Worth the Wates: Zephyrs pound I-Cubs

Austin Wates cleared the bases with a three-RBI double and Scott Sizemore clubbed his first home run of the season in a six-run first inning as the Zephyrs beat Iowa 9-2 on Thursday afternoon.

Wates also collected an RBI single and his four RBI were a season-high for any Zephyr, surpassing Vinny Rottino’s three, accomplished on Wednesday. The left fielder saw his batting average jump from .222 to .290 with a 3-for-4 line with a walk and a run scored.

Sizemore took Cubs starter Jeffry Antigua deep to left-center to cap the six-run outburst in the top of the first for his first extra-base hit of the season. The third baseman went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks in the game.

Miguel Rojas extended his team-best hitting streak to 10 games with two hits and Cole Gillespie, Justin Bour and Rottino each knocked in runs in support of Pat Misch (1-0), who was making his first appearance since July 2013, when he pitched for Triple-A Toledo.

The 33-year-old lefty allowed just two hits over five scoreless innings, with five strikeouts and no walks. He threw 44 of 67 pitches for strikes and faced just two over the minimum and got his first victory at the Triple-A level since June 28, 2013 while pitching in the Tigers’ farm system.

Fabian Williamson allowed a two-run home run to Chris Valaika in the eighth inning to spoil the shuout, but lowered his ERA from 11.25 to 9.45 with 2.2 innings completed. Salvador Sanchez finished up for the Z’s, getting the final four outs.

The win pushed the Zephyrs’ road record to 4-3 and leveled the season series against the I-Cubs at 3-3. It’s also the first time this season New Orleans has won back-to-back games.

The nine runs scored and seven-run margin of victory were season-highs for the Zephyrs (6-8) and the team connected on a season-best four doubles in the game.

Right-hander Andre Rienzo will take the ball on Friday night as the Z’s look to cap an eight-game road trip with a third straight victory in Iowa. Rienzo lasted just 4.2 innings against Omaha in his first start of the trip and is 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA this season. The Cubs will send Barret Loux (0-1, 3.12) to oppose Rienzo at 7:08 p.m. CT.

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