Trevor Bauer usually holds opponents at bay. On Saturday, he helped ignite Mobile's offense.
MLB.com's No. 9 prospect tossed seven shutout innings and scored the BayBears' first run in an 8-1 victory over the visiting Jacksonville Suns.
Bauer (4-0) allowed four hits and walked two in the longest start of his brief career. The third overall pick in last year's Draft struck out eight and did not allow a run for the third time in four starts this season. It was another big night for Bauer, who had struggled with a groin injury his previous two outings.
"I was actually able to throw out of my normal delivery, which was relieving, for sure," Bauer said. "I couldn't the last two innings of my second start and my last start, I couldn't use my legs and I couldn't get any drive. My delivery is heavily based on torque, and when you can't generate that torque it just throws everything completely off.
"It was [well] enough to the point where I could actually use [my delivery] tonight and be free about it, which is the biggest thing about it. It gets better, but there's always that mental side of whether I can push it. Finally around the seventh inning,I broke that mental barrier to the point where I just let it go and didn't have any issues with it. It's definitely sore still, but I'm sure my next outing it will be back to normal."
Bauer, who does not have a hit this season, drew a four-pitch walk leading off the bottom of the sixth. The 21-year-old right-hander advanced to second on a wild pitch by Suns counterpart Bryan Evans and moved to third on a single by Raoul Torrez. A sacrifice fly by Wladimir Sutil scored Bauer with the game's first run.
"[Manager] Turner Ward told me to take until you get a strike, which I was fine with," Bauer said. "Especially with my groin, swinging wasn't on my priority list tonight. I just stood up there with the bat on my shoulder and just happened to draw a walk."
The UCLA product became the first four-game winner in the Minor Leagues, lowered his ERA to a Southern League-leading 0.40 and has fanned 28 batters over 22 2/3 innings to take the lead in strikeouts from teammate Tyler Skaggs, who fanned 12 on Friday night.
Despite the gaudy numbers, Bauer isn't thinking about moving up a level or two.
"I really have no control over that, other than how I pitch, and I try not to focus on stuff that I can't control," he said. "It becomes such a big distraction that it distracts me from what I need to do and doing my job, which is going out there and competing. It'll happen, hopefully soon, but really it's whatever helps the organization out and it's out of my control."
Matt Davidson, the D-backs' No. 5 prospect, and Marc Krauss slugged two-run homers to help Mobile stop a three-game losing streak.
Evans (0-1) took a no-hitter into the sixth before the BayBears scored four runs on three hits.