The White Sox's No. 9 prospect went 3 1/3 innings in his debut with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, allowing two runs on four hits to suffer the loss as the Dash fell to Potomac, 4-2.
Making only his second start since returning from a muscle strain in his back -- and his first above Rookie ball -- Petricka walked three and struck out one.
"I was happy to be back on the mound," Petricka said. "I need to throw a lot more strikes. I was all over place tonight. I got out of a few tight jams in first three innings, but I ended up reaching my [60-pitch limit] in the fourth."
Petricka (0-1) did a good job of keeping the ball on the ground, generating six ground-ball outs and one in the air. He was snake-bitten by his lack of control, however, as two of the three batters he walked came around to score. He also threw a wild pitch in the first that allowed J.R. Higley to advance to second before coming home on a single by Justin Bloxom.
"I think a lot of that came from the time I spent off with the injury," Petricka said. "There were times I could go four or five pitches and feel like I was in a groove, and then I'd lose it. Normally I can get in a groove and maintain it."
Selected in the second round of the 2010 Draft, Petricka began his pro career with the Bristol White Sox last year, posting a 2.86 ERA in eight starts for the short-season club. The Illinois native began this year with Class A Kannapolis, where he went 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in eight outings.
"I think I was successful because I was throwing lots of strikes and was able to keep hitters off balance a lot more," Petricka said. "It comes down to throwing strike one and throwing all your pitches for strikes."
Petricka's last start for Kannapolis came on May 17, when he left after just 1 2/3 innings due to injury. The 23-year-old right-hander began a rehab stint with Bristol on June 23, tossing a combined four scoreless innings over two appearances.
Now with Winston-Salem, Petricka said he is keeping his goals simple.
"Just to throw strikes and keep us in every game that I go out there and pitch," he said. "As long as I do that, I'll feel like I've reach my goal for the night."