Huntsville's Wily Peralta once was a thrower. Now he's a pitcher.
The Brewers' No. 1 prospect allowed a lone base knock over seven innings Sunday in the Double-A Stars' 1-0 shutdown of the visiting Carolina Mudcats, yet still seemed somewhat unfulfilled.
"It was exciting but," he said, trailing off, "you don't want to give up any hits."
The 22-year-old right-hander struck out nine, walked four, made 94 pitches and gave up only Bill Rhinehart's ground-ball second-inning single up the middle.
"It was a good hit," Peralta said. "Change-up down [in the zone], he threw the bat head down. It was a good pitch."
Peralta had never before held an opposing lineup to one hit for more than six frames. On Opening Day against Jacksonville on April 7, he allowed just a hit over six frames, though he also allowed a run.
With Sunday's victory, Peralta (9-6), whom the Astros signed out of the Dominican Republic in November 2005, extended his winning streak to six. He hasn't allowed a run in 17 1/3 innings.
The difference recently? Improved command of his slider and change-up, pitches he did not throw consistently in his first stint at Huntsville last season.
"I tried working on them in the bullpen," said Peralta, who also throws a two-seam heater, "and I started commanding my fastball too."
Through 20 starts the Stars, the Southern League midseason All-Star selection has 113 strikeouts over 114 innings -- third-most among Southern League hurlers -- to go along with a 3.24 ERA. (He compiled a 3.61 ERA over eight starts at Huntsville in 2010.)
"I think I'm more ready than last year," he said of a potential promotion to Triple-A Nashville. "Last year I was still improving my off-speed. This year, I have my off-speed."
Just before heading to the showers, Peralta saw Steffan Wilson's solo shot, which broke the game's 0-0 tie. The right-handed hitting cleanup man took reliever Clayton Shunick (0-1) deep to left field.
Mudcats veteran starter Justin Lehr yielded three hits over five scoreless innings, but didn't figure into the decision. He fanned five.
Huntsville reliever Lucas Luetge allowed a harmless single -- Carolina's second and final hit -- in the eighth, and Robert Wooten took care of the ninth for his sixth save.