Tyler Glasnow's return to the Minors was hardly an ideal situation for him or the organization. But in his first three starts since rejoining Triple-A Indianapolis, Pittsburgh's former top prospect seems to be regaining his form and confidence all at once.
Glasnow notched his second straight double-digit strikeout performance Monday night, fanning 12 while allowing two hits over seven innings, but visiting Durham edged Indianapolis, 1-0, at Victory Field.
Gameday box score
Since returning to the Indians from the Majors, the 23-year-old has a 1.50 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 18 innings. It marked the third time in Glasnow's career that he registered 10 or more punchouts in consecutive starts, and his 16th double-digit strikeout effort.
The 23-year-old struck out two Bulls in each of the first four innings and in five of his seven frames. He walked Michael McKenry in the second and gave up a bunt single by Alec Sole in the third. Kean Wong reached on a fielding error by Indians catcher Jackson Williams and stole second to start the fourth, but Glasnow retired the next three batters to keep the game scoreless.
Video: Indianapolis' Glasnow strikes out his 12th batter
Sole's leadoff single in the sixth and Rays' No. 4 prospect Jake Bauers' walk to start the seventh were the only other baserunners to reach against Glasnow. The right-hander walked two after issuing eight free passes in his first two starts with the Indians. His 12 strikeouts were the most he's registered in a game since July 26, 2015 with Double-A Altoona.
The Pirates' fifth-round pick in 2011 made his Major League debut last July 6 and appeared in seven games, including three starts. Glasnow was part of Pittsburgh's rotation at the start of this season and earned his first big league win on May 2 against Cincinnati. He returned to Indianapolis on June 10 after posting a 7.45 ERA in 12 outings.
Despite Glasnow's struggles, he still has the faith of Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
"This is delay. It's not denial. This isn't failure," the skipper told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently. "What happens after this could turn into failure based on what you do and how you attack it. However, this is a great learning opportunity. ... I love the backbone that I was able to see. It wasn't a wishbone -- when guys are wishing for good things to happen. You don't bet on a wishbone. You bet on backbone. He showed some backbone in here.
"There's been games where he's been dominant. There's games where he's barreled. It's all part of the learning process. The confidence level hasn't wavered." MiLB include
Durham broke through with the game's only run on McKenry's RBI single to left off Indianapolis reliever Angel Sanchez (2-4).
Bulls starter Mike Franco allowed one hit and matched a season high with six walks in his Triple-A debut. The 25-year-old struck out four over 4 1/3 innings.
Andrew Kittredge (4-1) retired all four batters he faced to earn the win.