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.
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)
There will be a postgame fireworks show presented by Gulf Coast Bank.
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.
Saturday: Z’s LH Brad Hand (2-0, 0.00) vs. Round Rock RH Ross Wolf (0-1, 1.80).
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
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
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.
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