Former first-round Draft pick Ethan Martin had his finest outing as a professional Thursday night, tossing a three-hit nine-inning shutout as Inland Empire topped visiting Bakersfield, 5-0. He struck out eight and walked two.
It was the 20-year-old Martin's first complete game as a pro -- MLB.com's No. 49 prospect had gone no longer than six innings in 35 previous appearances. He faced no more than four hitters in any inning and retired the final 10 batters he faced. Bakersfield did not have a hit after the fourth inning.
Martin's strong night was just the second complete-game shutout in the California League this season. San Jose's Eric Surkamp also blanked Bakersfield, allowing two hits, on May 16.
It was also the first home win by an Inland Empire starter this season. The 66ers are 5-18 at home this season and 17-31 overall.
The 15th overall pick in the 2008 Draft, Martin (5-3) yielded a leadoff hit to Bakersfield's David Paisano in the first, a one-out double to Tommy Mendonca in the third and a leadoff single to Davis Stoneburner in the fourth. He did not allow a runner to reach third base.
The 66ers scored four times on a pair of singles and five free passes issued by Blaze starter Jacob Brigham (1-5) in the second. Anthony Hatch added a solo homer in the fifth.
Matt Wallach collected three of Inland Empire's seven hits, including a double. Tony Delmonico doubled and singled.
Brigham allowed four runs on two hits and five walks over 1 2/3 innings. He's lost his last three starts, yielding 14 earned runs in 11 2/3 frames. The Blaze are 2-8 in their last 10 games and have the second-worst road record in the California League at 6-15.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.