DES MOINES, Iowa - The Memphis Redbirds' four-game winning streak came to a close on Friday night as Kyle Hendricks threw seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball to lead the division-rival Iowa Cubs to a 2-0 shutout victory at Principal Park.
Combined with the loss by Omaha earlier in the evening, Memphis (64-70) remains two games back in the PCL American Northern Division with 10 games remaining to play. Iowa improves to six games behind Omaha in third place.
Hendricks (2-0) finished the night with four singles allowed with three strikeouts for the win. Former Redbird Eduardo Sanchez struck out one over a scoreless ninth for his second save this season.
Memphis Leadoff hitter Mike O'Neill reached twice on a single and a walk. Shortstop Greg Garcia tripled while catcher Audry Perez doubled for the third straight game.
Eric Fornataro was perfect through the first three before Iowa plated its only two runs in the fourth inning. Dave Sappelt reached on a one-out fielding error, moved to second on a single, and came home to score on an RBI base hit by former Redbird Edgar Gonzalez. Two batters later, Brad Nelson later scored on a wild pitch from Fornataro.
Three Memphis relievers covered the evening in the absence of Carlos Martinez after his recent callup. Fornataro (1-4) pitched a season-high four innings in his second spot start, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts. Victor Marte and Michael Blazek followed with two scoreless innings.
Memphis and Iowa continue their series at 7:05 pm CT on Saturday evening at Principal Park. Left-hander Nick Greenwood (2-6, 5.96) will face right-hander Casey Coleman (4-3, 3.03) in the fourth game of a five-game series.