|© MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
RockHounds' Straily strikes out 1505/19/2012 12:24 AM ET
By Andrew Pentis / Special to MLB.com
Dan Straily throws a fastball, a changeup, a slider and a curve. Rarely does he throw all four with consistency in the same start, but his outing Friday night was anything but regular.
The A's prospect struck out a career-high 15 batters over seven strong innings in the Double-A Midland RockHounds' 6-5 walk-off win over the Corpus Christi Hooks.
Straily allowed one run on three hits -- Brandon Barnes led off the fourth with a double and scored on Jonathan Singleton's single -- while throwing 77 of 108 pitches for strikes.
"Tonight, I had plus stuff," Straily said. "Everything was working. I didn't have a pitch that wasn't there at any times.
"To be doing this in Double-A is pretty special."
Twice before in his four-year career had Straily struck out 11. He said he'd never eclipsed 10 in a game in Little League, high school or college. Most recently, the 23-year-old right-hander fanned 11 over seven one-run innings in a victory over Corpus Christi on May 3.
Straily, a 2009 24th-round Draft pick, has retired 34 Hooks over 20 1/3 innings in three starts frames this season. He leads the Texas League with 69 strikeouts in 52 1/3 frames.
"I just keep mixing it up," Straily said, adding that the Hooks are an aggressive, fastball-seeking lineup. "It's hard to say this, but [against Corpus Christi], I never fall into patterns."
Since that May 3 outing, he had allowed 11 earned runs on 15 hits over his 10 1/3 innings against Frisco and San Antonio.
"I told myself enough was enough [after] having my two worst outings," said Straily, who made no physical adjustments heading into Friday.
After nine starts, he is 1-4 with a 3.96 ERA.
"You have to elevate yourself with the competition," Straily said. "I feel like I'm progressing well, but fastball command is something I'm working on."
This is Straily's first season at Double-A. He went 11-9 with a 3.87 ERA in 28 games (26 starts) with Class A Advanced Stockton in 2011. At that level, he whiffed 154 batters over 160 2/3 innings.
Straily also enjoyed the luxury of support. Dusty Coleman slugged a solo homer out of the ninth spot in the lineup in the second off Jarred Cosart.
"He got a breaking ball and made sure the guy paid for it, hit it off the foul pole," Straily said. "To get an early run made a world of difference."
Cosart, the Astros' No. 2 prospect, gave up four runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander walked four batters and plunked three others.
Neither starter factored in the decision as Hooks left fielder Jake Goebbert singled home two runs with two outs in the ninth to tie the score at 5-5.
The 'Hounds scored the winning run in the bottom of the inning without recording a hit against relievers Kevin Chapman (2-2) and Jason Stoffel. Jeremy Barfield drew a five-pitch leadoff walk, advanced on a throwing error and took third on a sacrifice before coming home on Josh Horton's sacrifice fly to deep center field.
"That's the biggest goal," Straily said, referring to the win. "It would have been for naught if we didn't come back to win."