It's been smooth sailing thus far for Lachlan Wells' baseball career in the United States, but the Australian knows he needs to keep putting up performances like Monday's to continue his push to the Major Leagues.
Minnesota's No. 26 prospect retired the first 13 batters en route to tossing seven scoreless innings for Class A Advanced Fort Myers in a 2-1 win over Florida at CenturyLink Sports Complex. The 20-year-old allowed just three hits and struck out eight.
"My preparation was really good and it carried from getting to the field to warming up in the bullpen and into the game," Wells said. "It just all flowed."
The southpaw didn't allow a baserunner until a bunt single by Jonathan Morales with one out in the fifth.
"I didn't really look up at the scoreboard until the guy got the hit," Wells said. "I turned around and looked at it and went, '[Darn], I was doing pretty good.' But I didn't really worry about that. Once the hit happened, I just wanted to get the next guy out and get out of the inning so my team can swing the sticks."
Wells struck out Braves No. 28 prospect Braxton Davidson and got Carlos Castro to ground out to end the inning before issuing singles to Ray-Patrick Didder in the sixth and 23rd-ranked Alex Jackson in the seventh.
"The gameplan was to establish the fastball early and see how they react to that and work from there," Wells said. "I had pretty good command on all my pitches so I just went out there and pounded the zone."
He threw 68 of his 91 pitches for strikes in lowering his ERA to 0.64 over 14 innings. Wells went 6-4 with a 1.77 ERA over 12 starts last year with Class A Cedar Rapids and 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA in nine starts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2015 after competing in the Australian Baseball League from 2013-15.
"I've set goals for myself each year, and so far, those goals are paying off," Wells said. "I'm just going out there and working hard, doing the best I can so I can keep moving up, keep succeeding and hopefully one day pitch in the big leagues. If I work hard and know that whatever happens happens, I can tell myself I gave it all I've got."
Sharing the journey is twin brother Alex Wells, who is in the Orioles organization. On Saturday, the left-hander delivered a six-inning scoreless outing for Class A Delmarva.
"I keep track of how he does and he does the same thing to me," Lachlan said. "I sent him a message saying, 'Good job,' and everything worked for him that day. Both of us are just trying to go out there and compete every day and do the best we can for our teams.
"Obviously, being twin brothers, we are very competitive. But I didn't try to outdo him at all. I just tried to pitch to my game and pitch to my strength and do my job and get a 'W' for the boys."
Michael Theofanopoulos gave up a solo home run and fanned three over the final two innings and Trey Vavra belted a two-run homer for the Miracle.