Cody Buckel's stuff may not have been his best, but his third start in the Texas League wound up being a charm.
The Rangers' No. 10 prospect allowed one hit and struck out four over six innings to notch his first Double-A win as Frisco blanked Arkansas, 8-0, on Wednesday.
Buckel did not allow a hit until Brian Hernandez led off the fifth inning with a single. The 20-year-old right-hander erased Hernandez by getting Carlos Ramirez to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Buckel walked three and faced three over the minimum for the RoughRiders.
"Actually I didn't feel like I had too much stuff working, other than getting ahead with some good pitches and making efficient pitches when I needed to," Buckel said. "I had good life on the fastball, I got some weak swings, but ... I wouldn't say tonight was my best stuff."
"Being that my stuff wasn't as good, it was effective. I was aiming for weak contact and I got a lot of weak contact. I know I can be a little bit more efficient with my stuff."
Buckel had been winless in his two previous league outings, allowing eight runs in 10 1/3 innings. The 2010 10th-round pick called his first win "a little bit of a relief," but felt that his stuff wasn't all that different.
"I thought I had a little bit better stuff in my start against Springfield," he said. "I thought it was more mechanically sound, it was just one pitch that was the difference in the game. Tonight, I carried over how I felt in Springfield and used it to my advantage. I had a little bit of a mental approach tonight of what I wanted to throw and how I wanted to throw it."
Overall this season, Buckel is 6-5 with a 1.76 ERA in 16 stops between Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Frisco. The California native believes tonight's performance will give him the tools he needs to continue his success.
"I know what I have to work on mechanically to get all my pitches more in sync," Buckel said. "It's a step forward in knowing I can compete here at this level even though I don't have the best stuff and help boost the confidence a little bit at this level."
Tim Murphy and Zach Osborne each allowed two hits over a scoreless inning of relief and Richard Bleier tossed a hitless ninth.
Chris McGuiness homered and drove in three runs for the RoughRiders while Leury Garcia, Texas' No. 8 prospect, scored three times.