Tigers' Furbush tosses one-hit gem

Detroit prospect fans nine for Mud Hens in first career shutout

Charlie Furbush went 8-9 with a 4.25 ERA in 2010. (Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com)

By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com | April 21, 2011 7:48 PM ET

Pitching in the first game of Thursday's twi-night double header, Charlie Furbush was determined to go deep in the game to take some pressure off the Toledo bullpen.

Initially hoping to go six innings, the Detroit prospect went one better and gave his relief corps the game off entirely.

The former fourth-rounder allowed just one hit -- a third-inning single -- while striking out nine for the Triple-A Mud Hens in their 6-0 victory over the Indianapolis Indians at home.

"I would say that this would be up there with my best starts," Furbush said. "I know it wasn't nine innings, but it was my first complete game so I'll take it.

"I wanted to go as deep as I could because I knew we had two games, so my game plan was just to eat up some innings."

The Mud Hens lefty set down the first six batters he faced before Jason Jaramillo hit a clean single to left field to lead off the third inning.

"It was a pretty good pitch," Furbush said, "but it wasn't quite where I wanted it to be. You can't go out there and throw a no-hitter or a perfect game every time out, so that's just part of the game."

Working out of the stretch for the first time, he retired the next three batters to keep the Indians off the board.

Furbush (1-1), who missed all of the 2008 season following Tommy John surgery, worked a perfect fourth and struck out the side in order in the fifth.

Corey Wimberly reached on third baseman Danny Worth's fielding error with one out in the sixth, but Chase d'Arnaud struck out and Pedro Ciriaco grounded out to preserve the shutout bid.

The 26-year-old, cheered on by father Craig and younger brother Will, completed his one-hitter with a perfect seventh, striking out Andy Marte to end the game. The strikeout was Furbush's ninth, four short of his career high.

Furbush added: "Everything went well from the get-go, and I have to tip my hat to the offense for giving me a lead to work with.

"I was throwing all of my pitches pretty consistently -- my fastball, curveball, changeup and cutter -- and I felt like I was in control."

With the victory, Furbush's first shutout in 63 Minor League starts, he improved to 1-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.62 over three starts.

The last time he tossed a complete game was in 2006 as a college sophomore for the Hyannis Mets of the Cape Cod League.

It was also the closest the Louisiana State product had came to a no-hitter since he allowed one hit over six innings for Class A Advanced Lakeland in 2009.

"I really was never thinking about a no-hitter or a complete game or a shutout," Furbush added. "I was keeping it pretty fresh and chatting it up in the dugout and then focusing on the things I could control."

Furbush went 8-9 with a 4.25 ERA across three levels between Lakeland, Double-A Erie and Toledo in 2010. He struck out 183 batters in 159 innings and was named to the Florida State League midseason All-Star team.

He made five relief appearances with the Tigers in Spring Training this year before being sent to Minor League camp in the middle of March. He was 0-1 with a blown save and 13 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings.

On Thursday, former first-rounder Brad Lincoln (0-3) picked up the loss. The Indianapolis starter surrendered six runs on eight hits while striking out five over five innings.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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