I-Cubs pound Zephyrs

Marquez Smith (STAFF PHOTO/PAM DAVIS)

NEW ORLEANS – Coming into the night, the New Orleans Zephyrs' pitching staff had thrown 25 consecutive scoreless innings. That streak ended quickly in the first inning Saturday, as the Iowa Cubs sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs en route to a 13-2 victory.

Iowa (41-35) blasted New Orleans starter Sean West (2-1), taking a 5-0 lead in the first inning thanks to five hits and three Zephyrs errors. The I-Cubs added five runs off West in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run Marquez Smith home run, and three in the eighth off the Zephyrs bullpen.

Smith was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and reached base five times in his best showing of the season.

"I've faced West the last two or three years and he's always got pretty good stuff, so I was up there just trying to put solid contact on the ball," Smith said. "Luckily I was able to hit some balls pretty square off him."

Jason Dubois and Brad Snyder added three run home runs as Iowa finished with 16 hits in a game that was over early. Dubois also doubled twice and drove in five runs.

Mitch Atkins (5-2) turned in one of his better outings on the mound. He pitched a season high seven innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. He struck out five and walked one, opening the game with five straight scoreless innings.

"My two-seamer was working for me," Atkins said. "I had changed the grip up a little bit and I seemed to be able to throw it for strikes and get a lot of groundballs. My cutter was pretty good.

"We were in a three-way tie for first in the division entering the night, so coming in and getting that first win out of the way always takes some pressure off."

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