Kelvin Perez is making it look easy in his first real taste of full-season ball.
Perez recorded a career-high nine strikeouts and allowed just two hits over seven innings Saturday as the Charleston RiverDogs blanked the Augusta GreenJackets, 4-0.
The 24-year-old right-hander faced only three batters over the minimum in the longest outing of his six-year career. He lasted 6 2/3 innings in his South Atlantic League debut on Monday and gave up two runs -- one earned -- on six hits in the RiverDogs' 6-5 loss to West Virginia.
In his first start at Charleston's Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, Perez allowed a two-out single to Thomas Joseph in the second inning and a leadoff double to Dan Cook in the seventh. The GreenJackets got only two baserunners past first base against the native of the Dominican Republic, who has a 0.66 ERA in his first two starts.
Perez, who signed with the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in March 2005, split last season between the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and short-season Staten Island. He combined for a 5-2 record and 2.01 ERA in 15 games, including nine starts, then struck out eight over five shutout innings to get the win in the decisive third game of the New York-Penn League semifinals against Lowell.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.