Whisler pitches New Orleans past 51s

Wes Whisler pitched six shutout innings, and Scott Cousins hit two of New Orleans’ three solo home runs Friday night in the Zephyrs’ 6-3 Pacific Coast League win over the 51s in Metairie, La.

Whisler (2-6), who entered the game with a 7.38 ERA in 12 games, including 11 starts, for New Orleans (61-65) this season, held Las Vegas (61-66) to two hits and four walks. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and left after the inning having thrown 97 pitches.

Cousins led off the first and eighth innings with home runs, and Danny Richar led off the second with a homer for the Zephyrs, who led 6-1 after eight.

Aaron Mathews greeted New Orleans reliever Scott Strickland with a leadoff homer in the ninth. Strickland then gave up hits to Raul Chavez and Al Quintana and two walks, with the latter bringing home a run to pull the 51s within 6-3.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Taylor Tankersley relieved Strickland and retired the 51s on seven pitches — on three shallow fly balls — to end the game.

Las Vegas starter Shawn Hill (1-1) gave up three runs on six hits in seven innings. Brad Emaus had a two-out RBI single in the eighth for the 51s, who went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base.

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