The last two weeks have been filled with doubt and the unknown for Deck McGuire. He helped put that behind him in Thursday's outing.
The right-handed Oakland prospect scattered five hits over six innings as Triple-A Sacramento blanked Albuquerque, 5-0.
Making his first start for the River Cats, McGuire struck out two and walked two. The 25-year-old threw 44 of his 77 pitches for strikes.
"It was really just a good game plan going in with my catcher, Ryan Ortiz," McGuire said. "I felt like I did a really good job of keeping them off balance, using my offspeed to get ahead and using fastballs away to get weak contact."
The Virginia native was traded from Toronto to Oakland on July 25 in exchange for cash considerations after being designated for assignment on July 17. The 10th overall pick in the 2010 Draft had spent his entire career with the Blue Jays, going 29-39 in 99 career appearances.
"There's definitely all these nerves anytime you join a new team," he said. "I just wanted to go out and put out a good first impression and go from there. I felt like it was a good start. There's definitely some things I could have done better, but all in all, it was a good first one.
"It was definitely an interesting week, not really knowing what was happening after I got designated. It was a great relief to hear I got traded, that another team wanted me and wanted to give me a chance."
McGuire made his first Pacific Coast League appearance on July 27, tossing two hitless innings of relief.
Prior to the trade, he was 6-9 with a 4.21 ERA in 20 starts between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo. The Georgia Tech product's main focus is on helping his successful new squad.
"Just keep getting better," he said. "The surroundings change all the times at any level, but the baseball doesn't. My job is to go out there and take the ball every fifth day and put our team in position to win. It's a first-place team and I'm looking forward to helping them get to the playoffs."
Nate Freiman homered, doubled and drove in three runs while Nick Buss was 3-for-4 with a run scored out of the leadoff spot for Sacramento.
Zach Lee, the Dodgers' No. 6 prospect, fell to 6-10 after allowing four runs on six hits over six innings for the Isotopes.