Lynch nearly untouchable in second start

Royals first-rounder allows one hit, fans six in scoreless outing

Daniel Lynch struck out 105 and walked 24 over 88 2/3 Atlantic Coast Conference innings this season. (Jim Daves/Virginia Athletics)

By Marisa Ingemi / | June 30, 2018 12:06 AM

Daniel Lynch seems to be fitting in just fine.

Making his second professional start on Friday, the Royals' 2018 first-round pick struck out six and worked around a hit and a walk over 3 2/3 innings in Rookie-level Burlington's 2-0 shutout of Pulaski at Calfee Park.

Gameday box score

"Everything he had was good today," Burlington manager Brooks Conrad said. "He had the four-seamer, two-seamer, cutter, curveball, changeup. He really commanded the strike zone with every one of his pitches. They were all really working, he had them off-balance. He did a really good job just pounding the zone with strikes."

Lynch surrendered a one-out single in the first to Ezequiel Duran, then punched out Everson Pereira before walking Mickey Gasper. Nelson Gomez reached on catcher's interference, and the 21-year-old left-hander found himself in a bases-loaded situation.

He got out of it by inducing Juan De Leon to ground out, beginning a string in which the University of Virginia product retired nine of 10 Yankees.

"Anytime you get put in a situation like that early in the game, without a doubt you're happy [to get out of it]," Conrad said. "He came up with big pitch after big pitch to get out of that inning. It set the tone for the rest of the game. Our next two guys came in and did the same thing, but him getting out of that first inning was really big-time. He came up with some big pitches in a big spot."

With two outs in the second, Lynch plunked Carlos Gallardo but worked a 1-2-3 third. He fanned the first two batters in the fourth and was pulled after Max Burt reached on an error by third baseman Angel Medina

"All the movement he has on his ball, he has nothing coming in real flat," Conrad said. "From the left side, the ball takes off the other way on a righty, and he can also come in on their hands. He kept them honest with his curveball and changeup. He had every one of his pitches working. He was throwing them all for strikes, just kept them off-balance. He's a really talented guy and showed what he can do for us tonight."

MiLB include

Lynch threw 26 of 31 pitches for strikes, with the scoreless start lowering his ERA to 2.84 over his first six innings as a pro. He allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and a walk while striking out three over 2 2/3 innings in his pro debut a week ago.

"Coming off his first start as a professional, he settled in a little bit more," Conrad said. "Pitched to his strengths, and that's just pounding the zone with strikes and trusting the stuff that he had. He was able to throw a lot of strikes tonight. Probably got some of the jitters out from his first start and came in and showed what he can really do tonight. It was an outstanding performance."

Bryar Johnson (1-1) took the ball upon Lynch's exit and struck out seven over 3 1/3 frames, yielding a hit and three walks to earn the win. 

Juan Carlos Negret and Freddy Fermin had RBI doubles for the Royals.

Marisa Ingemi is a contributor to Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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