Jordan shines in second Double-A start

Nationals prospect pitches six one-hit innings, strikes out nine

Taylor Jordan pitched for Auburn last season following Tommy John surgery. (Kevin Pataky/

By Robert Emrich / Special to | May 18, 2013 8:41 PM ET

It was the Taylor Jordan Show on Saturday night in Reading, with Anthony Rendon playing second fiddle.

The Nationals' No. 17 prospect allowed one hit and recorded a career-high nine strikeouts over six scoreless innings to earn his first Double-A victory as Harrisburg defeated the Fightin Phils, 6-4.

Making his second Eastern League start, Jordan (1-0) allowed only a second-inning single to Zach Collier. He retired the next seven batters before plunking Cameron Rupp leading off the fifth. He recorded his final five outs via punchouts, ending his night by striking out the side in the sixth.

The 24-year-old right-hander was solid in his Double-A debut last Sunday, allowing four hits over four scoreless frames against Binghamton. While he did not figure in that decision, there was no doubt Saturday who the winner was as Jordan faced only three batters over the minimum.

"I'll tell you one thing about Taylor Jordan -- he's got three pitches he can command and get in the zone and get people out with," said Potomac pitching coach Chris Michalak, who worked with Jordan until he was promoted earlier this month. "Good fastball, he's got a very good changeup and he's got a slider that's improved. He throws strikes and he'll come right after you. When he was with me, that was what made him successful here and allowed him to be promoted."

Jordan went 1-2 with a Carolina League-leading 1.24 ERA in six starts with the P-Nats. Selected by the Nationals in the ninth round of the 2009 Draft, he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 and came back to make 15 starts for short-season Auburn and Class A Hagerstown last season.

"He pitched at the end of last year at Hagerstown and in instructional league in the fall," Michalak said. "The biggest thing with him was just getting back out there and building up his innings and getting command of the strike zone. And he showed all that. There weren't any mechanical issues, it was just a matter of him going out there and getting people out."

Jordan made a believer of Reading manager Dusty Wathan after throwing 67 of 94 pitches for strikes.

"He had a really good sinker that stayed on the plate and then just dropped off," Wathan told the Reading Eagle. "He was outstanding."

Rendon homered, tripled and drove in three runs in support of Jordan. It was another highlight in a month full of them for the Nationals' top prospect. In 14 games since returning from a brief stint in the Majors, Rendon is batting .404 with four homers, 13 RBIs and a 1.296 OPS.

Rick Hague also had three RBIs for the Senators, falling a triple shy of the cycle, while No. 2 prospect Brian Goodwin drew three walks and scored a run.

Reading climbed within 4-3 in the seventh and got a solo homer from Jim Murphy in the eighth, but Aaron Barrett tossed a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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