Lyles notches first Double-A win

Astros prospect allows two hits over six shutout innings

Jordan Lyles was third in the South Atlantic League in strikeouts last year. (Tom Priddy/

By Robert Emrich / Special to | April 17, 2010 8:04 PM ET

All Jordan Lyles needed was a change of pace to get going for the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Lyles allowed two hits and struck out five over six innings for his first Double-A win Saturday as the Hooks blanked the Tulsa Drillers, 5-0, in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Astros' supplemental first-round pick in 2008, Lyles struggled in his Texas League debut on April 11, allowing three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings against Northwest Arkansas. He credited an improved changeup and sharper location for Saturday's improved performance.

"I felt like my changeup was on and I could throw it in any count," the South Carolina native said. "I threw a lot of quality strikes down in the zone, and I felt coming into tonight like that was what I really wanted to focus on."

Lyles (1-1) retired the first seven batters before allowing a one-out a single in the third inning to Radames Nazario. The 19-year-old right-hander finished up strong, striking out Jason Van Kooten and Anthony Jackson to end the sixth.

Lyles made the jump to Double-A after going 7-11 with a 3.42 ERA in 26 starts for Class A Lexington, where he was third in the South Atlantic League with 167 strikeouts in only 144 2/3 innings.

"You don't get away with as much as you did in lower levels," Lyles said. "The hitters are much more patient, so you have to focus on getting ahead of hitters and putting them on their heels. The guys are older, so they know what they are looking for."

David Cook and Koby Clemens supplied Hooks' offense. Cook, a ninth-round pick by the White Sox in 2003, drove in a pair of runs and finished a homer short of the cycle. Clemens slugged his league-leading fourth homer, a solo shot, in the fourth. A year ago, he led the California League in batting (.345), RBIs (121) and doubles (45).

Brandon Durden (0-1) took the loss for the Drillers after allowing two runs on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts in five innings.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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