Led by a great starting performance by LHP Christian Friedrich and just enough offense, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (7-9) won the second of a four-game set in New Orleans, 2-0.
Friedrich (1-2), who was perfect through five and hitless through six on Easter Sunday, got two ground ball double plays to face the minimum through his seven innings. He allowed just one hit and one walk, while striking out three in his longest start of the season and his longest start since April 16, 2012.
The Sky Sox offense gave Friedrich all the run support he would need in the second inning. The Sox loaded the bases thanks to a walk, error and single, but could only score one when 3B Drew Garcia grounded into a double play, but was able to drive in RF Kyle Parker, who led off with a walk.
The Sox tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Parker drove in SS Charlie Culberson, who led off the frame with a double.
As a team, the Sky Sox faced the minimum of 24 batters through eight innings, before the Zephyrs threatened in the bottom of the ninth. SS Juan Diaz and C Kyle Skipworth led off the inning with back-to-back singles off RHP Brooks Brown and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Zack Cox. Brown would walk a batter to load the bases before buckling down and striking out the Zephyrs’ No. 2 and No. 3 batters, LF Brian Bogusevic and CF Jake Marisnick, to pick up his first save of the season.
RHP Adam Conley who started for New Orleans also had an excellent outing, but picked up the loss. He went seven innings as well, allowing just one unearned run on two hits, while striking out eight batters against just one walk.
Both teams will square off again at 6 p.m. (MDT) Monday evening when RHP Christian Bergman (1-1 9.39 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Sky Sox and RHP Elih Villanueva (0-1, 3.60) will take the mound for the Zephyrs.