MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The New Orleans Zephyrs handed the Memphis Redbirds a 7-0 shutout behind seven dominating innings from starting pitcher Duane Below in the finale of a five-game series on Thursday afternoon at AutoZone Park.
The combination shutout was New Orleans' fifth of the season, which ranks second in the league behind Memphis' nine. The Redbirds have been shut out on four occasions in 2013, twice by the Zephyrs
Below (3-2) twirled his best performance of the season for the victory, allowing just three hits and a pair of walks with three strikeouts. He didn't allow a hit past the second inning and retired 15 of his final 16 batters.
Brock Peterson accounted for two of Memphis four hits and recorded another double, which brings the slugger back into a tie for the PCL lead with 22 two-baggers. Greg Garcia and Adron Chambers had the club's other two hits.
The Zephyrs exploded for a 4-0 lead in the opening frame on a two fielding errors and a pair of walks by Mitchell Boggs, who tossed 39 pitches in the inning. Mat Downs crushed a two-run double with two outs to highlight the inning.
New Orleans tacked on two more runs against Boggs in the next inning with a double, two singles, and sacrifice fly. Below helped his own cause in the sixth after being plunked to lead off the frame. He later scored on a Gorkys Hernandez double to right center.
Boggs (0-2) finished the day with 60 pitches (33 for strikes) over two innings of work, allowing six runs (three earned) on five hits and a pair of walks. He also struck out two in the loss.
Nick Additon followed in relief of Boggs, yielding one run on two hits while striking out six over four innings. Jorge Rondon worked around two hits with one inning. Marc Rzepczynski struck out three over two scoreless.
The Redbirds begin an eight road trip tomorrow, traveling to face the Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A Dodgers and Round Rock Express (Triple-A Rangers). Right-hander Scott McGregor (1-3, 6.95) will toe the rubber for Memphis in the road opener at Isotopes Park tomorrow night at 8:05 p.m. CT. Albuquerque has yet to announce their probable starter.
Baseball returns to AutoZone Park on Saturday, June 22, when the Iowa Cubs (Triple-A Cubs) and Isotopes visit the Bluff City for an eight-game homestand.