In the first game of a doubleheader, Anthony Fernandez watched High Desert get two-hit by San Jose. In the nightcap, he flipped the script.
The Mariners prospect tossed a two-hit, seven-inning shutout in the second game of a twinbill Thursday, leading the Class A Advanced Mavericks to a 6-0 win over the Giants.
Fernandez struck out seven and walked one to earn his first win of the season. The outing marked his first complete game and shutout since he started pro ball in 2007.
"I just mentally prepared for five days for this start," Fernandez said through a translator. "Watching the first game, I was able to see what guys were swinging at. I used being shut out as a push to throw strikes and help the team win."
The Giants' first hit of the game came from their second batter as Carter Jurica doubled on a line drive to center field. Fernandez retired the next nine hitters he faced before first-rounder Joe Panik ended the streak with a one-out single in the fourth. That was all the Giants got in the frame, however, as Adam Duvall followed with a double-play ball.
"I just wanted to pound the zone," Fernandez said. "[Jurica and Panki got] a good pitch and got a good swing on it and was able to drive the ball."
Despite not giving up another hit, Fernandez did run into some trouble in the sixth. San Jose's Chris Lofton worked a two-out walk, while Jurica reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Steven Proscia. With runners on the corners, Fernandez induced a groundout by Panik to escape the inning.
The 21-year-old left-hander pitched a perfect seventh, striking out the final two batters he faced.
"I want to thank God for allowing me to perform well today," Fernandez said. "I stayed focused and just attacked the strike zone on every hitter."
Signed as a non-drafted free agent on Sept. 29, 2006, Fernandez compiled a 2.80 ERA with 107 strikeouts and 42 walks in 125 1/3 innings for Class A Clinton last year. He struggled in 28 frames for High Desert, however, posting a 7.39 ERA.
This year, the story has been different as Fernandez has put together a 3.26 ERA with 21 punchouts and six walks in 30 1/3 innings.
"I'm really hungry to go out there and pitch every start," he said. "The preparation, I've stepped it up a few notches to get better. I just keep pushing it and am trying to be a better pitcher every day."
John Hicks led the Mavericks offense by going 2-for-2 with a homer, three runs scored and two RBIs. Mario Martinez also went deep and plated a pair in the win.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Jack Snodgrass (2-1) allowed two hits over six innings to lead the Giants to a 3-1 victory. Josh Osich completed the shutout effort and notched the first save of his career by tossing a perfect seventh.