Buente Stays Hot, Leading Zephyrs Past Redbirds
Jay Buente threw seven scoreless innings, and the New Orleans Zephyrs capitalized on two crucial mistakes to beat the Memphis Redbirds on Wednesday afternoon, 2-0 at Zephyr Field.
Buente (1-0) allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out four in running his consecutive scoreless inning streak to 14, dating to the fifth inning iof his April 23 start at Albuquerque. Buente lowered his ERA to a Pacific Coast League-leading 1.35.
Without the help of a couple of miscues from the Redbirds, however, Buente might not have picked up his first win of the season. In the second inning, center fielder Adron Chambers dropped a routing fly ball, allowing Jesus Merchan to reach second base. After Buente laid down a sacrifice bunt, Mike Cervenak delivered an RBI double to the wall in right field, putting the Zephyrs ahead 1-0.
Still nursing a one-run lead in the seventh, Cervenak doubled again with one out, and moved to third on a ground out. Redbirds reliever Cory Rauschenberger then threw a wild pitch, allowing Cervenak to score an insurance run.
Victor Garate pitched a scoreless eighth for the Zephyrs, and Jose Ceda picked up his league-leading eighth save of the year.
12 of the Zephyrs' 14 victories this season have come by two runs or fewer.
Memphis starter Adam Ottavino (0-2) was the hard-luck loser, going six strong innings and surrendering just one unearned run. He allowed four hits while striking out five and walking four.
Both of Ottavino's losses have come against New Orleans, also coming up on the losing end on April 11. In each game, Ottavino lost a 2-0 decision without allowing an earned run.
The Zephyrs return to action Thursday night for final game of the eight-game homestand, when they play the series finale against the Redbirds at 7:00 p.m. Dallas Trahern (2-0, 5.24) takes the mound for the Z's against P.J. Walters (0-3, 5.93).
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