Braves' Gilmartin gets first Triple-A win

'11 first-round pick pitches 6 2/3 strong innings in third IL start

By Andrew Pentis / Special to | August 11, 2012 7:01 PM ET

Sean Gilmartin performed well in his first two International League outings on the road before pitching at home for the first time on Saturday evening.

"Both the park [at Double-A] Mississippi and here, in Gwinnett, are pitchers' parks," he said. "Deep to center and power alleys. It's nice."

Put Gilmartin anywhere right now, however, and he'd likely defy dimensions. The Braves' No. 4 prospect earned his first Triple-A win in his third IL start as the G-Braves cruised to an 8-2 victory over the visiting Louisville Bats.

"It's nice for me to get out here and win at Triple-A in my first full season. You don't see it happen too often," said Gilmartin, whose rapid rise was documented in June following one of his 20 starts at Double-A. "I'm just trying to learn as much as I can here."

Gilmartin (1-1) gave up two runs on seven hits -- veteran catcher Corky Miller turned a "mistake" 1-2 curveball into a solo shot in the seventh -- over 6 2/3 innings. He walked two, fanned three and threw 62 of 96 pitches for strikes.

The game plan went like this: Establish the fastball on both sides of the plate, throw the changeup to both lefties and righties and mix in the slider and curveball.

If that sounds familiar, it's because Gilmartin, a 2011 first-round Draft pick, employed similar tactics for Double-A Mississippi. He compiled a 3.54 ERA and a 86-to-26 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 119 1/3 Southern League innings.

Gilmartin, 22, is 23 starts into 2012 after making only six in 2011, which is why his focus down the stretch is on staying physically sound. A week and a half ago, not long after his July 27 promotion, the Florida State product toned down the intensity of his twice-weekly workouts. Instead of alternating between busting his lower body and upper body, he now exercises both on the same day while exerting less overall energy.

"How to handle the full year when the body starts to get tired," he said of where his head is at. "I feel fine. I am keeping focused on what my job is: Compete for six-plus innings."

Lately, he's meeting that standard at the office, both at home and on the road.

Bats counterpart Tim Gustafson (4-4) gave up four runs -- two on Stefan Gartrell's longball in the sixth -- on five hits over six frames.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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