Four New Orleans Zephyrs pitchers kept the Oklahoma City RedHawks off the scoreboard, and Zephyrs catcher Kyle Skipworth drove in three runs in a 4-0 win for before 4,754 Friday night at Zephyr Field.
Duane Below, Jonathan Abaladejo, Zach Phillips, and Chris Hatcher combined on the eight-hit shutout—the sixth of the year for New Orleans.
Below (5-3) went the first six innings, earning his fifth win. The lefty scattered five hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
The RedHawks (47-41) had plenty of men on base, but could never find a way to drive in a run. They went 1-for-13 with runner in scoring position and left nine runners on base, including six in scoring position. It was the fifth time the RedHawks have been shutout this season.
New Orleans (43-46) jumped in front in the second inning. With two on and two out, Skipworth lined a broken-bat single to right field to score the pair and make it 2-0.
In both the third and fourth innings, the RedHawks had a runner at third base with less than two outs but could not score.
Joe Mahoney extended the Zephyrs lead with a solo home run out to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The nadir of the RedHawks offensive struggles occurred in the seventh. Trailing 3-0, they put runners at the corners with no outs following hits by Jose Martinez and Carlos Perez. Abaladejo kept the RedHawks scoreless by striking out Che-Hsuan Lin and Robbie Grossman before Jonathan Villar flied out to end the inning.
Villar finished the game 0-for-4, snapping a 10-game hitting streak.
Skipworth hit the second of back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the inning to push the lead to 4-0.
Abaladejo retired the side in order in the eighth, and Phillips and Hatcher combined to pitch a scoreless ninth to complete the shutout.
Jake Buchanan turned in a quality start for Oklahoma City but was tagged with the loss. He allowed three runs and five hits over six innings. Buchanan (1-1) struck out a career-high nine batters and did not allow a walk.
The RedHawks and Zephyrs continue their series in New Orleans Saturday night at 6 p.m.