Andrew Carraway ventured into uncharted territory Saturday night.
The Mariners prospect pitched a two-hitter for the first nine-inning complete game of his four-year Minor League career as the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers rolled past the Fresno Grizzlies, 9-1.
Carraway (3-3) struck out seven and did not walk a batter as he lasted at least six innings for the third straight start.
"That's a good one to get out of the way," said the University of Virginia product. "I've never done that with nine innings before. I got a lot of help from the defense. It's a great feeling."
Carraway lowered his ERA to 3.32 in his 10th start since being promoted from Double-A Jackson. He has gone 23 1/3 innings without issuing a walk, a streak that dates to June 14.
The 25-year-old right-hander said that after 10 starts with the Rainiers, he feels like the transition from Double-A to Triple-A is easing.
"I've gotten to the point now where I've been able to settle back into the same routine I had in Jackson," he explained. "In the beginning, it was brand new, I kind of had my eyes wide open. There's all these guys who've been in the big leagues, had time up there, whether with Seattle or another team. You realize over a period of time it's still the same game, get into that comfort zone."
The 2009 12th-round Draft pick has recorded 38 strikeouts against 14 walks over 65 innings in the Pacific Coast League. Across two levels, he's 7-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 17 starts.
The closer he got to the ninth inning Saturday, the more he wanted to finish the game himself.
"There were other games where I got [close] to that point and hadn't finished, and you just have to keep doing the thing you've been doing," he said. "You get into the eighth, ninth innings and it's still the same game. I tried to stick with the same plan. There's definitely that instinct to finish it."
The outing was Carraway's first in which he allowed one earned run or fewer since his Triple-A debut on May 11, when he tossed 7 1/3 shutout frames to beat Albuquerque.
Carraway needed 109 pitches to log his first complete game since a seven-inning event for Double-A Jackson last June 17. He credited the effort to getting a lot of the Grizzlies to make quick contact.
"I was throwing a lot of first-pitch strikes. The guys in that other dugout are great hitters and they were swinging early. Fortunately they hit some balls right at people," he said. "That early contact helped keep the pitch count down. I really trusted [Guillermo] Quiroz behind the plate. Whatever he put down was what I was throwing."
Carlos Peguero powered the Rainiers' offense with a pair of solo homers. Mariners No. 3 prospect Nick Franklin provided his first Triple-A homer, a grand slam that capped a six-run seventh.