Rudy Owens threw five scoreless and hitless innings, and Jon Singleton delivered a three-run homer as the Oklahoma City RedHawks opened their series in a Memphis with a 6-2 win over the Redbirds at AutoZone Park Saturday night.
Owens (2-0) was brilliant before exiting the game after hitting his innings limit at the end of fifth inning. He held the Redbirds scoreless and hitless, and although he did not issue a walk either, Owens was not perfect since there was one error committed behind him.
The lefty retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced and finished with four strikeouts, using just 54 pitches to get through his start.
At the plate the RedHawks (11-6) struck for an early pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Robbie Grossman led off the game with a double and took third base on a wild pitch. Ronny Torreyes then brought Grossman home with an RBI single to make it 1-0.
Later in the inning, Domingo Santana hit a two-out RBI double to push the early edge to two runs.
The game stayed 2-0 for several innings as Owens kept Memphis (8-8) quiet. The RedHawks picked up the scoring again in the sixth. With two on and none out, Singleton ripped a three-run, line drive home run to right field to make it 5-0. It was Singleton's league leading seventh homer of the season and his second in as many games.
Memphis collected its first hit on a one-out double by Jermaine Curtis in the bottom of the sixth off Mike Foltynewicz. Curtis would score later in the inning on a sac fly by Randal Grichuk.
The RedHawks got the run right back during the next inning. Oklahoma City started the inning with three straight hits, the last of which was an RBI single by Torreyes, who along with Robbie Grossman, finished with a game-high three hits.
Oscar Taveras connected on a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh for the Redbirds, but that would round out the scoring for Memphis.
Redbirds starting pitcher Angel Castro (1-2) picked up the loss, surrendering four runs and seven hits over five-plus innings. He struck out four and did not allow a walk.
The RedHawks pitching staff once again did not allow a walk, making 36 consecutive innings without a walk that was not intentional.
With the win, Oklahoma City improved to 4-0 in road series openers. Tasked with playing 16 of their first 20 games on the road to start 2014, the RedHawks clinched a winning record in the 16-game stretch by winning their ninth road game Saturday night. They also claimed a victory for the seventh time in their past nine games at AutoZone Park.
The RedHawks and Redbirds will meet in an Easter Sunday matinee at 1:35 p.m.