Marcus Stroman is known for his big-time fastball, but it's his other pitches that have led to his success this season.
The Blue Jays' No. 4 prospect tied a franchise record by fanning 13 batters, but gave up three runs on six hits and one walk over 6 2/3 innings as Double-A New Hampshire fell to New Britain, 3-1, on Tuesday.
Stroman threw 62 of his 99 pitches for strikes. The Duke University product struck out the final five batters he faced before being lifted for reliever Dustin Antolin with two outs in the seventh inning.
"To be honest, I felt pretty locked in from the beginning of my start," Stroman said "The two pitches I had were my fastball and my slider when I needed it. Those were the two pitches that I worked off of today.
"I had two or three [strikeouts] on my change, a couple off slider and a couple off my fastball. It was a mix of those three pitches."
The 22-year-old right-hander tied a record set by former Major Leaguer Gustavo Chacin, who whiffed 13 batters in a Sept. 8, 2004 playoff game for the Fisher Cats. Stroman also surpassed his previous career high of eight that he collected June 9 against Erie. The feat was even better for the New York native, who had family in the stands of New Britain Stadium.
"That's a great accomplishment, I'm thrilled," the 5-foot-9 hurler said. "My aunt [Jonelle], who works in New York City, came in with a few friends to watch me pitch. Any time I can have family there is awesome."
Overall, Stroman is 4-2 with a 3.38 ERA in nine starts for the Fisher Cats. He has amassed 50 strikeouts over 42 2/3 innings and is limiting Eastern League batters to a .235 average in 2013.
"Being able to mix my pitches well in any count, that's been huge for me," he said. "It's huge for me that no one can necessarily sit on my heater because I have those other pitches. Leading up to this year one of things I wanted to work on is being able to throw my chang-eup and slider to get people off my heater."
Danny Santana and Josmil Pinto plated a run apiece, while Twins' No. 5 prospect Eddie Rosario reached base three times and scored a run for the Rock Cats.
Tom Stuifbergen improved to 3-1 after allowing four hits and striking out three over 6 1/3 innings for New Britain.