Trevor May won't go as far as saying that he's mastered the Eastern League yet, but he's certainly happy with how his transition through the organization is going.
The Phillies' top prospect
allowed a lone single over six innings and J.C. Ramirez and Tyson Brummett shut the door the rest of the way Wednesday as Double-A Reading one-hit the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 1-0.
"I wouldn't say I've figured out Double-A, but it is nice to get off on the right foot," said May, whose 208 strikeouts over 151 1/3 Florida State League innings last season ranked third in the Minors.
"They say the jump from High-A to Double-A is the biggest. I know things won't always go right, so I have to keep an even keel about everything. I still have 23 or 24 more starts left this year."
The 22-year-old right-hander retired his first nine batters before walking Giants top prospect Gary Brown leading off fourth. Juan Perez broke up May's no-hit bid an inning later with a one-out single to left field, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base.
In hindsight, May would have liked the pitch to Perez back. But a one-hitter isn't as important as a team victory, he said.
"It was a first-pitch fastball," said May, who fanned at least one batter in every inning after from the first. "I was trying to get ahead away, but I left it middle-in. My scouting report told me that was his pitch -- nobody dislikes middle-in -- but I made a mistake. I would rather not throw it, but I was happy with how things went.
"I was confident, I stuck to my game plan and I established myself early by throwing strikes. I have no idea at the time that I was [part of a one-hitter]. It was probably in the past 10 years, maybe high school. You know when you haven't given up any hits because it doesn't happen too often, but the biggest zero I was concerned about was the runs."
May allowed just one other baserunner -- Chris Heston drew a one-walk walk in the sixth -- before turning a 1-0 lead over to the bullpen.
Ramirez worked around a walk in two innings and Brummett, a 2007 seventh-round pick, tossed a perfect ninth for his first save since the 2010 season.
"J.C. didn't pitch that well the last time he faced this team, but he has been working on some stuff and his breaking stuff was on point tonight," May said. "And Brummett just has nasty stuff."
The outing was the finest of May's four Eastern League appearances and lowered his ERA to 2.35. Over 23 innings, he's scattered 12 hits while striking out 26.
After allowing four runs against Portland in his season debut, the Washington native has settled down. He yielded a run on four hits over seven innings in a 4-1 win over Harrisburg on April 12, then followed that up by limiting Richmond to a run on four hits over five frames in a 19-6 rout five days later.
May became the seventh pitcher in the Minors -- the first in the Eastern League -- to win each of his first four starts this season.
"We had two off days and then a rainout in the middle of my rest days, but it didn't feel like I had eight days between starts," the 2008 fourth-round pick said. "They're all running together. You can't complain about being able to rest your arms and legs.
"This is my fourth season in full-season ball, so I know how long the season is."
Reading's Steve Susdorf went 3-for-3 to raise his average to .349 and Tug Hulett -- who's hitless in 24 at-bats, plated the game's lone run with a second-inning sacrifice fly.
Richmond starter Chris Heston (1-2) took the loss after allowing an unearned run on six hits while fanning seven over seven innings.