The Cardinals prospect tossed seven one-hit innings for Class A Advanced Palm Beach on Thursday, striking out four and walking one. The Charlotte Stone Crabs went on to the 2-1 win over the Cardinals, however, in 14 innings.
Nieto came one out short of his season high for innings, which he notched two starts ago on July 23. His outing Thursday marked his third consecutive quality start.
The only point in which the 22-year-old right-hander ran into trouble was the third, when Lee walked with two outs and Tyler Morrison followed by reaching on catcher's interference. Nieto was able to induce an inning-ending groundout from Tyler Bortnick, starting a run in which he retired the final 13 batters he faced.
Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007, Nieto enjoyed five 1-2-3 innings as he lowered his ERA from 3.99 to 3.22. In four outings as a starter, the Panama native has compiled a 2.49 ERA.
Jordan Swagerty took over for Nieto in the eighth, pitching a perfect inning before running into trouble in the ninth. After walking Lee and Tyler Bortnick, the 22-year-old reliever surrendered a two-out double to Michael Sheridan to tie the game, 1-1.
The score would stay that way until the 14th, when Charlotte walked off on a bases-loaded wild pitch by Chris Corrigan (1-1) that allowed Anthony Scelfo to score.
Reliever Michael Jarman (5-4) earned the win after setting down the Cardinals in order in the 14th. Overall, the Stone Crabs' bullpen combined to allow two hits and fan 13 batters across nine scoreless frames.