The Oklahoma City RedHawks used an early offensive onslaught paired with a strong start by pitcher Paul Clemens to defeat the New Orleans Zephyrs, 8-1, Tuesday night at Zephyr Field.
The start of the game was delayed 28 minutes, as it had been raining on and off throughout the late afternoon and early evening. The RedHawks (4-2) were clearly ready to roll once the game got underway, as they scored all eight of their runs and collected all 12 of their hits in the first five innings. Five players collected two hits apiece.
Clemens (1-0) was masterful, throwing five efficient, scoreless innings. He allowed three hits with no walks and six strikeouts before reaching his innings limit.
Overall Clemens threw 53 pitches, 42 of which were strikes. He used just 35 pitches over his final four frames, retiring the side with eight pitches in each of the last three innings.
One night after falling behind by four runs in the first inning, the RedHawks were the aggressors in the first inning Tuesday night. Max Stassi launched a three-run homer into the pool in right field, putting the RedHawks in front, 3-0.
The RedHawks added to their lead in the third inning. With runners at the corners, Japhet Amador sent a sharp line drive off the top of Zephyr shortstop Juan Diaz's glove, scoring George Springer to make it 4-0.
Two more scored in the fourth. Gregorio Petit lined an RBI single, and Springer followed with an RBI groundout, giving the RedHawks a six-run lead.
Oklahoma City got some help from the Zephyrs (1-5) to plate two runs in the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Austin Wates hit a ground ball to Diaz. The Zephyrs got the force out at second base, but Taylor Harbin's throw to first base was errant, allowing two runners to score and make it 8-0.
New Orleans got on the board in the sixth inning with a two-out RBI double from Mark Canha. That ended a stretch of 14 straight runs scored in the series by the RedHawks going back to Monday's game.
New Orleans starting pitcher Brian Flynn, who was the PCL's ERA leader in 2013, was roughed up for eight runs and 10 hits over 4.1 innings. He finished with three walks and five strikeouts.
In 24 career starts with the Zephyrs, Flynn (0-1) had never allowed more than six runs, and in 13 career starts in New Orleans, he'd never given up more than three runs.