Harrison hurls seven hitless innings

Rays prospect strikes out three in longest outing of career

Jordan Harrison is 7-4 with a 3.06 ERA across three levels this season. (Donna Wilson Photography)

By Brandon Simes / MiLB.com Staff | August 9, 2013 8:43 PM ET

A 73-minute rain delay didn't faze Jordan Harrison on Friday night as the second-year pro simply waited for the storm to pass, then turned in his best outing as a professional.

The Rays prospect held Great Lakes hitless for a career-high seven innings as Class A Bowling Green posted a 3-0 blanking at Bowling Green Ballpark.

"I was for the most part down in the zone with my fastball and changed up speeds. They put the ball in play and luckily nothing was hit really hard," said Harrison, who struck out three and walked three.

The 22-year-old left-hander credited strong defense behind him for his dominance.

"[Right fielder] Joey Rickard ran one down in the gap that was big and [center fielder] Andrew Toles ran one down that was pretty big in center. Both saved a run, and that helped me get out of the inning when I was behind in the count," he said.

Harrison (3-2), who has pitched in relief in five of his 11 appearances with the Hot Rods, lowered his ERA to 2.81 with 39 strikeouts and 17 walks over 41 2/3 innings. He also was 4-1 with a 2.73 ERA in the short-season New York-Penn League and gave up three runs over 2 2/3 innings in two relief appearances when Class A Advanced Charlotte needed an emergency reliever.

"Starting allows me to get more innings, which means I get to work on my pitches more. Relieving, I didn't get a chance to work on things; but starting, I get to throw my changeup a lot and it's gotten a lot better since I've started starting," Harrison said. "My breaking ball normally is always there, but my changeup relieving was come and go because I didn't get to throw it a lot. But starting it gets quick outs, it's a big pitch for me."

Pinch-hitter Kevin Taylor broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single in the eighth off Ryan Garton.

"To be honest, I didn't even see [the hit]," Harrison said. "I was in the clubhouse doing my conditioning and stuff. The ultimate goal is to win, not a no-hitter."

Harrison had never gone more than six innings before Friday night.

"We have a pitch count here," said the 2012 25th-round Draft pick, who threw 90 pitches. "They don't usually let anybody go past seven innings. I think I only had five pitches left.

"I had a few quick innings, so it feels no different than going six innings. [My arm] feels fine. My legs were a little tired but not my arm."

Garton fanned two over the final two innings to earn his eighth save and boost the Hot Rods into a first-place tie in the Midwest League Eastern Division.

Bowling Green grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth as Toles reached on an infield hit and continued to second on shortstop Brandon Trinkwon's error. He stole third for his 51st theft, then scored on a fielder's choice by Luke Maile.

Rickard capped a two-run eighth with an RBI single.

Brandon Simes is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More