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Brigham retires 19 straight, loses
Rangers prospect's bid for perfection ends in seventh inning
05/07/2011 12:15 AM ET
Jake Brigham has yielded three earned runs or fewer in all six of his starts this season.
Jake Brigham has yielded three earned runs or fewer in all six of his starts this season. (James Garner)
One thought went through Jake Brigham's mind Friday when his string of 6 1/3 perfect innings ended on a single to right field by Jaff Decker.

"Shoulda thrown a fastball in."

In reality, it was Brigham's hanging curveball to Decker that ended his bid for history and ignited a three-run rally in the Frisco RoughRiders' 3-0 defeat to the San Antonio Missions.

Because Brigham had retired 19 straight when Decker -- the first of four to reach safely in the seventh -- did his damage, many of the 10,728 in attendance at Dr Pepper Ballpark rose to their feet.

"That was the first time I have been in a situation like that," said Brigham, who fired a two-hit shutout at Class A Hickory last August. "The crowd applauded. That was pretty cool. I tried to get the next guy, but ... I just threw some bad pitches and couldn't get out of the inning.

"I was a little frustrated that we lost more than anything, but it was fun while it lasted."

Brigham knew he had a special game going for the simple reason that he had complete control of both of his breaking pitches, the slider and curveball. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out six.

"It crossed my mind around the fifth inning," he admitted. "I looked up to see what the score was and there wasn't a score, and there wasn't anything else hardly."

What Brigham saw was a stalemate. San Antonio starter Jorge Reyes allowed just one hit through four innings and three relievers combined on five two-hit frames.

The pitchers' duel dissolved during Brigham's third trek through the Missions' lineup, which leads the Texas League in nearly every offensive category, including runs per game at 7.1.

Brigham retired the leadoff batter in the seventh before giving up four hits in a five-batter span, starting with Decker. Kyle Blanks, Cody Decker and Vincent Belnome delivered run-scoring hits.

"I thought I made some decent pitches," said Brigham, who threw 92 pitches. "They just hit [them]."

Brigham (2-2), the Rangers' sixth-round Draft pick in 2006, gave up three earned runs over five innings in each of his first four starts of the season. Then, on Sunday, he allowed one run over seven frames.

"I'm feeling good," the Florida native said. "I got a long ways to go, but I'm feeling good with the adjustments I am making."

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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