Anthony DeSclafani has bounced around through the first 2 1/2 months of the season, but he looked right at home in his fourth Pacific Coast League start.
"It definitely feels like I'm settling in. I had a couple of hectic weeks, making my big league debut and flying coast-to-coast and joining a new team," he said. "But I'm starting to make the adjustments. I think I was trying to do a little too much when I first came back [to the Minors]."
The Marlins' No. 6 prospect gave up two hits and a walk while striking out five over seven innings Tuesday night in Triple-A New Orleans' 10-0 romp at El Paso on Tuesday.
"Really, I was happy to be just putting up zeros and giving the team the chance to win," DeSclafani said. "It felt like I didn't have my best stuff to start the game, but as the game went on, I felt more and more comfortable."
DeSclafani (1-1) put a pair of runners on early as Jake Goebbert singled with one out in the second and Cody Decker reached one out later on an error by third baseman Josh Rodriguez. He got out of trouble by retiring Tyler Greene on a grounder to second base.
"You can't make a mistake in that situation, but you can't pitch scared," DeSclafani said. "I wanted to make quality, aggressive pitches and get some weak contact. Also, it was important to get ahead. Those aren't batters you can fall behind with runners in scoring position."
DeSclafani, who started the season with Double-A Jacksonville, already had learned that the ball tends to travels at El Paso's Southwest University Park.
"I saw a home run last night that carried pretty well, so I was like, 'Oh, wow, you've got to keep the ball down,'" he said. "I realized that with one of the fly balls I gave up tonight; I thought it was a regular fly ball, but it had some backspin on it and it carried all the way to the fence."
In the fourth, the 24-year-old right-hander issued a leadoff walk to Travis Buck and another one-out single to Goebbert.
"I got out of my delivery a little bit and I had to make an adjustment to get back in," DeSclafani said. "It was a little mechanical thing where I wasn't throwing through the ball. I cut myself off and my release point wasn't where it should be."
The New Jersey native made that mechanical adjustment and retired 11 in a row, taking him through the end of the seventh. He believes most aspects of his game improved the deeper into the game he got.
"I felt more comfortable and stronger," he said. "My command and my pitches were much better and I got the results I needed, and I'm happy with the way things turned out."
Although he didn't feel fatigued, DeSclafani was done after throwing 94 pitches, 60 for strikes.
"I just leave it up to my coach. I want to give 100 percent on every pitch until they take me out and not think about when that is. I'm not here to do his job," DeSclafani said. "When he feels it's time for me to come out, that's when it's time for me to come out."
DeSclafani came close to contributing at the plate, too. In the third inning, he lined a 1-2 offering from El Paso starter Michael Nix into center field, where he was robbed of extra bases by Rico Noel.
"I had two strikes on me and I was trying to put a good swing on the ball. [El Paso starter Michael Nix] left it a little bit up," DeSclafani said. "The center fielder made a heck of a play. It was a full-out sprawling dive. You can't be mad at that. I was just glad I put the ball in play."
No. 3 Marlins prospect Jake Marisnick singled, stole a base and scored a run, while Derek Dietrich and Mark Canha each had three hits for the Zephyrs. Dietrich homered and drove in two runs, while Canha scored three times.