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Ames, Hot Rods combine on one-hitter

Rays' No. 13 prospect ties his career high with eight strikeouts
April 16, 2013

Jeff Ames has been nearly impossible to hit this season. Tuesday was just another night at the office for him.

The Rays' No. 13 prospect yielded one hit and fanned eight over five innings and two relievers tossed four hitless innings as Class A Bowling Green beat Great Lakes, 2-0, on Tuesday.

Ames, who did not figure into the decision, gave up a two-out double to Eric Smith in the second inning. The 22-year-old right-hander retired the final 10 batters he faced before giving way to the bullpen, throwing 60 pitches to complete his five innings.

"My fastball command was pretty good and I felt like I used my changeup and slider pretty effectively," the 22-year-old right-hander said. "I was mixing my pitches pretty well and letting my defense work behind me."

The strikeouts matched a career high for Ames, who manage the feat Aug. 23 while pitching for the short-season Hudson Valley Renegades. He attributed the total to the location of his primary pitch -- the fastball -- but also got some strikeouts via the slider.

Ames, who has a limit of either 75 pitches or five innings, is 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in three starts for the Hot Rods. He's fanned 15 batters in 15 innings and yielded only six baserunners in his full-season debut.

"Like I've been saying I've been able to throw a lot of strikes early," the Washington native said. "I'm more comfortable using my breaking stuff and coming back with a fastball in or away, whatever the situation dictates."

Jose Molina took over and walked one batter over three innings to earn his second win. Ryan Garton tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to close out his third game.

"All of our pitchers did a great job of locating their fastball low in the zone and locating their secondary pitches in the right counts," Ames said. "Fastball command, after I came out Molina was pounding the zone with his fastball. Where we were putting our fastball was most definitely the reason [for our success]."

Andrew Toles was 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI while Justin O'Connor drove in a run.

Miguel Sulbaran struck out three and allowed three hits over five shutout innings for the Loons. Jonathan Martinez (0-1) gave up two unearned runs on three hits over the final four innings.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to