Trevor Richards might be just getting warmed up as the season approaches its final month.
The Marlins' 19th-ranked prospect said he has more in the tank, and he's been proving it for Double-A Jacksonville.
Gameday box score
Richards allowed one hit over six scoreless innings Saturday night, pitching the Jumbo Shrimp to a 5-2 victory over Mississippi at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
"I feel good," he said. "It's August. It's a long season. I was able to push through."
The right-hander has two wins in his last four starts and both have come against the Braves. After holding them to five hits over seven scoreless frames on July 26, he recorded eight strikeouts and issued a pair of walks on Saturday.
Video: Jacksonville's Richards records eighth K
"Kind of the same lineup," Richards said. "I guess it's a two-way street -- they've seen me and I've seen them recently. I kind of learn from each time out and keep going forward. I've had better stuff other starts, but everything worked out."
Richards, whose background includes parts of two seasons in independent ball before the Marlins signed him last year, keeps making adjustments as he moves through the system. He was a Florida State League All-Star in June, a week before moving up to the Southern League. He said there are new challenges at each stop but also the sense that he's making the necessary progress.
"It's nice to settle in, get a few starts under your belt," he said.
Over those last four starts, the Illinois native has a 1.50 ERA.
"I kind of stuck to the game plan. Keep the ball down," he said, pointing out he used a diet of fastballs and changeups. "Settled in with fastball command. Strikeouts come. It just worked to my advantage. Tonight, we had a couple of opportunities."
Mississippi's lone hit off Richards (4-4) was a two-out single in the fourth by Joey Meneses.
"I'd say I was aware of it," Richards said of the no-hit potential. "Don't put too much emphasis on it."
Last August, he took a no-hit bid into the seventh for Class A Greensboro.
"Great job. He was efficient," Jacksonville manager Randy Ready told the media after Saturday's game. "Worked ahead of the hitters. Plus changeup all night, throwing it for strikes and wiping it out below the hitting zone."
Ready said there was no reason to extend Richards' outing. The 24-year-old has gone at least six innings four of his last five times out.
"He was at 85 pitches. It was a job well done," the manager said. "Here we are, Aug. 12. ... It was good work by him and then we've got to turn it over to our bullpen."
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Andy Beltre worked around two hits in the seventh before Tyler Kinley gave up a two-run homer to Jared James in the ninth.
Mississippi starter Tyler Pike blanked the Jumbo Shrimp for five innings, but Taylor Ard slugged a three-run homer in a five-run sixth. Marlins No. 27 prospect Austin Dean contributed three hits for Jacksonville.
Bob Sutton 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.