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Widener twirls dominant effort for Tampa

Yankees No. 27 prospect strikes out seven over five innings
Taylor Widener ranks second in the Florida State League with a .193 opponents' batting average. (Cliff Welch/MiLB.com)
June 25, 2017

In some ways, Sunday's start was just like any other for Taylor Widener. "It was just, take it one step a time," the Yankees' No. 27 prospect said. "You just go out there and compete every day and, hopefully, it works out for you."In this one, the 22-year-old right-hander struck out

In some ways, Sunday's start was just like any other for Taylor Widener
"It was just, take it one step a time," the Yankees' No. 27 prospect said. "You just go out there and compete every day and, hopefully, it works out for you."
In this one, the 22-year-old right-hander struck out seven over five one-hit innings to set the tone in Class A Advanced Tampa's 6-0 blanking of Dunedin at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Gameday box score
Widener was selected in the 12th round of last year's Draft out of the University of South Carolina and worked predominantly as a reliever while splitting his pro debut between Class A Short Season Staten Island and Class A Charleston. Featuring a 60-grade fastball, he's 5-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 15 Florida State League starts this year.
"I think it was mainly fastball command and switching it up with the off-speed stuff for strikes," Widener said. "Whenever you can do that, you're doing everything that you can do."  
He worked a 1-2-3 first and shrugged off a leadoff walk to Blue Jays No. 23 prospectJuan Kelly in the second. With two outs in the third, D.J. Davis reached on what was originally ruled an error by second baseman Jorge Mateo. The call was changed to a hit after the game was completed, but the Yankee hurler put no extra pressure on himself, escaping unscathed by striking out Cavan Biggio.
"I saw [that there were no hits] up on the board, but I didn't think anything of it," he said. "I knew I was only going five, so I didn't consider it a real no-hitter." 
After recording three strikeouts while retiring the next six in order, the South Carolina native went to the clubhouse for his postgame work. Stephen Tarpley took over and struck out four over two innings, marred only by a throwing error by shortstop Kyle Holder that allowed Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to reach in the seventh. James Reeves followed with a 1-2-3 eighth.
"I came out in the eighth and saw there still hadn't been any hits," Widener said. "I mean, I didn't really think anything of it -- it was good to see my teammates doing so well. Then [Dunedin] ended up getting a couple hits in the ninth."
Biggio broke up the apparent bid with a one-out infield single off Joe Harvey and Lane Thomas followed with another infield hit before Harvey retired the next two Blue Jays to finish off Tampa's Florida State League-leading 11th shutout.
Mateo, the Yankees' No. 4 prospect, singled, walked twice, stole three bases and scored twice. With 27 thefts, he's tied with Bradenton's Cole Tucker for the FSL lead. 
"That's pretty good," Widener said. "He's pretty quick. It was good that he was able to get such good jumps."

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB.