Looking to bounce back from his last start, Kris Bubic recorded one of his best of the season.
The Royals' No. 8 prospect tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out 10, before Class A Advanced Wilmington pulled out a 2-1 victory over Salem in the first game of Friday's doubleheader at Frawley Stadium.
Gameday box score
Bubic gave up four runs -- three earned -- on six hits over 5 1/3 innings on July 1 against Potomac. Since then, he appeared in the All-Star Futures Game, where he gave up a hit and recorded a strikeout while recording a pair of outs.
"It felt good," the left-hander said. "It took me a little bit to get the sharpness on my pitches, but it was a really good outing, considering I hadn't pitched since the Futures Game.
"My arm felt good and me and my catcher [Sebastian Rivero] were on the same page the entire time. To get ahead of hitters, we just worked on all three of my pitches."
At the Futures Game, Bubic threw only seven pitches. After Cardinals No. 2 prospect Dylan Carlson singled off him, he whiffed fourth-ranked D-backs prospect Daulton Varsho on three pitches.
"I was blessed to be there," Bubic said of his weekend in Cleveland. "There were so many great players there. It was great to hear from and bounce ideas off the legends who coached the game. They told a lot of stories."
The biggest takeaway, he said, was to not change who he is.
"They told me to continue to pitch to my strengths and good things will happen," he added.
Facing Salem for the first time, Bubic picked up back-to-back strikeouts in the first inning, with Red Sox No. 25 prospect Pedro Castellanos getting caught looking and Ryan Fitzgerald going down swinging.
The 21-year-old Stanford product registered two more punchouts in the second and fanned one in each of the next four innings before ending his night with back-to-back strikeouts of Fitzgerald and Red Sox No. 21 prospect Marcus Wilson. He fell two strikeouts short of the career high he established for Class A Lexington on April 12.
"I think I've strung together a couple good outings," said Bubic, a 2018 Pioneer League All-Star. "I was inconsistent when I came up to this level. I just wanted to iron some stuff out by getting ahead of hitters and pitching deeper into games.
2019 MiLB include
"I just want to keep up the pace and continue to keep working on my pitches."
Lefty Josh Dye (3-1) picked up the extra-inning win after fifth-ranked Royals prospect MJ Melendez hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.
Salem earned a split of the twinbill with a 1-0 win as Wilson singled twice and drove in the game's lone run.