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Familiar face helps Armenteros in debut

Astros prospect moves up to Double-A, spins seven shutout innings
August 21, 2016

Rogelio Armenteros was able to pitch to a familiar face in his Texas League debut on Sunday night, one who also helped him at the plate. 

The Astros prospect gave up four hits and a walk while striking out three over seven innings and batterymate Garrett Stubbs went 4-for-4 with a solo homer that was the difference in Double-A Corpus Christi's 1-0 win over Arkansas at Dickey-Stephens Park.

Stubbs parked his solo jack with two outs in the first inning to establish an early lead that was all Armenteros (1-0) needed.

"With Armenteros on the mound, I had caught him a bunch at [Class A Advanced] Lancaster, so I knew the kind of stuff he had," Stubbs said. "We stuck to what his strengths are, and he executed his pitches incredibly well all game. There wasn't too much hard contact because he was locating so well, getting ahead in counts. His command of the zone was incredible, and when you throw strikes and put pressure on hitters, that's the result you get: a 1-0 ballgame."

The duo combined to cut down two of the Travelers' five baserunners after Sean Coyle drew a one-out walk in the first and stole second. Armenteros gave up a leadoff single in the third to Bo Way, who was caught trying to swipe second.

The 22-year-old right-hander yielded base hits to Alex Yarbrough with one out in the fourth and Zach Welz with one out in the fifth. But he picked off Welz to end that inning.

"[Arkansas] is a team that likes to hit and run," Stubbs said. "They tried to hit and run once, tried to steal twice and got picked off once. They're an aggressive team and they're going to try to take the extra base. Coyle got the better of me in the first inning and stole second, and later in the game, they tried to take another bag and I ended up throwing him out. Every out is another step closer to the end of the game, so with an aggressive team, you want to keep them off the basepaths -- and Armenteros did a great job of that tonight."

Stubbs was promoted on July 4 from Lancaster, where he and Armenteros were teammates for just over two months.

"I'm sure it helped him, feeling comfortable throwing to a guy who knew his pitches," Stubbs said. "We weren't going to pitch to Arkansas' weaknesses, but we were going to go with how Armenteros felt. We threw a lot of fastball and changeup combinations, and he executed."

Sunday's gem came in Armenteros' second debut this year. He started the season with Class A Quad Cities, going 0-2 record with a 1.93 ERA over 18 2/3 innings in four games, including three starts. Promoted to Lancaster on April 25, he went 4-1 with a 2.72 ERA through June; in eight starts in July and August before joining Corpus Christi, he was 2-3 with a 5.98 ERA.

"It was fun to watch him come up here and gain a little confidence," Stubbs said. "You go out for the first game and there's some unknowns, not knowing how much better the hitters are or the pace of the game. It's nice for him to get that confidence for the next start. He didn't change anything from what he was doing at Lancaster."

Eric Peterson followed Armenteros and fanned two in two scoreless innings to register his third save.

Arkansas starter Zach Nuding (1-2) gave up a run on nine hits and a walk while striking out three over five innings.

Mack Burke is a contributor with Follow him on Twitter @macburke18_MiLB