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07/06/2008 12:46 AM ET
Garate, Loons set strikeout records
Left-hander fans 12 over six innings, beats Lugnuts again
Victor Garate has 29 strikeouts over 18 innings in three starts against Lansing. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)


The Lansing Lugnuts bring out the best in Victor Garate.

The 23-year-old left-hander recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts over six innings and Garret White fanned six the rest of the way to set a franchise record as the Great Lakes Loons defeated the Lugnuts, 6-3, at Oldsmobile Park.

Garate (6-3) yielded two runs on three hits in the opening frame, then allowed only three hits while striking out 10 over the next five innings. He notched his first win since June 3 and lowered his ERA to 2.03, which ranks fifth in the Midwest League.

"He made a couple of mistakes in the first inning, but after that, he settled down," Loons pitching coach Danny Darwin said. "He had a lot of movement and running action on his fastball tonight. He locates his fastball well and he was using both sides of the plate tonight."

Garate tied Clayton Kershaw's franchise record for strikeouts in a game. The 18 combined punchouts eclipsed the mark of 16, set against Lansing on June 13, when Garate fanned nine over six shutout innings. In three starts against the Lugnuts this year, the Venezuela native is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 29 strikeouts over 18 innings.

"His stuff was really running tonight and the righties were swinging through it," said Darwin. "It's his first time starting in pro ball and he's done a good job so far. We expect good things from him. That's why he's here."

Pitching in the Houston Astros organization last season, Garate went 6-2 with a 5.06 ERA in 43 relief appearances between short-season Tri-City of the New York-Penn League and Class A Lexington of the South Atlantic League. He was acquired by the Dodgers in December in the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft and started the season in the bullpen before making his first start on May 17.

Garate has 92 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings while holding Midwest League hitters to a .217 average.

White allowed an unearned run on two hits in the seventh before striking out the side. The 24-year-old southpaw fanned one in the eighth and two more in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

"He's a different type pitcher," said Darwin. "His fastball is in the low-90s and tonight he used his breaking ball and changeup well. He did a good job staying ahead of the hitters."

Brandon Taylor went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer, falling a triple shy of the cycle, while Alfredo Silverio went 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Loons (7-10), who have won three of four.

Raul Barron went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and Justin Jackson hit a solo homer, his fifth, but Lansing (10-7) lost its third straight.

Lugnuts starter Marc Rzepczynski (3-3) allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking two over 6 2/3 innings.

Steve Conley is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.