In his first Class A start Saturday, Michael Shawaryn surrendered nine runs in just two innings.
Putting that debut behind him, the No. 12 Red Sox prospect turned in the best performance of his career Thursday night.
Shawaryn allowed one hit and recorded a career-high eight strikeouts over five scoreless innings in Greenville's 3-1 loss in 10 innings to Asheville. The 22-year-old faced just two hitters over the minimum and threw 48 of 68 pitches for strikes.
"Every time you're out on the mound, you have an opportunity to learn something," Shawaryn said. "You need to focus on the good stuff and just learn from the bad. A big thing that I took with me was that I just need to battle, no matter if I have my A, B, C, D all the way down to Z stuff. You need to do your best to get through the game with whatever you have that night."
The University of Maryland product set the tone with two strikeouts in the first inning. After issuing a one-out walk to Willie Abreu, Shawaryn retired seven straight before Tyler Nevin reached on a single to right field in the fourth.
"My pitch mix was working," the right-hander said. "I was able to throw all three of my pitches for strikes. When you're able to do that, it messes with the hitters' timing and they can't really sit on one pitch in a certain situation. That helped me go later into the game."
The two-out knock didn't unnerve Shawaryn, who retired the last four hitters he faced, culminating with Robbie Perkins' swinging strikeout.
"I was attacking and aggressive early in the count," the New Jersey native said. "I was focused on trying to throw early strikes and put them away when I had the chance. It was important for me to throw a zero up that inning to keep the momentum on our side.
"We've got a great lineup and the defense behind me is great, so if I do my job, they're going to do theirs."
After being drafted in the fifth round in 2016, the Red Sox limited Shawaryn to just six starts with Class A Short Season Lowell. He posted a 2.87 ERA and struck out 22. Now in his first full season of professional ball, Shawaryn is eager to put his repertoire on full display.
"I always say that you always want to be going uphill and not coasting downhill," he said. "You need to build off and learn from each start so you're hitting your peak in September and not on the decline. To do that, you need to be committed to your regimen and make sure that you take something from every time you're having a throwing session or playing catch."
Antonio Santos surrendered a run on seven hits and struck out four in six innings for the Tourists.
Asheville designated hitter Jacob Bosiokovic belted a two-run homer off of Matthew Gorst (0-1) in the 10th.