AquaSox's Yarbrough perfect for three

Mariners' fourth-round pick faces nine batters, strikes out seven

Old Dominion product Ryan Yarbrough dropped his ERA to 2.14 with three perfect innings on Friday. (Old Dominion University)

By Tyler Maun / | August 2, 2014 2:52 AM ET

Ryan Yarbrough's start on Friday night was so good -- and so efficient -- that it felt like he almost missed it himself.

The Mariners' 2014 fourth-round pick twirled three perfect innings, striking out seven of the nine men he faced, as Short-Season Everett blanked Eugene, 3-0.

Yarbrough made quick work of the Emeralds, fanning two batters in the first and second before striking out the side in the third to close his night. Of the two balls the Emeralds put in play against him, one was on the ground and one was in the air.

"We tried to work everything off the fastball," said the Old Dominion product, whose strikeout total matched a career high. "Then we'd mix in some sliders and changeups just to get them thinking about other things and then go back to the fastball. We wanted to make sure in the first couple innings, we'd give our team the best chance to win."

The 22-year-old left-hander completed his second consecutive scoreless start after going three innings against Tri-City on July 27, thanks to confidence in his fastball.

"[Fastball command] is a very big thing right now," he said. "The other thing is calling your own game, learning how to pitch with your ability, what works for you on certain days and what doesn't. That's been a big thing for me, just learning how to call my own game to get hitters out the way I know I can."

Yarbrough turned the ball over to Brett Ash (1-0), who kept the no-hit effort going, facing the minimum over two innings by erasing a walk in the sixth with a double play. Eugene finally entered the hit column on River Stevens' two-out single in the sixth.

"It seemed like a blur at first," Yarbrough said of his seventh pro outing and fifth start. "Then, after watching Brett throw and everything, being able to relax and not have to worry about anything because you're done with the game, I was able to relax and enjoy the moment."

Following four shutout innings by Ash, who struck out two and walked two, Kody Kerski fanned five in two perfect frames to pick up his third save.

"It was great watching them," Yarbrough said. "We talked about it as a pitching staff, what works against certain teams, what to look for in certain at-bats. We all came together as a unit, put everything together and it came out pretty well."

Corey Simpson got his staff the only run it needed with an RBI single in the second. The AquaSox added insurance tallies in the eighth and ninth on the way to their seventh win in 11 games in the second half of the Northwest League season.

Eugene starter Zechariah Lemond (1-2) was charged with a run on three hits while striking out five over five innings. He did not walk a batter.

Tyler Maun is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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