Rob Brantly drove in three runs, and Matt Neil hurled six shutout innings as the New Orleans Zephyrs blanked the Albuquerque Isotopes, 5-0 on Friday night in the opener of the final series of the 2013 season.
The Zephyrs recorded their 12th shutout of the year, second-most in the Pacific Coast League.
Both teams were held scoreless until the fourth inning, when Brantly doubled off the wall in left-center field to score Kyle Jensen, who had led off the inning with a single. Brantly had gone his previous 60 at-bats as a Zephyr without driving in a run.
New Orleans added the long ball an inning later as Chris Coghlan went deep to left to push the lead to 2-0 against Isotopes starter Angel Castro (8-5), who scattered seven hits across six innings.
Zach Phillips and Jonathan Albaladejo each pitched a scoreless inning of relief, and the Zephyrs put the game out of reach with a three-run rally in the eighth. Nick Green led off with a single ogg Javy Guerra, and Brantly homered to right to double the lead. Coghlan later added an RBI single, and finished with three hits as seven of the Zephyrs' eight position players collected a hit.
The rally eliminated a save opportunity for Chris Hatcher, whose 33 saves are tied for the league's single-season record, but the All-PCL closer worked around a two-out single in the ninth to preserve the shutout.
Neil (3-3) gave up four hits and one walk while fanning six batters, one shy of his season high, previously set on June 9 against Albuquerque.
The teams meet again Saturday at 6 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.