Suter rides ground game in Sky Sox shutout
The Omaha Storm Chasers wouldn't let Brent Suter strike them out, so he used his ground game to turn in a second straight scoreless outing.
The Brewers left-hander gave up four hits and struck out one over a season-high 7 2/3 innings on Sunday as Triple-A Colorado Springs blanked Omaha, 3-0, at Werner Park.
Suter (6-5) induced 11 groundouts without issuing a walk. After registering his lone punchout against third-ranked Royals prospect Jorge Bonifacio in the fourth inning, the Harvard product said his contact-oriented approach wasn't part of the game plan.
"I don't mind strikeouts, but there were a lot of one-pitch and two-pitch outs where they would put the ball in play early and I didn't even get to a two-strike count to have the opportunity to get a strikeout," Suter said. "Fortunately, those quick balls in play were outs a lot of the time."
After tossing a perfect first, Suter surrendered back-to-back singles to No. 2 Royals prospect Hunter Dozier and Balbino Fuenmayor to begin the second. The Storm Chasers didn't produce another baserunner for six innings as the 26-year-old set down 18 straight batters.
"The changeup was a go-to pitch today in terms of inducing weak contact," Suter said. "I remember telling our catcher [Andrew Susac] in the first inning or two that even though I hadn't thrown a quality one yet it was feeling really good out of my hand, so let's keep going to it."
Orlando Calixte broke up Suter's perfect stretch by beating out an infield single with one out in the eighth. The Chicago native got Dusty Coleman to pop out to second, but Ramon Torres rolled a single up the middle that prompted Sky Sox manager Rick Sweet to go to his bullpen.
"Torres has always seen me pretty well," Suter said. "We went fastball in and then I missed fastball away. He had been showing that he could get to that outside pitch in his earlier at-bats, so I tried to go back in and I don't think I got it in enough."
Suter was replaced by Damien Magnifico after throwing 55 of 77 pitches for strikes. The 2012 31st-round pick improved to 2-0 in August, a month in which he's allowed 10 hits and struck out seven without issuing a walk over 14 2/3 frames to take over third place in the Pacific Coast League with a 3.07 ERA.
"I think I'm just making pitches when I have to," Suter said. "They've been getting hits off me. I had a jam in the Oklahoma City game that I had to get out of and I had a jam in the second inning [on Sunday]. It hasn't been a breeze by any means, but I'm just making pitches when I have to."
Magnifico fanned two over 1 1/3 perfect innings to pick up his 15th save.
Sky Sox designated hitter Josmil Pinto smashed a solo homer in the ninth, while second-ranked Brewers prospect Lewis Brinson doubled to run his Triple-A hitting streak to six games.
Storm Chasers starter Mike Minor (0-3) gave up a run on three hits and three walks while striking out four over 4 1/3 innings.
Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21.