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Peterson steps up at right time for Mets

12th-ranked prospect registers career-best 10 strikeouts
David Peterson recorded each of his Major League-best 10 strikeouts swinging in Saturday's win against the Braves. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
September 20, 2020

A bout with shoulder fatigue was a speed bump for David Peterson as he blossomed into one of the few stable arms in the Mets’ ailing rotation. But he seemed to jump back in without missing a beat Saturday night. The 12th-ranked Mets prospect recorded a career-high 10 punchouts over

A bout with shoulder fatigue was a speed bump for David Peterson as he blossomed into one of the few stable arms in the Mets’ ailing rotation. But he seemed to jump back in without missing a beat Saturday night.

The 12th-ranked Mets prospect recorded a career-high 10 punchouts over six innings in a 7-2 victory over the Braves at Citi Field. Peterson yielded a run on three hits and a walk and threw 62 of 102 pitches for strikes.

He also matched his longest outing in the Major Leagues at an important time. The Mets, who are 1 1/2 games out of a Wild Card berth, hadn't had a starter pitch beyond the third inning in three consecutive contests.

"I felt ready to contribute in any way possible," Peterson said. "It's been a blessing for me to be up here and learn from the older guys and get some experience this year."

The left-hander relied on the strikeout as his control got away from him in the early innings.

"Finding his fastball command was really the key for him," manager Luis Rojas told reporters. "We saw a few just go arm side for balls early in the game. He was able to make the adjustment where he was getting those pitches down and away for strikes."

Peterson worked around leadoff walks in each of the first two frames, ending each with consecutive strikeouts. He got another clutch punchout in the third to work around two walks and got a pair of whiffs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

"He was coming and he was pitching in and that helped to introduce the slider a lot to the right-handed hitters," Rojas said. "They had a right-handed hitter-heavy lineup, and he was able to land that fastball-slider against them. Got a lot of swing and misses."

The 2017 first-rounder yielded a two-out homer in the sixth to Adam Duvall, who has 11 long balls in September, but retired Ozzie Albies on a line drive to center field to limit the damage. The homer was the fifth allowed by Peterson over 42 2/3 innings this season.

"I think it was just a mixture of all the pitches felt good tonight. [I] felt consistent with every pitch," the Denver native said. "[The slider] always has been a pitch that I've had really good feel for, and tonight it was as good as it gets feeling-wise. ... I felt like I had it in any count."

The 25-year-old lowered his ERA to 3.80 and is averaging 7.59 strikeouts per nine innings.

Peterson was hit hard in his previous three appearances following a stint on the injured list. He was tagged for seven runs in as many innings in his past two starts, totaling five strikeouts. He was excellent in relief in his first game back on Sept. 2 in Baltimore, throwing four scoreless innings and allowing two hits and two walks.

Peterson, who often relies on his sinker for outs on the ground, recorded all 10 strikeouts swinging, using a mix of his four-seamer, sinker and plus slider. The University of Oregon product recorded only a pair of groundouts Saturday. He reached double-digit strikeouts twice in three Minor League seasons, first with Class A Columbia on June 9, 2018 and again on Aug. 30, 2019 with Double-A Binghamton. Peterson posted a 3.63 ERA with 243 punchouts over 247 2/3 innings in the Minors.

Third-ranked Mets prospect Andres Gimenez scored both times he reached base. MLB Pipeline's No. 86 overall prospect singled and was hit by a pitch to improve to .275 on the season.

Top Braves pitching prospect Ian Anderson (3-1) was saddled with his first big league loss. The No. 38 overall prospect allowed three runs on four hits and four walks with eight punchouts over 4 2/3 innings. Anderson has a 2.36 ERA with at least six strikeouts in each of his five starts in the Majors.

In other action:

Tigers 5, Indians 2

Daz Cameron scored a run and chipped in a pair of hits, including an RBI single in a four-run eighth inning. The seventh-ranked Tigers prospect had only two hits in his first 28 at-bats in the Majors before Saturday night. No. 6 Isaac Paredes chipped in a hit and a walk in two at-bats to improve to .200, while No. 17 Bryan Garcia worked around a hit and struck out the side to record his third save. Triston McKenzie, the Indians No. 10 prospect, yielded a run on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts over four innings. The 23-year-old has a 3.68 ERA in six starts. Box score

White Sox 5, Reds 0

Third-ranked White Sox prospect Nick Madrigal singled and walked in four plate appearances, bumping his slash line up to .333/.366/.372 in 22 games. No. 26 prospect Matt Foster improved to 5-0 after striking out two over two innings of perfect relief and No. 25 Codi Heuer followed with a hitless seventh. Reds No. 6 prospect Jose Garcia was 0-for-2 before leaving for a pinch-hitter. Box score

Rays 3, Orioles 1

Randy Arozarena broke out of a slump with two hits, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning. The Rays' No. 19 prospect was 2-for-24 since Sept. 7 before taking Jorge Lopez the opposite way for his fifth long ball of the season, snapping a 1-1 tie. He added a single off Evan Phillips in the eighth and stole a base. O's No. 5 prospect Ryan Mountcastle singled twice in four at-bats and has a .344/.404/.552 slash line in 28 games. Box score

Yankees 8, Red Sox 0

No. 3 Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec busted out of an 0-for-11 funk with a ground-rule double in the eighth inning off left-hander J.A. Happ. It was his lone hit in three at-bats. No. 17 prospect Nick Nelson pitched the ninth and finished off the Yankees' 10th straight win, allowing a single before getting Kevin Plawecki to bounce into a game-ending double play. Box score

Athletics 6, Giants 0

A's No. 9 prospect Jonah Heim went 1-for-3 and has hit safely in four of his last five games. He singled off right-hander Sam Coonrod in the seventh inning and scored on a triple by Tommy La Stella. For San Francisco, No. 13 overall prospect Joey Bart and Giants No. 18 prospect Luis Alexander Basabe both were 0-for-3. Box score

Angels 4, Rangers 3

Third-ranked Rangers prospect Leody Taveras led off the game with his third homer of the season and added a single in the seventh inning. He became the 10th Texas rookie and second since 2003 to slug a game-opening roundtripper. No. 7 prospect Anderson Tejeda and 10th-ranked Sherten Apostel both went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Top Angels prospect Jo Adell came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. Box score

Mariners 4, Padres 1

Recalled from the team's alternate site before the game, Padres No. 3 prospect Luis Patiño got the start and gave up one run on three hits over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two. Sixth-ranked Adrian Morejon came on in the fourth and worked three frames, limiting Seattle to a run on two hits and two walks with three punchouts. Box score

Marlins 7, Nationals 3

Second-ranked Nats prospect Luis Garcia had a pair of hits and a run scored for his fourth multi-hit effort in the past six games. The 20-year-old is batting .301/.321/.408 with 14 runs scored in 103 at-bats since getting the call to the Majors in mid-August. Top Nats prospect Carter Kieboom walked and scored a run. Box score

Astros 3, D-backs 2

No. 4 Astros prospect Cristian Javier allowed two runs on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts over four innings. The 23-year-old has a 3.33 ERA and 48 strikeouts over 48 2/3 frames in 11 appearances, including nine starts. Enoli Paredes, Houston's No. 12 prospect, improved to 3-2 with a pair of perfect innings. Third-ranked D-backs prospect Daulton Varsho had a hit and scored a run in four at-bats. Box score

Cardinals 5, Pirates 4

No. 41 overall prospect Ke'Bryan Hayes homered, doubled and scored twice in the Pirates' loss. In the first inning, he drilled an 0-2 pitch from Kwang Hyun Kim over the center field fence for his third big league homer. Hayes doubled off Kim in the sixth and came home on a base hit by Colin Moran to give the Bucs a 3-0 lead. He's tied for second among Pirates since 1980 with nine extra-base hits -- one behind Barry Bonds -- in his first 17 games. Top Cardinals prospect Dylan Carlson went 0-for-3 but drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Box score

Brewers 5, Royals 0

Brewers No. 10 prospect Drew Rasmussen struck out a pair in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure the win. The 25-year-old right-hander has a 1.98 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 13 2/3 frames this season. Royals No. 6 prospect Kris Bubic produced one of his best big league performances but fell to 1-6 after yielding an unearned run on one hit and four walks with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 frames. The 23-year-old lefty has a 3.97 ERA in nine starts. Box score

Gerard Gilberto_ is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @Gerard_Gilberto._