In his first start since striking out 11 over six hitless innings, Cody Reed used an entirely different tactic to dominate again.
The D-backs' No. 19 prospect went a career-high eight innings, allowing four hits, striking out three and walking one as Class A Kane County defeated Lansing, 6-0, on Friday at Northwestern Medicine Field.
Reed (2-1) faced one over the minimum over the first six frames as he surrendered only a one-out single to Yeltsin Gudino in the third. The 2014 second-round pick ran into trouble in the seventh, however, after No. 9 Blue Jays prospect Bo Bichette and top-ranked Vladimir Guerrero Jr. laced back-to-back singles with one out.
"I threw Vlad a low-and-away changeup, and I think it looked pretty tasty to him," the left-hander said. "He swung and hit it well. First and third, and I just told myself to go after the next few guys and get a ground ball, see if I can get a double play here."
Gameday box score
With help from catcher Jose Herrera, who threw out Guerrero trying to steal second, Reed escaped the inning by getting Christian Williams to ground out to first. The 20-year-old worked around a single by Gudino to complete a scoreless eighth before Tommy Eveld came on to finish it out.
The Ardmore, Alabama, native threw 66 of 92 pitches for strikes. Though Reed had racked up 19 strikeouts over 10 2/3 innings in his previous two starts, Friday's game plan called for a more contact-oriented approach. He induced 12 groundouts while relying primarily on his four-seam and two-seam fastballs.
"That right there was the best hitting team in the league from what I've heard," Reed said. "We had some pitchers' meetings before the series started and they told us, 'Pitch to contact with these guys. Let them hit it and see what they can do. They're going to get out seven out of 10 times.'"
Video: Cougars' Reed ends the eighth
Reed turned in the second scoreless outing in his last three starts, lowering his ERA to 1.38 in 32 2/3 frames. While that ranks fourth in the Midwest League, he has also posted a .183 opponents' batting average and 38 strikeouts against eight walks.
The Alabama high school product deflected praise to his teammates.
"[My] confidence level is good. Anytime you're playing on a good team, you're going to have good confidence, no matter what," he said. "It helps a lot having this defense behind me and to have our guys swinging the bat the way they have been."
Though Reed spent over a month last season with Class A Advanced Visalia, he hasn't considered the possibility of a return to the California League.
"I'm going out there every day and competing at the level I'm at," he said. "When I get moved up, I get moved up, and that's all there is to it."
Lugnuts starter Patrick Murphy (2-1), Toronto's 17th-ranked prospect, was tagged for five runs -- two earned -- on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.