David Goforth didn't think he had it from the very first inning Thursday night.
He was coming off an outing last Friday in which he had allowed six earned runs on 11 hits in just 4 1/3 innings in Class A Advanced Brevard County's 11-4 loss to Dunedin and had already given up a one-out single to Ben Gamel and a walk to Robert Refsnyder to open the game six days later.
The next six frames told a different story.
Goforth allowed just the single over seven innings Thursday as the Manatees one-hit the Yankees in a 5-0 win. Former Major Leaguer Francisco Rodriguez and Daniel Meadows tossed perfect eighth and ninth frames respectively to close out the feat.
Despite the results, the Brevard County starter maintained he wasn't at his best in the gem.
"Honestly, I think it was a little bit of being effectively wild," said Goforth (2-4), who walked four and struck out one. "I didn't feel that I had my best stuff at all, and actually, it was the worst I've felt all year. I didn't feel like any of my pitches were going exactly where I wanted. It was just one of those nights when I had to grind it out and luckily the guys behind me made the plays too."
The 24-year-old right-hander, who relies on a hard fastball that can touch in the mid-90s, especially struggled with his command in the opening innings. He hit Fu-Lin Kuo in the second and issued leadoff walks in the third and fourth. That led to some understandable frustration in between frames, despite the lack of hits.
"I got a little upset after the third inning," he said. "I went into the dugout and then the clubhouse and tried my best to kind of regroup. I talked to my pitching coach Mark Dewey, and he tried to tell me some things to get back on the right track, like trying not to spin off the ball out of the windup. I never really felt comfortable out of the windup."
Goforth allowed just one more baserunner -- Mason Williams on a walk in the sixth -- over his last three frames.
The Mississippi native's outing continued a trend of alternating successes and struggles. He has accrued four scoreless starts so far for the Manatees, but each has been followed by an outing in which he's given up three earned runs or more. After the latest high-quality start, his ERA dropped to 3.41, almost a full run lower than its 4.28 mark to start the day.
Though the numbers have swung back in the right direction, Goforth admitted he keeps his focus elsewhere.
"I'm not a results guy," he said. "There was that outing last week, where I felt like I made the pitches I needed to but guys were just getting the bats on them. I'm more of a process guy. So on a night like tonight, I'm going to have to work on getting in sync with my windup and work on command because even though the scoreboard looked good, I didn't feel good at all. I want to do what I need to so I feel like I'm making that next step."
Rodriguez struck out two in a scoreless eighth in his second appearance with the Manatees. The right-hander, who owned a 4.38 ERA in 78 appearances with Milwaukee last season, signed a Minor League deal with the Brewers on April 17 and is easing back into the season with a trip to the Florida State League. Meanwhile, Goforth and his teammates shall reap the benefits of the four-time All-Star's presence.
"It's fantastic because you know he's going to lock it down for you," Goforth said. "When we scored a run in the seventh and you see K-Rod jogging in to relieve you, you feel confident that it's going to stay a one-run game."
On the other side, the Yankees hadn't allowed a hit themselves until the seventh Thursday. Starter Sean Black retired all 12 Manatees he faced, striking out four in four frames. Reliever Joel De La Cruz kept the no-hitter going for two more innings before Cameron Garfield broke it up with a one-out double and Cody Hawn ended the shutout in the next at-bat with an RBI single.