After taking a mental break, Archie Bradley hit the books before Sunday's start.
He gave up four runs over 5 1/3 innings against Montgomery in his last start before pitching an inning in the Futures Game on July 13. And when he faced the Biscuits again, he was ready.
"Before the Futures Game, I got to go home for a couple days and turn my baseball mind off," he said. "But it was good to get back. I took what I learned the first time and tried to use that. We [look at] charts before the game and I definitely paid attention to their approach and what they did. I studied really hard and tried to use that to my advantage."
MLB.com's No. 21 overall prospect struck out eight and allowed four hits over six scoreless frames before Double-A Mobile dropped a 2-1, 11-inning decision to visiting Montgomery.
Bradley (6-4), who issued two walks, lowered his ERA to 2.20, which ranks second in the Southern League. Promoted from Class A Advanced Visalia at the beginning of May, he's third in the Minor Leagues with 123 strikeouts.
The 20-year-old right-hander fanned the first batter he faced Sunday en route to a 1-2-3 opening inning before walking two in the second.
"It was first time out of the stretch in a while, but [the walks were] more just that I was getting settled in. I was rushing a little bit," said Bradley, who retired Hector Guevara on an inning-ending double play.
"After my pitching coach [Dan Carlson] came out to talk to me, I took a look at what I was doing and made two good pitches to get the double play."
After second baseman Michael Freeman made a diving catch on Robby Price's line drive, Montgomery threatened again in the fourth. Rays No. 11 prospect Mikie Mahtook singled and Todd Glaesmann doubled to left field. Dustin Martin's throw sailed over the head of shortstop Nick Ahmed, but Freeman darted across the field to grab the ball and nail Mahtook at the plate.
"I was pumped enough about [Freeman's catch]," Bradley said. "Then the second play, it reminded me of but was even better than the play Derek Jeter made against the Athletics [in the 2001 American League Division Series]. Freeman ran all the way across the field, all the way across the left-field line, and threw out Mahtook at home."
With Freeman's heroics still in the back of his mind, Bradley struck out the side in the fifth.
"When you have guys making plays like that behind you -- you know for the most part guys are going to make routine plays and make extraordinary plays -- it gives you some extra confidence," he said. "I wanted to go out there and help my defense out and help myself out, too. I was focused on getting ahead."
After giving up a pair of singles in the sixth, he fanned the last two batters he faced.
"Mahtook put together a 10-pitch at-bat. He's one of toughest guys I've faced in the Minors," Bradley said. "In his last at-bat, I threw him every pitch I had and he was fouling them off. It was a battle for both of us. It was big to get that punchout, especially with guys in scoring position. It was a good way to finish the outing."
The D-backs' top prospect exited with a 1-0 lead, but the Biscuits tied it in the seventh on Kyeong Kang's 10th homer of the season. Kang went yard again in the 11th to put Montgomery in front.