Lange bounces back with hitless start

Cubs No. 12 prospect fans seven over five shutout innings

Alex Lange was selected by the Cubs with the 30th overall pick in the 2017 Draft out of LSU. (Chris Baird/MiLB.com)

By Brian Stultz / MiLB.com | May 4, 2019 11:57 PM

Alex Lange looked like himself on Saturday night.

The Cubs' No. 12 prospect tossed five hitless innings, striking out seven en route to his first win of the season, as Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach edged Salem, 3-2, at TicketReturn.com Field.

Lange retired eight out of the last nine batters he faced, allowing just a walk to Nick Sciortino with two outs in the fifth.


Gameday box score


It was a bounceback effort for the 2017 first-round pick, who surrendered 15 runs -- 13 earned -- on 18 hits over 4 1/3 innings in his previous two starts.

"It felt good," Lange said. "I feel like we've had a couple of unlucky breaks here and there with hits falling. You just have to keep chugging along. You can't pack up because you have had some back luck. I'm glad we got it figured out and look forward to continuing to help."

For the 23-year-old right-hander, a couple of offseason adjustments were part of a learning curve.

"You just have to continue to trust what you have been working on since Spring Training," Lange said. "We kind of adjusted some fastball grips that carried into the season a little slow. We changed where we are attacking the zone with the fastball because it is playing so much better than it was last year."

Despite the struggles, the LSU product knew the results eventually would come.

"I feel like I was continuing to get better, even when the starts weren't going well," Lange said. "It's just a matter of when it clicks. I didn't think that was going to last forever, so I just kept chugging along."

The right-hander also spent last season with the Pelicans, going 6-8 with a 3.74 ERA in 23 starts. He struck out 101 over 120 1/3 innings while holding Carolina League foes to a .234 batting average.

2019 MiLB include

Making his season debut, Jake Stinnett kept the no-hitter going until Nick Sciortino singled with two outs in the seventh. He ended up allowing two unearned runs on one hit and one walk with one strikeout in two innings. Tommy Nance picked up his first save of the season, fanning two in two scoreless innings.

A three-run homer by Luke Reynolds in the fourth provided all the offense Myrtle Beach needed.

Eighth-ranked Red Sox prospect Bryan Mata (1-1) gave up three runs on two hits and four walks over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out five.

Brian Stultz is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianjstultz. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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