Some players have a tough time when they get sent down to the Minor Leagues, but not Tyler Glasnow. Instead, he turned in one of the best months of his career, capped off by a gem.
The Pirates' right-hander struck out the first seven batters and tied a season-high with 12 whiffs in 6 1/3 innings as Triple-A Indianapolis topped Pawtucket 3-2 in 12 innings on Sunday.
Gameday box score
"I thought he started off slow," Indianapolis pitching coach Stan Kyle quipped. "But no, he's been great. Since he's gotten here, he really hasn't had one subpar start. All of his starts have been pretty solid. It's just another example of the growth that he had, the growth that he had in the big leagues, and now he's come here and learned some things and put it into play."
The 23-year-old right-hander retired the first 13 PawSox before Brian Bogusevic's one-out single in the fifth. But Glasnow picked him off and faced the minimum through five.
Video: Indianapolis' Glasnow notches 12th strikeout
"He's got dominant stuff. When you combine that with his type of intensity and focus, he's tough to hit. He's grown more aware of what he's trying to do, his pitches are more strategic," Kyle said. "He's not just mixing pitches; he has a better idea of what he has to throw and when to throw it. So, he's developing his mentality along with his stuff and that's going to bode well for him when he gets back to the big leagues."
Glasnow worked around a single by Tim Roberson in the sixth, then allowed a leadoff walk to Tzu-Wei Lin in the seventh. Kyles checked on the 6-foot-8, 220-pound hurler, who was nearing 100 pitches. The California native notched his final strikeout before yielding an RBI double to Bryce Brentz.
"I thought one of their better hitters, Brentz, put a nice swing on a pretty good changeup and was able to put pretty good contact on it and score a run," the pitching coach said. "But I thought [Glasnow] was still competing, I thought his stuff was still good. He didn't want to come out of the game, but he understood that he's got a certain pitch-count here and if we wanted to push him to the limits, we want him to do it at the next level and not here."
Glasnow was 2-6 with a 7.45 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 54 innings through 12 starts with Pittsburgh this season, but has been lights-out in the Minors. Kyles noticed the 2011 5th-round pick has pitched to contact more along with swing-and-miss stuff.
After fanning 12 in his final start in June, Glasnow recorded 54 whiffs in six July starts and broke the team record for most in a month set by Ian Snell in May 2005. The California high school product is 6-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 60 2/3 innings over nine International League starts. Kyles noted that this year has been better for Glasnow than last year, when he was 8-3 with a 1.87 ERA in 20 starts for the Indians.
"I think the biggest thing is, for him, it's not just about dominating hitters -- I think he has dominating stuff -- but he has to show that his pitch execution is a lot more consistent than it was at this time last year and even in the big leagues, earlier in the season," the coach said. "He's moving closer and closer to understanding the importance of that and actually having to go out and do it. While he's here, I'm pretty sure he's going to continue to work on those things and that's good to see.
"I understand that the next time he goes to the big leagues, he's going to be better prepared. He's not just trying to get there, he's trying to be better prepared for when he gets there."
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After Glasnow exited, the Indians set a club record with 19 strikeouts. Montana DuRapau fanned all five batters he faced and Edgar Santana added two punchouts in two frames for the record. Brett McKinney (3-1) yielded a hit and a walk in two scoreless frames for Indianapolis.
Video: Newman's walk-off single for Indianapolis
Pirates No. 6 prospect Kevin Newman lined a two-out walk-off single to left off Chandler Shepard (0-3).
Danny Ortiz slugged two homers for the Indians, including a game-tying shot in the 10th.