Hens' Turner hurls three-hit shutout

Tigers top prospect faces two batters over the minimum

By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com | July 7, 2012 6:17 PM ET

Jacob Turner believes he needs to work on his overall game to get back to Detroit. His body of work Saturday night might hasten the short trip up Interstate 75.

MLB.com's No. 10 prospect struck out six and pitched a three-hitter for his first career complete game and shutout as Triple-A Toledo blanked Louisville, 2-0.

Turner (4-2) did not walk a batter and faced only two over the minimum in his 10 start for the Mud Hens. The 2009 first-round Draft pick allowed a leadoff single to Joey Gathright in the bottom of the first but got Henry Rodriguez to hit into a double play.

After a two-out error in the second by shortstop Danny Worth, Turner retired eight straight batters before Paul Janish singled with one out in the fifth. Janish promptly was thrown out trying to steal second.

"I was able to get ahead early, which is something I was working on," Turner said. "When you get ahead, it makes it easier to use your secondary pitches. It's just a conscious effort to get ahead and throw strikes."

Turner needed 102 pitches, including 10 in the ninth, to finish off the Bats. He won for the fourth time in his last five starts and lowered his ERA to 3.16. The 21-year-old right-hander was keenly aware of his pitch count.

"Yeah, obviously, you want to get outs as quick as you can," the Tigers' top prospect said. "I was able to get us back in the dugout as fast as we could, and it worked out."

Turner had gone eight innings twice in his three-year Minor League career, most recently on July 25, 2011 for Double-A Erie.

"I think I just need to continue to get better as a pitcher overall," said Turner, who's made four Major League starts. "Throwing strikes, throwing my breaking pitches for strikes, holding runners, just my complete game. It's not just one thing, it's my overall game."

Bryan Pounds slugged a solo homer and Justin Henry had three hits and stole a pair of bases for the Mud Hens.

Louisville starter Pedro Villareal fell to 2-6, despite yielding a run on four hits over six innings. He struck out eight.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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