The Angels' No. 15 prospect continued to whittle down his ERA on Wednesday, pitching six innings and combining with Eddie McKiernan on a one-hitter as Double-A Arkansas blanked Corpus Christi, 3-0.
Corpus Christi scored 31 runs in winning two of its previous three games, but the Hooks were unable to generate anything against Schugel (6-7), who induced nine ground-ball outs to go with three strikeouts.
"It was basically fastball [and] changeup all night and mixing in two breaking balls," Schugel said. "Me and [catcher Carlos] Ramirez were really on the same page tonight."
The 23-year-old right-hander got off to an inauspicious start by plunking Robbie Grossman in the top of the first. But George Springer grounded into a fielder's choice and was caught stealing and Schugel allowed only two more baserunners -- Enrique Hernandez singled with one out in the third and Chris Wallace drew a one-out walk in the fifth.
Drafted as a third baseman in 2010, Schugel has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts. He's surrendered more than four runs just once and has been especially dominant in the second half. Since the Texas League All-Star Game, where he worked a scoreless inning, he's 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA in nine starts.
On Wednesday, Schugel lowered his ERA to 2.71, which is tops among Texas League starters and second behind teammate Mike Piazza (2.65), who's made eight starts and 27 relief appearances.
Schugel is unscored upon in four of his last five starts, although he's pitched fewer than four innings in three of them. The early exits, he said, were precautionary.
"[The coaching staff] had a pre-set innings [limit] that they wanted me to reach this year. And now, late in the year, they wanted to make sure I don't go past it," Schugel noted. "It's nothing injury-related, though, I have been feeling great. [It's] just about making sure I don't go out there and wear out my arm."
McKiernan was perfect over the final three innings to register his first save since April 16, 2011.
Asher Wojciechowski (1-2), the Astros' No. 11 prospect, matched zeros with Schugel until the fifth, when Renny Osuna and Paul McAnulty delivered back-to-back RBI singles. Ramirez padded the lead an inning later with a run-scoring single.