An early lead, an inside-the-park home run from George Springer and a strong spot start by pitcher David Rollins propelled the Oklahoma City RedHawks to a 5-0 win Saturday in front of a crowd of 8,317 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The RedHawks (58-50) took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and went on to take a 2-0 advantage in their four-game series with Iowa (51-57).
A sac fly by Brandon Laird scored Trevor Crowe, who is on a rehab assignment from the Astros, for the first run of the night. A RBI double by Jimmy Paredes and RBI single from Marwin Gonzalez put Oklahoma City in front by three runs in the opening frame.
Springer belted his inside-the-park home run on a fly ball to center field with two outs to give the RedHawks a 4-0 edge in the fifth inning. Jae-Hoon Ha dove for the ball, but it got past him to the center field wall and Springer raced around the bases and beat the throw to home.
The home run was Springer's 28th overall this season combined with his time with Double-A Corpus Christi, and put him in a three-way tie for the most home runs in all of Minor League Baseball this season.
The inside-the-park homer was Oklahoma City's second in four games. Ruben Sosa hit one Wednesday at Omaha, which became the RedHawks' first inside-the-park homer since April 13, 2010.
Gonzalez hit a line-drive single to center field, which scored Springer for a 5-0 Oklahoma City lead in the eighth inning.
Springer went 2-for-2 and scored three runs for the RedHawks. Marwin Gonzalez went 2-for-3 and picked up two RBI.
Rollins (1-0) retired the first nine batters he faced in his Triple-A debut. He joined the team Saturday from High-A Lancaster to fill in for scheduled starter Brett Oberholtzer, who was recalled to the Astros. Rollins struck out six through three innings, including five straight before Iowa got its first hit in the fourth.
Rollins went on to throw six scoreless innings, allowing three hits, one walk and striking out eight. The total fell just shy of his season-high nine strikeouts, which he set June 20 with Lancaster against Rancho Cucamonga.
Saturday's shutout win was the seventh for the RedHawks this season as Oklahoma City's pitching staff combined to strike out 14 I-Cubs batters.
Iowa starting pitcher Barret Loux (4-5) was charged with the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Oklahoma City continues a four-game series with Iowa at 6:05 p.m. Sunday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Kids can run the bases after the game.