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Ross leads the way in Mississippi shutout
Braves prospect dazzles for seven innings in fourth Double-A start
07/12/2014 1:35 AM ET
Greg Ross is 8-4 record with a 2.85 ERA over 107 1/3 innings across two levels this season. (Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

For Greg Ross, Friday night was not as easy at it looked.

"Our catcher [Braeden Schlehuber] noticed I was sweating more than he was. Being from up north, I'm not used to the humidity down here yet. I was sweating like crazy," the Braves prospect said.

Nonetheless, the Baltimore native continued to get great results. He gave up two hits and four walks over seven innings as Mississippi blanked Mobile, 2-0 at Trustmark Park.

The 24-year-old right-hander struck out five and improved to 3-1 in four starts since he was promoted from Class A Advanced Lynchburg.

"I think today was a rough one. I know the numbers don't say it, but my command wasn't there," Ross said. "But I've been throwing a lot of innings this year, and part of what I do is compete and grind. I give it everything I got and if I'm spent when I come out, at least I got the most out of it."

Ross, who threw a six-hit shutout in his second Double-A outing, boasts a 0.98 ERA. So far, he hasn't approached pitching for the M-Braves all too differently than the way he did pitching in the Carolina League, where he was 5-3 with a 3.50 ERA in 15 games -- including 11 starts -- for the Hillcats.

"I'm just attacking guys, really, knowing my strengths and competing," said Ross, the Braves' 18th-round pick in the 2011 Draft.

"I know it's a little better competition here, so I'm trying to stay aggressive. Schlehuber and [Matt] Kennelly both call great games. They know the hitters and know the sequences to throw. That's more than helpful, so I'm just trying to throw all my pitches for strikes."

The two hits Ross allowed were singles -- one in the first inning to sixth-ranked D-backs prospect Jake Lamb and the other in the second to Gerson Montilla.

"They hit mistakes right there, so I was trying not to make any more of those," Ross said.

The Frostburg State product got out of the second inning by fanning Mark Thomas as Montilla tried to steal second. Schlehuber threw him out to end the frame.

"It was a 3-2 count and I knew I had to throw it over [the plate]. He'd chased a higher ball earlier, so I threw it over and let it loose a little," Ross said. "Braeden made a great throw. That was a good confidence-booster."

Ross was frustrated by the four walks, although he never yielded more than one baserunner in any inning. He was particular annoyed with his first free pass to BayBears counterpart Bradin Hagens with one out in the third.

"Nobody wants to walk people four times in a game, especially not the opposing pitcher. I'm definitely not happy about that," Ross said.

"It's something I'm going to learn from. I could have went deeper if I'd eliminated those walks. I got fortunate tonight that it didn't hurt me. After that, you've got to bear down and make your best pitches, and I was glad I was able to do that."

Ross worked around a leadoff walk in the fourth by getting consecutive fly balls and fanning Montilla. After a perfect fifth, he walked Sean Jamieson to start the sixth, then set down five in a row before walking Montilla with two outs in the seventh. He got Thomas to ground out to end the inning on his 102nd and final pitch.

Cody Fassold struck out two around a walk in the eighth and Chasen Shreve earned his seventh save by holding Mobile to a hit and fanning two in the final 1 1/3 innings.

No. 3 Braves prospect Jose Peraza had two hits and a run scored for Mississippi and is batting .365 in 19 games since coming up from Lynchburg.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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