Rods' Ames holds Lugnuts hitless

Rays prospect extends scoreless streak to 24 innings

Jeff Ames ranks second in the Midwest League with a 1.96 ERA. (Emily Jones/

By Brandon Simes / | July 6, 2013 9:26 PM ET

Saturday night was so eventful for Jeff Ames that eclipsing Bowling Green teammate Taylor Guerrieri's ongoing team-record scoreless streak didn't even register.

The Rays' No. 12 prospect struck out seven over five hitless innings as the Hot Rods held on for a 1-0 victory over visiting Lansing.

"I didn't even know [I broke the record], I didn't know that [Guerrieri] was on a streak," said Ames, who walked two batters. "I had no idea that I broke it, either. Someone just told me, 'Hey, that's your 24th straight scoreless inning.'"

Ames, who ranks second in the Midwest League behind another teammate -- Dylan Floro -- with a 1.96 ERA, left after reaching his pitch count. The Rays have kept the midseason All-Star on a six-inning or 85-pitch limit.

"I'm definitely frustrated tonight as far as not going into the sixth inning, but unfortunately, I ran into some deep counts. They were fouling me off some, too," Ames said.

The 22-year-old right-hander also threw five no-hit innings against Lansing on June 15 and has given up only four hits during the scoreless streak.

"The key to it is having a good defense behind me. If they're not making plays, I don't even have a chance," Ames said.

The Hot Rods defense shined Saturday night. Third baseman Leonardo Reginatto risked injury making a catch that carried him into the Bowling Green dugout at full speed.

"I was in the dugout watching it and it was unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable," Ames said. "[Reginatto] was in play when he caught it, but his momentum took him straight into the stairs and they shot his feet out from under him. And I think it was Reinaldo Lopez who caught his jersey, because [Lopez] pulled him up. It saved [Reginatto] from hitting his head. I haven't seen a play like that in baseball in all of my life."

The seven strikeouts were one short of the season high he established on April 16 against Great Lakes.

"I would give all the credit to my changeup. My slider, I didn't really have command of very well, but I was able to use my changeup to give my fastball more life and get some swing-throughs in advantage counts," Ames said. "At 1-2 or even a 2-2 count, I was throwing a changeup a lot tonight."

The biggest news of all for the 2011 first-round pick had nothing to do with the game. Earlier Saturday, his older brother, Steve, was traded with fellow pitchers Josh Wall and Angel Sanchez from the Dodgers to the Marlins for right-hander Ricky Nolasco. The younger Ames, whose parents were in town for the game, was excited that he and his brother will attend Spring Training in Florida.

"I'm actually about to call [Steve]," Ames said. "When I was doing my arm care stuff [in the clubhouse] I was kind of checking the box score to see what was going on and I saw I got a text from him and it said, 'Hey, man, I got traded to the Marlins.' And instantly, I'm thinking I can't wait to give him a call. My family and I are really excited about it."

Ryan Garton replaced Ames (7-1) and gave up a two-out single to Emilio Guerrero in the seventh that helped the Lugnuts avoid being no-hit for the third time this season. Garton logged the final four innings to earn his sixth save and complete a one-hitter.

Thomas Coyle doubled, singled, walked and drove in the game's only run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

Brandon Simes is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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