Andrew Suarez and Zack Erwin engaged in a classic pitcher's duel in Thursday's series finale at Municipal Stadium between the San Jose Giants and Stockton Ports. The game went to extras, with the Giants winning in the 11th thanks to a fielding error by the Ports' right fielder, but in terms of dominating, efficient work, Suarez topped Erwin by a bit.
Suarez registered his season-high in pitch count (91) and swinging strikes (15), while topping last week's nine-strikeout performance with 10 on Thursday — his new career high. The left-hander was working with a devastating slider that he pounded to the back foot of right-handers. The slider produced seven of his 10 punch outs, while a fading changeup got two more right-handers flailing. A 10th strikeout was looking with a fastball.
Suarez retired 11 straight Ports to begin the game, but with two outs in the fourth inning, Tyler Marincov hit his sixth home run of the year to dead center field. Other than that, where he left a fastball up, his pitches were down and the contact was soft off Suarez. He gave up a few ground balls that got through the defense and a bloop down the right field line.
Most impressively, Suarez, through four starts, has 30 strikeouts to just three walks, and over the past two starts has 19 strikeouts and zero walks. I don't anticipate him ending the season in San Jose.
— Dillon Dobson hit his sixth home run of the year for the Augusta GreenJackets, which continues to lead the South Atlantic League. He still has a strong line through almost 80 at-bats (.304/.352/.608), but unfortunately he's striking out 28% of the time he goes to the plate.
— C.J. Hinojosa picked up three more hits, including his first home run of the year, while raising his average to .354 — fourth best in the California League. The downside to the shortstop is his collection of six errors in 17 games.
— In Salt Lake City, Clayton Blackburn had his shortest outing as a starter (that didn't involve injury) since August of 2014. He lasted only three innings and gave up five earned on 11 hits.
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Christian Arroyo: DNP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Phil Bickford: DNP
- Lucius Fox: 2-for-2, R, 2 BB, SB
- Chris Shaw: 1-for-4, BB, 2 SO
- Sam Coonrod: DNP
- Mac Williamson: 3-for-5, 2 R, BB, SO
- Aramis Garcia: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K
- Adalberto Mejia: DNP
- Clayton Blackburn: 3 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
- Jalen Miller: DNP
- Ray Black: DNP
- Chase Johnson: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Steven Okert: DNP
- Kyle Crick: DNP
- Jarrett Parker: 2-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB
- Hunter Cole: DNP
- Austin Slater: DNP
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Michael Santos: DNP
- Ty Blach: DNP
- Mac Marshall: DNP
- Ronnie Jebavy: 0-for-5, 2 SO
- Derek Law: DNP
- Chris Stratton: DNP
- Ian Gardeck: DNP
- Jake Smith: DNP
- Dylan Davis: 0-for-2, 2 BB