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San Antonio's Kluber dominates Frisco07/21/2010 12:36 AM ET
By Alex Raskin / Special to MLB.com
Corey Kluber picked up his first victory in almost a month in spectacular fashion Tuesday.
The San Antonio starter allowed one hit -- a fifth-inning single to Frisco's Joey Butler -- while fanning nine over seven innings as the Double-A Missions blanked the RoughRiders, 4-0.
Bryan Oland struck out two and allowed one hit in the eighth before Evan Scribner preserved the combined two-hitter by fanning a pair and walking one in the ninth.
Winless in his previous five starts, Kluber found himself in trouble in the first inning after leadoff hitter Marcus Lemon walked and stole second. But the Missions' right-hander set catcher Taylor Teagarden down swinging to retire the side.
"I was just able to work my fastball, throw it in and out and mix in some off-speed pitches for strikes and keep them off balance," Kluber said.
The 2007 fourth-round pick retired nine of the next 10 before Butler came to the plate in the fifth.
"I was trying to go away with a fastball and I left it a little bit up in the zone," Kluber said. "He put a good hit on it and drove it over the first baseman into right field."
After Butler stole second, the righty issued a walk to John Whittleman.
With no outs and two on, Kluber struck out Andy Jenkins as Butler attempted to swipe his second base of the inning. San Antonio catcher Luis Martinez threw out the Frisco right fielder at third and Kluber got Renny Osuna swinging to end the threat.
Kluber went on to retire six of the final seven batters he faced before his night ended.
"I think I was at my pitch count," he said. "They told me before my last inning that I had about 15 or so pitches left."
This wasn't the first time the Florida native recorded a one-hit outing. Kluber allowed one run on one hit in a no-decision against Tulsa on April 12. As a member of the Fort Wayne Wizards, Kluber allowed one hit over eight scoreless innings against Lansing on Aug. 19, 2008, but he didn't get a decision in that game either.
The strikeout total was the most Kluber collected in a game since fanning 11 in a no-decision against Midland on June 17.
The 24-year-old is 4-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 20 appearances. His 121 strikeouts are 31 more than any other pitcher in the Texas League, but Kluber says he is still searching for some consistency.
"I'm just trying to ... not make mistakes in the wrong situations, put them back in the count or give them a good pitch to hit," he said. "I'll get ahead of guys and make mistakes in the wrong situations and leave a ball over the middle of the plate when I have two strikes on the guy, when I should be putting them away."
Luis Martinez delivered an RBI single and drew a bases-loaded walk and Andrew Parrino singled twice and scored once for San Antonio (44-49).