Elih Villanueva blanked the Round Rock Express for 6 2/3 innings, and Dan Jennings and Chris Hatcher finished off the New Orleans Zephyrs' third shutout of the season, 1-0 on Tuesday night at the Dell Diamond.
Villanueva (1-2) has allowed just two runs in 18 2/3 innings over his last three starts, but a lack of run support had kept him out of the win column. The Zephyrs gave him only one run on Tuesday, but it proved to be enough.
The right-hander gave up four hits and struck out eight batters, his highest total since last July 19. The Express put a runner at third base in the first inning when Jim Adducci stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error with two out, but Villanueva struck out Joey Butler to end the inning.
Round Rock threatened again in the third inning with runners at second and third and two outs, but again Villanueva got out of trouble with a strike out, catching Adducci looking at a called third strike.
Express starter Randy Wells kept the Zephyrs quiet until the sixth, when Ed Lucas led off with a single and Bryan Petersen walked. Ben Lasater laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, and after Jordan Brown failed to get the run in from third, former Express Matt Downs delivered a single through the hole at shortstop to score Lucas.
Villanueva surrendered a one-out single to Robinson Chirinos in the seventh inning, then walked Mike Olt before getting Aaron Cunningham to pop out. Zephyrs manager Ron Hassey turned to Dan Jennings, who retired Chris McGuiness to end the threat.
Jennings set down all five batters he faced, and Hatcher came on to retire the final two batters to record his PCL-leading seventh save.
Downs had two of the Zephyrs' four hits, as New Orleans earned a split of the four-game set.
Wells (0-4) remained winless despite limiting the Zephyrs to one run and four hits in six innings.
The Zephyrs have their first scheduled off day of the season on Wednesday, then open a four-game series in Oklahoma City on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.