New Orleans pitcher Darin Downs allowed just one hit and retired 23 consecutive batters Wednesday night as the Zephyrs trimmed Oklahoma City 1-0 in Pacific Coast League baseball. A crowd of 3,911 at Zephyrs Field saw New Orleans score a first-inning run off equally impressive RedHawks pitcher Xavier Cedeno and then Downs dominate the rest of the game.
*Oklahoma City's only hit came in the first inning. Anderson Hernandez singled to extend his hitting streak to 29 games. The streak is the longest for an Oklahoma City player since the franchise moved to RedHawks Field at Bricktown in 1998. Even if Hernandez had a hit in the remaining five games of the regular season, he would need to start 2012 on a torrid pace to challenge the PCL record. Joe DiMaggio owns it at 61 games when he played for the old San Francisco Seals in 1933. ...
*The RedHawks had two men on base with one out in the top of the first inning after Brett Wallace reached on an error. But Downs escaped the jam by getting Drew Locke and Chris Johnson to fly out. ... The Zephyrs scored all they needed in the bottom half of the first. Chris Coghlan led off with a single, advanced to second base after a walk and then to third when Cedeno was called for a balk. Coughlan scored on Mike Cervenak's grounder.
ON THE MOUND
*Downs (3-2) threw 98 pitches, 65 for strikes. He walked none and struck out six. Downs was replaced in the ninth inning by Daniel Jennings, who walked leadoff batter Robinson Cancel. Pinch-runner J.B. Shuck moved to second base on Luis Durango's sacrifice bunt. Hernandez was retired on a grounder, and Jennings clinched his first save of the season by striking out Wallace. ...
*The Hawks' Cedeno (2-3) was the hard luck loser. He surrendered just two hits and one walk. Cedeno struck out six before Enerio Del Rosario took over in the sixth inning.
*The loss dropped Oklahoma City to 66-73 and assured the RedHawks of a losing record, just the fifth since Triple-A baseball moved from the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds to Bricktown in '98. The RedHawks still have a chance to avoid finishing last in the division, though. They are two games behind third-place New Orleans (67-72) with all five remaining regular season games vs. the Zephyrs. ...
*The RedHawks have played 54 one-run games; they have a 28-26 record in those.
*The series at New Orleans ends with a 7:05 p.m. game Thursday. The teams then move to The Brick on Friday for the final four games of the regular season. On Thursday, right-hander Paul Clemens (0-0, 0.00) debuts for Oklahoma City after spending the majority of the season in Double-A. Righty Tom Koehler (11-7, 5.15) is New Orleans' scheduled starter.