Zephyrs homestand

REDBIRDS 1, ZEPHYRS 0,

METAIRIE — Highly touted prospect Michael Wacha allowed just three hits in seven innings, and the Memphis stymied New Orleans on Thursday night at Zephyr Field to take a three games to none lead in the four-game series.

It was the second shutout in the series. Wacha (2-0) struck out three and walked two. Zephyrs starter Elih Villanueva (0-2) gave up just three hits before being lifted after the sixth.

The Redbirds scored in the second with two outs when Bob Johnson slammed a home run to left-center field on a 3-1 pitch from Villanueva.

The Zephyrs had a chance to tie the score in the bottom of the inning after Jordan Brown led off with a double. Matt Diaz’s sacrifice advanced Brown to third. Matt Downs then hit a hard grounder to third.

The ball, Redbirds third baseman Jermaine Curtis and Brown — trying to get back after taking a lead off base — all arrived at the same time. Brown was tagged out. Downs beat the throw to first. However, Kyle Skipworth grounded out to first base, and Memphis was out of the inning.

The Z’s also threatened in the third when Wilson Valdez walked and Gorkys Hernandez hit a one-out single. But Ed Lucas lined out to second, and Valdez was doubled off base.

FRIDAY NIGHT

What: New Orleans Zephyrs vs. Memphis Redbirds

Where: Zephyr Field, Metairie

When: 7 p.m.

Broadcast: WMTI 106.1 FM

Probable starting pitchers: Z’s RH Tom Koehler (0-1, 1.06 ERA) vs. Redbirds LH Tyler Lyons (2-0, 3.46)

PROMOTION

There will be a postgame fireworks show presented by Gulf Coast Bank.

UP & DOWN

Zephyrs shortstop Nick Green was called by the Marlins on Thursday after Miami put shortstop Adelny Hechavarria on the 15-day disabled list with a sore throwing arm.

Green hit .293 in 11 games with the Zephyrs. Chris Valaika started at shortstop in the series opener Thursday at Cincinnati.

Pitcher David Aardsma and catcher Kyle Skipworth played in their first games Wednesday with the Z’s.

Aardsma, a veteran who was signed to a minor league contract by the Marlins and on Monday, pitched one inning, didn’t allow a hit or a run, and didn’t walk a batter or strikeout any.

Skipworth was on the Z’s opening-day roster but was called to the Marlins without playing a game when center fielder Casey Coghlan went on the disabled list. When Joe Mahoney was activated Wednesday, Skipworth was optioned to New Orleans.

“He’s an everyday starting catcher,” Ron Hassey said. “He had a really good spring.”

Skipworth went 0-for-3 Wednesday.

The Zephyrs put catcher Jake Jefferies on the DL.

ON DECK

Saturday: Z’s LH Brad Hand (2-0, 0.00) vs. Round Rock RH Ross Wolf (0-1, 1.80).

Darrell Williams

Pacific Coast League

American North Division

W L Pct. GB

Memphis 7 5 .583 —

Omaha 7 6 .538 ½

Nashville 4 8 .333 3

Iowa 4 9 .308 3½

American South Division

W L Pct. GB

Albuquerque 8 5 .615 —

Round Rock 8 6 .571 ½

Oklahoma City 7 6 .538 1

New Orleans 6 6 .500 1½

Pacific North Division

W L Pct. GB

Salt Lake 10 4 .714 —

Colorado Springs 7 6 .538 2½

Tacoma 7 7 .500 3

Reno 5 9 .357 5

Pacific South Division

W L Pct. GB

Fresno 8 6 .571 —

Las Vegas 7 7 .500 1

Sacramento 7 7 .500 1

Tucson 4 9 .308 3½

Thursday’s Games

Oklahoma City 5, Round Rock 3, 1st game

Nashville at Iowa, ppd., rain

Albuquerque at Omaha, ppd., rain

Memphis at New Orleans

Round Rock at Oklahoma City, n

Colorado Springs at Reno, n

Fresno at Tacoma, n

Sacramento at Las Vegas, n

Salt Lake at Tucson, n

Friday’s Games

Albuquerque at Omaha, 5:05 p.m., 1st game

Memphis at New Orleans, 7 p.m.

Nashville at Iowa, 7:05 p.m.

Round Rock at Oklahoma City, 7:05 p.m.

Albuquerque at Omaha, 7:35 p.m., 2nd game

Colorado Springs at Reno, 8:35 p.m.

Fresno at Tacoma, 9 p.m.

Salt Lake at Tucson, 9:05 p.m.

Sacramento at Las Vegas, 9:05 p.m.