Paul Clemens retired the first 17 batters he faced, and the New Orleans Zephyrs piled up 13 hits in a 7-0 shutout of the Memphis Redbirds on Friday night at Zephyr Field.
Clemens (3-2) did not allow a baserunner until a two-out walk to pinch hitter Nick Martini in the sixth inning. Charlie Tilson then reached on a slow chopper fielded by second baseman Elliot Soto, who could not make the play on aflip behind his back to get a force out at second. The play was ruled an infield single to end Clemens' bid for a no-hitter.
The Redbirds put any doubts to rest an inning later when Anthony Garcia roped a line drive to left for a clean single, ending Clemens' night. The Zephyrs' right-hander worked a season-high 6 1/3 innings, struck out three and walked two to win his third consecutive start.
New Orleans gave Clemens all the run support he would need with a pair of first-inning runs. Kenny Wilson led off the game with a single, stole second base and later scored on a double play grounder by Xavier Scruggs.
Destin Hood then singled for the first of his three hits, advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt and scored on a single by Isaac Galloway.
Hood chipped in an RBI single in the third inning to cash in a two-out double by Scruggs. An inning later, Elliot Soto drilled a two-run homer, his first of the season, to extend the Zephyrs' lead to 5-0.
Memphis starter Deck McGuire (0-3) was charged with five runs - four earned - on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.
Hood and Wilson had three hits apiece to pace the Zephyrs, who won for the eighth time in their last 11 games to move back to the .500 mark for the first time since holding a 3-3 record on April 12.
The Zephyrs and Redbirds continue the four-game set on Saturday at 6 p.m. Gates will open at 4:30 for a pregame autograph session with a team poster giveaway for the first 1,000 fans, and Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro will be on hand to sign autographs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.