Black unhittable in Smokies' win

Cubs prospect rebounds from first start with five shutout innings

Corey Black has allowed five hits in his first two starts for Tennessee. (Hillary Baker/Tennessee Smokies)

By Robert Emrich / | April 11, 2014 11:38 PM ET

Corey Black has settled into his new organization and couldn't be happier about it.

The Cubs' No. 17 prospect tossed five no-hit innings Friday night but did not figure in the decision as Double-A Tennessee walked off with a 6-5 win over Chattanooga.

Black struck out two and walked three while facing four batters over the minimum. After struggling through the first two innings, he retired the final 10 Lookouts he faced, throwing 44 of 79 pitches for strikes.

"Really, all I had was my fastball," Black said. "I was throwing a lot of two-seams and missing a lot of barrels. They were popping it up."

His Southern League debut on April 5 was a different story, as the 22-year-old right-hander surrendered two runs on five hits over two innings. Black noted that the biggest change was the difference in conditions between Smokies Park and Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

"I didn't have anything to push off and I was leaving balls up," he said. "I was really able to keep the ball down [tonight] and give my guys a chance to make a play for me, especially when I wasn't getting ahead of hitters. I think I only had one or two first-pitch strikes."

Black came over from the Yankees on July 26 in the trade for veteran slugger Alfonso Soriano. He made five starts for Class A Advanced Daytona following the deal but was able to use the offseason to get acclimated to the club.

"They invited me to January camp, which was cool to go out to Arizona and get ready for the season," he said. "The organization has been really accepting. It's a good fit and I love where I'm at."

Dustin Geiger went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and two runs scored. The 22-year-old first baseman has homers in three of his last five games and shares the Southern League lead.

"He's seeing the ball really well, he's getting into good counts and he's making pitchers pay for mistakes," Black said. "Everyone gets into those grooves and he's hitting things on a line and squaring things up left and right."

Stephen Bruno singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth after the Lookouts tied the game in the top of the inning.

Armando Rivero (1-0) was credited with the win, despite yielding two runs on one hit in the ninth.

Chris Reed, the Dodgers' No. 6 prospect, tied a career high with nine strikeouts over six innings and gave up two runs on two hits for Chattanooga.

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

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