Ivan Pineyro pitched eight shutout innings, and Juan Diaz had two hits and two RBIs as the New Orleans Zephyrs blanked the 51s 5-0 in a Pacific Coast League game Monday in Metairie, La.
Despite the loss, Las Vegas (71-59) remained 1½ games ahead of El Paso atop the Pacific South Division, by virtue of the Chihuahuas’ 5-1 loss to Colorado Springs.
Pineyro (1-2) held the 51s to three hits and two walks and struck out five in his best start for the Zephyrs (52-78) since the Miami Marlins acquired him from the Chicago Cubs for veteran pitcher Dan Haren at last month’s trade deadline.
The 23-year-old right-hander threw 65 of his 105 pitches for strikes, lowering his ERA from 4.58 to 3.16 in his fourth New Orleans start.
Las Vegas starter Matt Bowman (7-15) gave up four runs on five hits and two walks and struck out three in 4 2/3 innings.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt Reynolds, who each went 2-for-4, tallied all of the hits for the 51s. Las Vegas was shut out for the seventh time this season and for the first time since a 3-0 loss at Reno on July 27.
After Isaac Galloway’s sacrifice fly opened the scoring in the second inning, the Zephyrs loaded the bases with two outs in the third and scored on a walk to Diaz.
Diaz had an RBI single in the fifth, and Zack Cox led off New Orleans’ sixth with his first home run of the season.
Reid Brignac went 2-for-3 with a double and scored twice for the Zephyrs, who totaled eight hits and went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving 11 runners on base.