The Rangers prospect allowed three runs on six hits over 6 1/3 innings to win his Double-A debut Sunday as the Frisco RoughRiders defeated the Tulsa Drillers, 9-3.
"I was a little nervous, but I didn't feel like I had to go out and prove myself," Erlin said. "I tried to take it as another start and give my team a chance to win. If I had to look at it, I would say that it's a new challenge for me. I want to keep learning and improving."
A 2009 third-round Draft pick, Erlin fanned three, walked one and threw 71 of 90 pitches for strikes. He gave up a leadoff homer in the second to Darin Holcomb, then retired seven of the next eight batters before Thomas Field's two-out solo shot in the fifth got the Drillers within 3-2.
The 20-year-old southpaw worked around a leadoff single in the sixth and took a 6-2 lead to the mound in the seventh. But Wilin Rosario -- MLB.com's preseason No. 41 prospect -- and Michael Mitchell singled to chase him with one out in the seventh.
Reliever Mike Perconte allowed one of the inherited runners on an infield single by Warren Schaeffer that made it 6-3. But he and Justin Miller combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings to wrap up Erlin's fourth win across two levels.
"I felt pretty good out there and I felt that I executed my pitches," Erlin said. "I tried my best to keep things in perspective and not get too excited. I gave up a couple hits on change-ups and fastballs up in the zone, but I thought all my pitches worked well and I had confidence throwing them all throughout the game."
Both Tulsa homers came on mistake pitches that Erlin might have gotten away with in the Carolina League.
"[Holcomb's] one was on an 0-2 fastball that I wanted to throw in off the plate. You don't want to catch too much of the plate with two strikes. It was elevated and he hit it out," he said. "The same thing happened with the second guy. I came inside 0-2 or 1-2 and he pulled his hands in.
"I definitely noticed the improvement with the hitters here, but if I had hit my spots it could have been a different story. They're very disciplined and they don't chase much out of the zone with two strikes."
In nine starts for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, the California native was 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA. He struck out 62 batters over 54 2/3 innings and did not allow more than one earned run in five of his final six appearances.
Three times -- against Lynchburg on April 15, Frederick on May 1 and Salem on May 6 -- Erlin allowed just one hit. On April 25 against Potomac, he struck out 10 and yielded two hits over seven shutout innings.
With his first Texas League win under his belt, Erlin is looking to fine-tune his game.
"I want to command all three of my pitches and work on my delivery mechanics," he said. "I will talk to my pitching coach, Jeff Andrews, and get some feedback to help me keep improving."