Rob Rasmussen wasn't dismayed to be traded twice within a year. In fact, he was kind of flattered. On Tuesday, he got to show his former organization why that was the case.
Rasmussen struck out eight and allowed two hits over 5 1/3 innings as Double-A Chattanooga beat Jacksonville, 4-0.
The California native was making his first start against the Marlins, who had selected him in the second round of the 2010 Draft. He and Matt Dominguez were traded to Houston on July 4 for All-Star Carlos Lee. On Dec. 19, Rasmussen then went to the Dodgers in exchange for John Ely.
"It's different when you do get traded, but it's part of the game," he said. "It just means that someone else also values you. I was one of two guys traded for Carlos Lee and the other guy I was traded for was the Triple-A Pitcher of the Year. It's just another team that values myself."
Rasmussen didn't really feel jitters as he faced his former team. What he noticed was the adrenaline rush.
"Playing against your buddies, your former coaches ... you really want to do well," he said. "I'm still close with some of the guys on their team and it's something we joked about in Spring Training, just a little friendly banter.
"I would say that our team that got the one-up. It was 0-0 when I came out of the game."
Rasmussen, who did not figure into the decision, walked two Suns batters and hit another. The 24-year-old left-hander tossed 59 of his 90 pitches for strikes while lowering his ERA to 4.19 for the Dodgers' Double-A affiliate.
"I was just trying to mix my pitches early -- my fastball, curveball, slider and change," he said. "Try and keep them off balance early and keep them guessing. The plan was to make it a little easier on myself later by mixing pitches early."
The UCLA product, who lost his first two starts before winning his last one, has been uneven this season for the Lookouts. While Southern League batters are hitting .217 against Rasmussen, he's also issued 10 walks in 19 1/3 innings this season. So it's no surprise his key objectives revolve around pitch location.
"We've just been working a lot on keeping the ball down," Rasmussen said. "You can make mistakes around the plate, but if they're down, they don't get hit nearly as hard. That's the big thing, the thing we trying to take away."
Hector Nelo earned the win in relief, giving up two hits over 2 2/3 innings for Chattanooga. Greg Infante struck out a batter in a perfect ninth.
The Lookouts scored four runs in the top of the ninth. Rafael Ynoa doubled home two and Joc Pederson, the Dodgers' No. 3 prospect, added an RBI double.
Robert Morey struck out three and gave up four hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Suns.