Jarred Cosart fired six scoreless innings and the Oklahoma City RedHawks broke a scoreless game open with three runs in sixth inning before going on to win 4-1 over the New Orleans Zephyrs before 4,112 at Zephyr Field Thursday night.
Cosart (7-3) earned his team-leading seventh win of the season with one of his better starts of the year. The right-hander scattered four hits and struck out eight batters over six frames. Cosart, who had walked 20 batters over his last four starts, did not issue a single walk Thursday.
Through the first three games of the series in New Orleans, RedHawks starting pitchers have combined to throw 17.1 scoreless innings.
Once again, it took awhile for either team to get on the board. Both teams would have their chance to score in the fifth. The RedHawks (38-33) loaded the bases with two outs, but Jake Elmore flied out to deep right field to end the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the inning, an error plus a double by Bryan Petersen put runners at second and third for New Orleans (37-38). Cosart would end up keeping the Zephyrs off the board by striking out Jake Smolinski.
The RedHawks were able to break through with three runs in the sixth. They loaded the bases with none out and Carlos Perez knocked an RBI single to make it 1-0.
Two batters later, with the bases still loaded and one out, Che-Hsuan Lin sent a double to left field to plate a pair and give Oklahoma City a 3-0 lead. After an intentional walk loaded the bases again, New Orleans reliever Jordan Smith got Jonathan Villar to hit into an inning-ending double play.
The RedHawks tacked on another run in the seventh. With two outs, Perez collected his second hit and RBI to stretch the lead to 4-0.
The single scored Brett Wallace, who finished 4-for-5 with two doubles. Wallace is now on a 10-game hitting streak, and he became the fourth RedHawk this season with at least four hits in a game.
New Orleans would get their first and only run in the eighth. After a one-out walk to Smolinski, Joe Mahoney sent a line drive over Elmore's head in left field for an RBI double to make it 4-1.
Although the RedHawks have had some issues closing out games lately, there wasn't much to sweat about Thursday. Kyle Skipworth led off the ninth with a double before Josh Zeid struck out the next three hitters to close the game and earn his fifth save.
New Orleans starting pitcher Matt Neil was having one of his better starts of the season through five innings before tailing off in the sixth. Neil (2-3) ended up allowing two runs and four hits over five-plus innings. He walked a season-high four and struck out five.
The RedHawks will aim for their first road series win since taking two of three from Nashville back in early April when they meet the Zephyrs Friday night at 7:07 p.m.