight in Pittsburgh.

The other side of the deal: the Zephyrs will be adding first baseman Gaby Sanchez, who was optioned to New Orleans following the Marlins’ win in Milwaukee yesterday. With Lee taking over at first base, there was no room for Sanchez, even though he hit the game-tying home run off Brewers closer John Axford with two out in the ninth, sending the game into extra innings. Sanchez has already had one stint with the Z’s this year, and hit .310 with three homers and 10 RBI in 19 games.

Another old face is returning tonight: catcher Brad Davis, who began the year with the Padres’ Triple-A Tucson, signed a contract with Miami and is expected to be active for tonight’s game. Davis struggled to a .155 batting average with Tucson, but enjoyed some success in 2010 and 2011 in New Orleans, and got his first big league call-up to the Marlins in ’10. Nobody in the PCL was hotter than Davis down the stretch last year; his .388 average from July 20 through season’s end led the league.

The lineup tonight as the Zephyrs look to even the series with first-place Oklahoma City:

CF Mattison
SS Velazquez
LF Coghlan
1B Cervenak
RF Petersen
3B Green
2B Murphy
C Montz
P Hand

Aguila ties Z’s home run mark

Chris Aguila tied the New Orleans Zephyrs’ career home run record last night in Round Rock, taking Johan Yan deep in the seventh inning for his 56th home run as a Zephyr, matching J.R. Phillips. The Zephyrs career home run chart, as it currently stands:

1. Chris Aguila 56
T-1 J.R. Phillips 56
3. Daryle Ward 53
4. Alan Zinter 47
5. Jason Alfaro 35

The Z’s and Express wrap up their four-game series tonight in Round Rock, and the Zephyrs return home tomorrow for a big five-game series against first-place Oklahoma City. The 4th of July festivities will include (of course) postgame fireworks, as well as a concert with Local Option II. The first 6,000 fans receive a mini American flag, courtesy of Entergy, and all fans can participate in $1 hot dogs and $3 cocktails throughout the game!

LeBlanc recalled

Wade LeBlanc has been recalled by the Marlins, who put reliever Edward Mujica on the DL today. LeBlanc led the Zephyrs and ranked among the league leaders in innings pitched and strikeouts, so he will be a big hole to fill in the starting rotation. For now, the Z’s are adding Omar Poveda from Double-A Jacksonville to start tonight’s series opener in Round Rock, and J.D. Martin is expected to take the place of the injured Alex Sanabia when the Z’s return home on the 4th of July.

The lineup as the Z’s and Express open a four-game series on Canada Day:

CF Mattison
2B Velazquez
LF Coghlan
1B Cervenak
RF Petersen
SS Murphy
3B Green
DH Montz
C Sammons

P Poveda

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