Nashville tops Zephyrs

Sounds 8, Zephyrs 5

Johnny Hellweg continued his mastery of the Zephyrs on Saturday, shutting them out through six innings, and Robinzon Diaz hit a three-run homer in the fifth that gave Nashville a six-run lead.

Hellweg (8-4) has shut out New Orleans (50-51) for 17 consecutive innings this season. He allowed two hits Saturday.

The Zephyrs scored two runs with two outs in the seventh on a walk by Kyle Jensen and consecutive doubles by Gorkys Hernandez and Chris Valaika. After Nashville’s Kentrail Davis singled in two runs in the ninth, Hernandez hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning.

Nashville took a 2-1 lead in the series.

SUNDAY’S GAME

What : Nashville Sounds at Zephyrs.

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Zephyr Field.

Probable pitchers: Sounds LHP Zach Kroenke (4-12, 4.67 ERA) vs. Zephyrs RHP Jay Jackson (1-0, 0.00).

Broadcast: WMTI-FM, 106.1.

PROMOTION: It’s Kids Day; children 2-12 are admitted for $5. There will be pregame entertainment by Space Walk inflatables and, after the game, children can play catch on the field and run the bases. There will be an appearance by Wubbzy, the star of Nick Jr.’s hit show “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!”

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

A good first impression can go a long way. That seems to be the case with Zephyrs manager Ron Hassey, pitching coach Charlie Corbell and Jay Jackson, Sunday’s scheduled starter.

Hassey and Corbell had seen Jackson before — when he was with the Iowa Cubs the past three years — and they thought he was a good prospect then.

But on July 13 at Oklahoma City, they saw him up close for the first time. Pitching on the day he was called up from Double-A Jacksonville, Jackson didn’t disappoint. In 6.2 innings, he allowed five hits and an unearned run as the Z’s won 4-2.

Hassey said he likes how Jackson approaches the game.

“The first time I saw him, that was pretty (darn) good, and OKC is a good-hitting ballclub,” Hassey said. “He goes right after hitters; there’s no fooling around. It’s nice to see somebody like that.”

Jackson, 25, was waived by the Chicago Cubs after spring training and picked up by the Miami Marlins. He made the Southern League All-Star team with Jacksonville. Corbell said his potential is obvious, even after just one game.

“He’s got a lot of good baseball ahead of him,” he said. “He’s got a good, strong arm, commands the fastball well. He attacks the zone with a fastball. He’s got the ability to spin a breaking ball. He’s got a good feel for the changeup.

“All we’re looking to do is see who he is and what he does and try to help him out from there.”