Division battle

The Zephyrs begin a four-game set against the first-place Albuquerque Isotopes tonight at Zephyr Field. Despite a wave of players being called up to the Los Angeles Dodgers in recent weeks, the Isotopes have excelled in May, going 16-11 to surge past the Zephyrs and Oklahoma City to the top of the standings.

NOLA is getting outfielder Kevin Mattison back in the lineup tonight, fresh off his second stint this season with the Marlins, and have added catcher Steve Holm, who signed with the Fish earlier this month.

Here’s the lineup:

CF Mattison
SS Velazquez
1B Sanchez
LF Cervenak
2B Green
3B Dominguez
C Holm
RF Duarte
P Hand

Aguila to the DL

Chris Aguila’s homecoming in Reno didn’t last long. The veteran outfielder was forced to exit last night’s game in the fifth inning, and was placed on the disabled list today with a left oblique strain. Sergio Pedroza was activated from the DL to take Aguila’s spot, and Pedroza is in today’s lineup for a Kids Day early start in Reno. The rest of the lineup:

CF Mattison
2B Lambin
RF Cousins
1B Sanchez
3B Cervenak
LF Pedroza
C Sammons
SS Gutierrez
P Martin

Biggest Little City in the World

The Zephyrs open a four-game set tonight against the Reno Aces, their first visit to the “Biggest Little City in the World” since 2009. It’s a homecoming for Reno natives Chris Aguila and Scott Cousins, who both find themselves in the lineup in front of family and friends tonight. The Zephyrs have lost eight of their last 11 road games coming in.

Comings and goings

It’s been a busy 10 days for roster moves, as we’ve had more transactions in the last 10 days as we had in the previous month. The Marlins optioned first baseman Gaby Sanchez to New Orleans following yesterday’s game in Cleveland, and he will join the team today in Colorado Springs.

Chris Coghlan, who was working on an eight-game hitting streak, has been recalled to Miami. The Marlins also purchased the contract of Donovan Solano, who will be going to the big leagues for the first time in his eighth professional season. Solano nearly made the Marlins as a non-roster invitee in spring training, when he hit led the team with a .429 batting average in 24 games. Congrats to Donovan on his first call-up!

Petersen back to the bigs

After collecting six hits in his previous seven at-bats, Bryan Petersen was lifted in the second inning of last night’s game, and is on his way back to Miami to join the Marlins for the second time this season. Petersen was batting a team-leading .333, so his bat will be missed in the Zephyrs’ lineup.

The Z’s wrap up the homestand this afternoon against Las Vegas, here’s the lineup:

CF Cousins
SS Solano
RF Coghlan
DH Cervenak
1B Montz
3B Dominguez
C Armstrong
LF Aguila
2B Lambin

P Koehler

Cervenak’s back

Mike Cervenak rejoins the Zephyrs today after missing the first five weeks of the season while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his elbow. Cervenak was one of the most consistent Zephyrs hitters in 2011, and collected the 1,500th hit of his 12-year minor league career in his final at-bat of the season in Oklahoma City. He’ll be thrust immediately into the starting lineup, and here’s the rest of the card as the Z’s conclude the series with Tucson:

LF Petersen
SS Solano
CF Coghlan
C Montz
RF Aguila
3B Dominguez
1B Cervenak
2B Lambin
P Martin

Montz in the morning

Luke Montz’s three-run home run at 12:21 a.m. gave the Zephyrs an 11-8 win in 16 innings last night, matching the longest game in Zephyr Field history. 11 hours later, the Zephyrs take the field for the second game of the series against Tucson. The lineup as we all shake the cobwebs after a late night (and early morning) at the ballpark:

CF Mattison
2B Solano
LF Coghlan
1B Montz
RF Petersen
3B Dominguez
C Armstrong
SS Velazquez
P Hand

Matching zeroes in Iowa

The Zephyrs’ Alex Sanabia and Iowa’s Casey Coleman are matching zero for zero into the sixth inning on Monday afternoon at Principal Park in Des Moines. The Z’s are in search of a series win and a split of the eight-game road trip before coming home Tuesday night to face the Tucson Padres.

Lambin 3 hits and a home run

Chase Lambin pounded out three hits including a two run home run as the Zephyrs came from behind to defeat the Round Rock Express 5-3 in front of 6,976 fans at The Dell Diamond on Monday night.  Tom Koehler pitched six innings, allowed two runs and struck-out a career-high 10 batters, earning his first win.  Lambin drilled a two run home run in the seventh to give New Orleans a 3-2 lead, and the Z’s tacked on two more in the eighth to win their 15th game in April, second-most in franchise history.

The Zephyrs and The Blood Center have teamed up this week to offer free tickets and a free Zephyrs Koozies for donating blood.  The promotion will be for one week only at the Metairie and Laplace locations.

The road trip continues Tuesday in Round Rock, then moves on to Iowa for four games beginning Friday. The Z’s are back home next Tuesday night against the Tucson Padres.

Marlins moves

We almost made it through the first month of the season without the Marlins dipping into the Zephyrs’ roster, but the run came to an end late Sunday. After Miami’s 8-4 loss to Arizona, the Marlins recalled outfielder Bryan Petersen and reliever Dan Jennings from New Orleans, while outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Mike Dunn were optioned to the Zephyrs. Both Coghlan and Dunn are expected to join the club on Tuesday in Round Rock.

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