MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis starter Tim Cooney pitched six innings and earned his league-leading 11th win as the Redbirds held off the New Orleans Zephyrs 4-3 in first game of a five-game series.

The Z’s opened the game with a double from Austin Wates. He scored on the two-run home run from Mark Canha.

Memphis answered with three runs in the second inning off of starter Andrew Heaney (4-4). Pete Kozma had a RBI double, followed by a two-out two-run single from Tommy Pham.

The Birds added an unearned run in the fourth inning. The Z’s loaded the bases in the seventh inning and managed to score a run to slice the lead to 4-3.

The Memphis bullpen retired the final nine batters and Eric Fornataro earned his 12th save.

The Z’s trail first place Nashville by 3½ games and have 25 games to play.

Games notes

The Z’s added pitcher Steven Ames from Class AA Jacksonville. The Z’s assigned pitcher Casey McCarthy to Class A Jupiter. The Z’s fell to 15-22 in one run games.

On deck

The Zephyrs face the Redbirds in game two of their series at 7:05 p.m. at Autozone Park.

The Zephyrs will start right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (2-3, 3.09) against Redbirds left-hander Marco Gonzalez (2-1, 3.74). Radio: WMTI-FM, 106.