Tony Cingrani may not have a win to show for his efforts Wednesday, but he continued to show that his dominant season is no fluke.
The Reds' No. 8 prospect fanned 10 and surrendered five hits over five shutout innings as Pensacola lost to Mobile, 4-2, on Wednesday. Top Cincinnati prospect Billy Hamilton swiped two more bases, leaving him five away from sole possession of a new Minor League record.
After giving up back-to-back singles to open the ballgame, Cingrani struck out five straight batters before Ed Easley singled with two outs in the second inning. But the 23-year-old left-hander fanned Michael Bolsinger to end the frame.
"I had the fastball going, I was working it in and out," Cingrani said. "I mixed some sliders in there, threw some changeups, [but it was] mostly fastball command."
Cingrani, who estimated he threw about 80 fastballs, is in the midst of a strong August in which he's allowed one run on 13 hits over 16 innings for Pensacola. The Illinois native credits a simple approach.
"Just throwing strikes and going after hitters," the southpaw said. "Doing what I've always been doing and not giving in when there's guys on."
Overall, Cingrani is 10-4 with a 1.51 ERA with 153 strikeouts in 23 starts between Class A Advanced Bakersfield and Pensacola. For a third-round pick who was a reliever coming out of Rice University, it's the kind of season that puts a prospect on the map. But Cingrani knows there's still plenty of road to travel on his journey.
"It feels good," Cingrani said. "I'm just out doing my job and working hard. This is where it's taken me so far, it's pretty good. Whatever the front office chooses to do, I'm just going to go out and do what I do."
Hamilton, MLB.com's No. 26 prospect, swiped two bases, giving him 141 this season. Watching the speedster pursue Vince Coleman's 29-year-old record of 145 stolen bases is a unique experience for Cingrani, who was teammates with Hamilton in Bakersfield earlier this season.
"Unlike anything else," Cingrani said of watching Hamilton. "You know he's going to steal, they try to pick off, and he still goes. I've seen it since Bakersfield, it's still amazing."
Brian Pearl (1-3) took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits over an inning of work for the Blue Wahoos.
David Nick, Arizona's No. 19 prospect, singled home a pair of runs to break a tie game in the eighth for the BayBears.