Coming off one of his ugliest starts as a pro, No. 15 Dodgers prospect Josh Sborz turned in arguably his best of the season against the same team.
"He commanded his fastball better to both sides of the plate and he threw his breaking ball for strikes and his slider was on," Double-A Tulsa pitching coach Bill Simas said.
Sborz gave up two hits and three walks over 6 2/3 innings in his longest scoreless start of the year, fanning five and earning the win in the Drillers' 3-1 victory over Midland at ONEOK Field.
Gameday box score
"When he needed to throw a strike, he could with his breaking ball, and that kept him in leverage counts," Simas said.
The 2015 sandwich pick was named California League Pitcher of the Year in his first full season and wrapped up 2016 out of the bullpen in the Texas League. In 15 starts for the Drillers this year, he's posted a 4.36 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 36 walks over 67 innings. On Tuesday, the RockHounds got to him for four runs -- two earned -- on three hits and four walks, chasing him after 2 1/3 frames.
That start was on the road, where Sborz is 1-6 with a 6.75 ERA, compared to 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA at home.
Video: The Drillers' Josh Sborz his eighth in a row
"I know Midland is a little tough to pitch in, with the wind and the dry weather," Simas said. "We usually struggle there as a team."
This time, he limited the RockHounds to a walk the first time through the lineup, holding them hitless until A's No. 16 prospect Max Schrock lined a single through the left side with one out in the fourth. After a leadoff walk to J.P. Sportman in the fifth, Sborz set down eight in a row.
Sportman ended the string with a double to right and Sean Murphy followed with a walk. Sborz, who threw 58 of 95 pitches for strikes, turned the ball over to Corey Copping.
For the University of Virginia product to build off this outing, his pitching coach believes, "We just need to keep working in between starts, getting him comfortable in his delivery. He's been in and out of his delivery all year. We need to find a drill-set package that works for him."
Copping was charged with an unearned run on a hit and two walks, fanning two, over 2 1/3 innings for his seventh Texas League save.
Henry Ramos collected three hits and two RBIs and is 19-for-33 (.576) with four homers, a triple and 11 RBIs since joining the Drillers 10 games ago.