Biloxi's Brown stays on cruise control

Milwaukee's No. 24 prospect allows two hits over seven innings

Zack Brown has given up just 14 runs in his first 32 2/3 innings in the Southern League. (Michael Krebs)

By Marisa Ingemi / | May 9, 2018 10:49 PM

Wednesday night was just more of the same for Zack Brown.

The Brewers No. 24 prospect allowed two hits and struck out six in seven frames in the Double-A Shuckers' 3-0 win over the Biscuits at Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium. It marked Brown's fourth straight game allowing two runs or fewer for the club that tops the Southern League in shutouts with four.

Gameday box score

After a seamless first inning, Brown (2-0) gave up a single to Rays No. 15 prospect Brandon Lowe in the second. In the fourth, the 23-year-old right-hander hit Nick Solak with a pitch and allowed another hit by Lowe before a clean fifth.

In the sixth, Brown plunked Nathan Lukes and walked Solak, but induced a double play to get out of a jam, then retired the side in order in the seventh -- capping his outing with a strikeout of Mac James.

"The fastball location and movement today was good," the University of Kentucky product said. "Just the sequencing, keeping them off balance. Coming off a couple of rough games, it was important for us to get off to a good start and for me to go deep into the game, and keep the batters uncomfortable there."

In six starts this season, Brown has posted a 3.18 ERA while giving up just two runs in the past 18 2/3 innings. Mobile tagged him for five over five innings on April 18. Since then, he's gone at least five innings in four straight outings, allowing one run his previous two starts coming into Wednesday.

Video: Zack Brown strikes out sixth

"Watching other guys who have been around Double-A longer and showing up to the field ready to go to work has been big," Brown said. "Seeing how those guys go about their business gives me a pretty good idea of what I need to do in between starts and how to attack hitters and get through the lineups a third time."

After striking out eight batters versus Jacksonville, he whiffed six against Biloxi. Brown hasn't struck out fewer than four in an outing all season.

"It's the same things that worked tonight," Brown said. "Having fastball movement and focusing on my sequencing. In [Class A] last year, I was pretty fastball-dominant, and my coaches tried to get me to use my offspeed a little bit more. I think that has proven to be a huge help for me so far."

MiLB include

The Seymour, Indiana native went 7-5 with a 3.11 ERA between two levels a year ago, and his ERA dropped to a 2.16 clip in a four-game stint with Class A Advanced Carolina. He leapt to Double-A after just 25 innings in the Carolina League.

"I'm learning how to attack hitters here as you see them more often," Brown said. "All these guys here have a pretty good plan. This is the third time we've seen Montgomery this year, so some of these guys have seen me six to nine times, depending on where they are in the order and how far down they are. Attacking them in different ways every time, finding your spot and staying there and executing pitches as much as possible."

Nick Ramirez allowed two hits in the eighth but escaped unscathed and Nate Griep gave up a single and a walk in the ninth but closed out the game for his Minor League-leading 12th save.

Third-ranked Brewers prospect Lucas Erceg and No. 18 Jake Gatewood plated a run apiece for the Shuckers.

Marisa Ingemi is a contributor to Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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