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Stone Crabs' Gomez tosses one-hitter
Rays prospect records first career complete-game, shutout
07/03/2013 11:52 PM ET
Roberto Gomez retired 21 straight batters and 23 of his last 24.
Roberto Gomez retired 21 straight batters and 23 of his last 24. (Cliff Welch/MiLB.com)

If Roberto Gomez was looking for an outing to jump-start his season, he got it on Wednesday night.

The Rays' prospect yielded just one hit -- a second-inning single -- as Class A Advanced Charlotte routed Palm Beach, 15-0.

Gomez (4-7) walked two batters and faced three over the minimum in his 16th appearance and 15th start for the Stone Crabs. He set down 21 in a row before issuing a one-out walk to Ronny Gil in the ninth and recorded the final three outs via strikeouts, finishing with six.

"He had everything working pretty good," Charlotte pitching coach Bill Moloney said. "He had command of his fastball to both sides of the plate and mixed in his off-speed [stuff] when he needed to. He threw a lot of off-speed early and got them off the fastball. It was a pretty good performance overall."

Gomez, who threw 98 pitches, is slowly turning his season around. In his last start against Bradenton, the 23-year-old right-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth before allowing two runs -- one earned -- one two hits over six innings.

"I think he's just finally over the hump of the beginning of the season," Moloney said. "He's starting to locate his pitches better, he's maturing as a pitcher."

Gomez, who also throws a curveball, slider and changeup, lowered his ERA to 5.10 and has positioned himself for a solid second half in the Florida State League.

"He's got a little confidence now, he's concentrating a little bit more and making his pitches with more authority instead of pitching timid," said Moloney. "I'm looking for him to have a strong second half; hopefully, tonight was a step in the right direction."

Moloney pointed out the biggest difference between the one-hitter and Gomez's previous outings was in the way the native of the Dominican Republic was commanding his pitches.

"We're stressing command of the glove side of the plate," Moloney said. "He wasn't doing that early on, he was missing over the middle of the plate and he was paying for that. All the credit goes to him because he's making all the adjustments."

Gomez also continued his mastery of the Cardinals after limiting them to one run on one hit over 7 1/3 innings in a 2-1 victory on May 28.

Rays No. 14 prospect Jake Hager went 3-for-4 and tied a career high with five RBIs, while Ryan Brett contributed three hits, drove in three runs and scored three times for the Stone Crabs.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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