METAIRIE – Tyler Moore’s pinch homer ignited a three-run rally in the sixth inning as the New Orleans Baby Cakes defeated the Iowa Cubs, 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Held to just one hit through the first five innings by Iowa starter Seth Frankoff, the ‘Cakes struck for three runs in the sixth against Rob Zastryzny. Moore led off the inning with his first home run of the year, and after Steve Lombardozzi walked, back-to-back RBI singles by Brandon Barnes and Moises Sierra vaulted New Orleans into the lead.
The Baby Cakes added an insurance run in the seventh when Matt Juengel doubled and later scored on a wild pitch.
Javy Guerra worked two scoreless innings of relief, and Brian Ellington rebounded from Monday’s blown save in Nashville to work around a leadoff single in the ninth and record his second save and snap the Baby Cakes’ five-game losing skid.
Iowa plated a pair of runs in the first against Justin Nicolino, who allowed two singles, a double and a walk in the inning.
Tomas Telis took Frankoff’s first pitch of the fourth inning the opposite way for a home run, the first hit of the game for New Orleans to slice the deficit in half.
The Cubs regained a two-run cushion in the sixth by loading the bases with one out. Todd Glaesman’s hit a potential inning-ending double play, but Carlos Paulino’s relay throw hit Glaesman going up the first base line, an error which allowed a run to score.
Nicolino (1-2), who had received just five runs of support through his first five starts, scattered three runs (two earned) and nine hits in six innings and earned the win as a result of the Baby Cakes’ rally.
Chris Dominguez had three hits in his season debut for the Cubs, who finished 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Zastryzny (0-1) gave up four runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings to suffer the loss.
The Baby Cakes and Cubs continue the series on Wednesday at 7 p.m.