The Cardinals kept Rob Kaminsky in extended spring training, a decision that's beginning to pay dividends.
"I was there for three weeks or a month, working on my fastball command," said St. Louis' third-ranked prospect. "They did a great job with me."
Kaminsky allowed a pair of singles in the sixth -- his final inning of work -- and didn't walk a batter while striking out six on Saturday as Class A Peoria blanked visiting Clinton, 5-0.
With the victory, the 19-year-old southpaw improved to 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA in seven Midwest League starts.
"My fastball command was real good," Kaminsky said. "My changeup was working real well and I started to find my curveball again. It's been a little behind lately."
The 28th overall pick in last year's Draft pitched in eight games, making five starts, in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2013. He made his first Midwest League start on May 4.
Kaminsky struck out leadoff man Zach Shank on Saturday and did not allow a baserunner until Justin Seager reached on a two-out error by second baseman Richy Pedroza in the second.
"Strikeouts are always good, especially with runners on, and with two outs it always feel good," he said after fanning Corey Simpson to strand Seager.
Beginning with Simpson, he set down 11 in a row, getting the first three on strikeouts. Kaminsky found it easy to ignore the potential no-hitter because he surrendered a couple hard-hit balls.
"My defense picked me up a bunch of times. Juan Herrera played an awesome shortstop and [Kenneth] Peoples-Walls made a great running catch [in left field]," Kaminsky said. "I didn't put much thought into it, I was just focused on getting my team into a position to win and whatever happens with hits happens."
In retrospect, he did believe it was eerily quiet around him in the dugout between innings.
"I didn't really notice it, but people weren't really talking as much," he said. "To try to stay in my game, I usually pretty much only talk to my catcher, anyway, so I was talking to Carson [Kelly], but it was a little different."
Clinton's Martin Peguero broke through with a one-out single in the sixth and Shank followed with a line drive single to right. Peguero's hit came on the fifth pitch of the at-bat after Kaminsky started him with two strikes.
"I would probably throw a different pitch considering he hit it, but I thought it was a good pitch," Kaminsky said. "It was a changeup in a good location, so kudos to him for getting the hit."
The New Jersey native fanned Aaron Barbosa for the second out before the runners pulled off double steal. He had a chat with first baseman Mason Katz, who's 23 and was drafted in the fourth round last year out of LSU.
"After [the steals], Katz came over and talked to me," Kaminsky said. "It's good to have a guy like that, who's kind of a veteran presence. He calmed me down and I was able to get the next guys."
Kaminsky induced a pop fly to center field to end the threat.
He'd thrown 75 pitches, 54 for strikes, to that point and handed the ball to Kevin Herget, who allowed two hits and a walk while striking out two over the final three innings for his second save of the season.
Justin Ringo hit a grand slam and Kelly -- the Cardinals' No. 7 prospect -- singled for his 10th hit in as many games.