Myles Jaye knows what it takes to succeed in the lower Minor Leagues and he thinks he knows what it takes to succeed in the Major Leagues. At some point, he'll need to work on the latter, but for one night, he was content to remind himself he can still achieve the former.
Jaye, freshly demoted from Double-A Birmingham, recorded the first nine-inning complete game of his pro career Wednesday night for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, requiring only 92 pitches and retiring the final 20 batters in a 4-0 victory over Potomac.
The 22-year-old right-hander put his infielders to work, inducing 14 groundouts while allowing four hits and walking none.
"I think I just got back to the basics," Jaye said. "I was throwing a lot of sinkers, getting a lot of ground balls. When I can do that, that's when I'm successful. When you can get a guy to get the ball on the ground in [fewer] than three pitches, that's a good night. That happened a lot tonight."
Jaye (1-0) began the year with Double-A Birmingham but was reassigned after posting a 6.32 ERA in 10 starts. He said he struggled while trying to better utilize his four-seam fastball, a feature he knows he'll need in the Majors but one that's a departure from the sinker-heavy arsenal he used to thrive in the Carolina League last year.
"I think a lot of it had to do with confidence," Jaye said. "I had a few rough outings in a row and then I just went up there scared to fail. I was nitpicking and throwing ball one, ball two. At any level, if you're behind in the count, you're going to get hit around."
The White Sox acquired Jaye with righty Daniel Webb from the Blue Jays for right-hander Jason Frasor prior to the 2012 season. The team promoted him aggressively to the Class A Kannapolis, where he posted a 6.04 ERA in 17 starts.
Chicago returned Jaye to the South Atlantic League in 2013, and the Georgia native dominated in seven starts with a 4-1 record and 2.20 ERA. He was promoted to Winston-Salem, where he went 9-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 20 starts.
At the end of the summer, the White Sox gave Jaye another bump to Double-A. He made one regular-season start with Birmingham, surrendering seven earned runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings.
Jaye was much better for the Barons in the postseason, though, earning the win in the clinching game of the Southern League Championship Series -- he allowed two earned runs and scattered five hits over five frames in that contest.
The postseason win helped Jaye earn a spot in the Birmingham rotation to begin 2014, but he struggled to recapture the success he enjoyed late last year.
He did that and more on Wednesday, though. The nine-inning complete game was the longest of his career and the first by a Dash pitcher since Bryan Blough blanked Myrtle Beach on Aug. 26. He needed six pitches to breeze through the ninth.
"Nobody likes getting sent down," he said. "But honestly, it was probably the best thing that could've happened. I came back here to get my confidence, and hopefully, down the road, I can come back up there.
"It was rough to struggle as bad as I did in Birmingham. Just to come out here and finally have some success, that was very nice."
Staked to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Jaye polished off the Nationals in one hour and 48 minutes. White Sox No. 5 prospect Courtney Hawkins delivered an RBI triple and scored on a base hit by Jason Coats, while Tim Anderson -- Chicago's second-ranked prospect -- tripled, singled and scored twice for the Dash.