Right-handed Indians prospect Joe Colon was already posting the kinds of numbers that have all the markings of a successful campaign. On Monday afternoon, he gave perhaps the biggest indication that he's on the cusp of a breakout seaason.
The 24-year-old allowed three hits and a walk while striking out four batters in a nine-inning complete game to lead the Double-A Akron RubberDucks to a 9-0 rout of the visiting Reading Fighting Phils.
The outing was Colon's first professional complete game and shutout and it marked the first time he has pitched into the seventh this year. It helped him improve his Eastern League record to 4-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.30, which ranks seventh on the circuit.
Selected by the Indians in the 12th round of the 2009 Draft out of Caguas in Puerto Rico, Colon threw 66 of 95 pitches for strikes and faced just 28 batters as the RubberDucks turned four double plays behind him.
It was the first complete game by an Akron pitcher since Giovanni Soto's no-hitter in a 2-1 victory over Altoona on July 15, 2012. The team's last nine-inning shutout was thrown by Steven Wright on May 6, 2012, at Bowie.
Colon utilized an inning-ending double play to erase Carlos Alonso's one-out walk in the first inning, and he worked around Cam Perkins' leadoff double to center field in the second.
That was the only extra-base hit by Reading batters and Perkins was the only one to reach scoring position against the right-hander, who also allowed a leadoff single to Anthony Phillips in the sixth and Sebastian Valle in the eighth.
Joe Colon has allowed one run or fewer in seven of 10 starts this year. (David Monseur/Akron RubberDucks)
Both Phillips and Valle, who reached on an infield hit, were doubled off first base when Edgar Duran and Everett Williams lined into double plays.
Colon has allowed one run or fewer in seven of his 10 Eastern League starts this season. Since the five runs he allowed in his season debut in Binghamton on April 5, he has surrendered 10 runs in 54 innings, good for a 1.67 ERA over his past nine outings.
Akron's Wendle finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs and designated hitter Bryan La Hair collected a pair of hits and two RBIs.