Storm's Gore walks three in hitless start

Padres new top prospect has 1.21 ERA after four-inning stint

MacKenzie Gore is averaging 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 12 starts. (Jerry Espinoza/MiLB.com)

By Jordan Wolf / MiLB.com | June 15, 2019 2:43 AM

MacKenzie Gore may be seeing a limited workload lately, but it hasn't done much to affect his spectacular season.

The top Padres prospect dealt four no-hit innings, walking three and allowing one run, as Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore fell in the 10th to Rancho Cucamonga, 3-2, on Friday at LoanMart Field. He struck out six and threw 68 pitches.


Gameday box score


Gore was perfect over the first three innings, setting down the Quakes in order the first time through the lineup. That quickly changed, however, as he opened the fourth with consecutive walks to Dodgers No. 7 prospect Jeter Downs, Devin Mann and 13th-ranked Connor Wong to load the bases with nobody out.

Downs scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeren Kendall, but Gore escaped with the no-hitter intact by striking out Marcus Chiu and Donovan Casey. Lake Elsinore pitching coach Pete Zamora was happy to see him work his way out of the jam.

"What we work on that situation is damage control, and I thought he did a fabulous job," he said.

He wasn't surprised, though, as Gore has proven himself to be cool and collected in situations like that.

"Adversity doesn't bother him," Zamora said. "It's a matter of executing pitches."

After Gore exited, Seth Blair, Jordan Guerrero and Steven Wilson carried the no-hitter into the eighth, when Brayan Morales lined a one-out single to center field.

Since logging a season-high 6 2/3 innings on May 30, Gore has totaled six innings in two starts 10 days apart and is not expected to pitch in the upcoming California League All-Star Game. Nevertheless, MLB.com's No. 5 overall prospect is tied for second on the circuit with 83 strikeouts and owns a 1.21 ERA that would lead the league if he had enough innings to qualify.

Zamora said it's not hard for Gore to maintain that level of success, as he's got the makeup to keep his momentum going without much help from the coaching staff.

"You don't have to tell MacKenzie Gore [to not get] complacent. ... He's out there to dominate every time," he said. "He's very, very hard on himself in a good way -- he expects a lot out of himself."

2019 MiLB include

The southpaw's next start will come Thursday against Inland Empire back in Lake Elsinore. According to Zamora, it will be back to business as usual.

"He'll be back to the full strength his next start," the pitching coach said. "He got to take a 10-day breather there."

Downs, who's tied for second in the league with 43 RBIs, won it for the Quakes with a sacrifice fly in the 10th. Wong singled and walked twice.

Jordan Wolf is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @byjordanwolf. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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