New Orleans Zephyrs starting pitcher Matt Montgomery walked the first two Colorado Springs Sky Sox batters he faced Saturday to set the tone of an 8-0 loss at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Both of Montgomery's first-inning walks came around to score, and a throw from left field by Mark Canha to catch Ben Paulsen trying to score ended the inning and kept the Sky Sox's lead to 2-0.
The Z's had loaded the bases with their first three hitters of the game when Josh Rodriguez hit a lead off single and Matzek (3-2) walked Zack Cox and Mark Canha, but Matzek struck out Justin Bour and Kyle Jensen and got Jake Marisnick to line out to shortstop to escape the inning unscathed.
Colorado Springs added single tallies in each of the next three innings, as the Zephyrs committed errors in both the second and third innings that led to runs.
Rafael Ynoa led off the second inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by starting pitcher Tyler Matzek that Z's center fielder Jake Marisnick misplayed, and Josh Rutledge scored on a sacrifice fly in the third inning after he had singled, stolen second base and advanced to third when Kyle Skipworth's throw went into center field.
Jay Rogers entered the game in the fourth inning in relief of Montgomery (0-4), who allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits with two walks and a strikeout. He has now taken the loss in each of his first three starts with the Zephyrs.
Ynoa scored again in the fourth inning off of Rogers after a single to begin the inning. He crossed home plate on a fielder's choice groundout Jason Pridie hit to shortstop to give the Sky Sox a 5-0 lead.
Rogers walked Tim Wheeler with one out in the fourth inning but did not allow another batter to reach base until Wheeler came up again to lead off the seventh inning.
Jesus Sanchez came in to finish the inning, but Colorado Springs led 8-0 by the end of the frame after three more walks, a hit and an error by Zack Cox that gave the Z's three miscues for the third consecutive game.
Meanwhile, four Sky Sox pitchers combined to hold the Zephyrs to six hits and did not allow a Z's baserunner to reach past second base after the first inning.
Matzek lasted five innings and allowed four hits with four walks and six strikeouts, and the Colorado Springs bullpen allowed just two hits in the final four innings with three combined strikeouts.
The Z's had runners in scoring position in each of the first five innings but went 0-for-9 in those situations and left seven runners on base.
The Zephyrs and Sky Sox will finish their four-game series at 2:05 p.m. Sunday at Security Service Field before the Z's head home for an eight-game homestand that begins Monday against the Oklahoma City RedHawks at Zephyr Field.