Ryan Reid's Minor League career got off to a rocky start on June 23 on Staten Island. Five weeks later, armed with an improved delivery, the right-hander came full circle.
Reid pitched five hitless innings for his first professional victory Sunday as the Hudson Valley Renegades trounced the Staten Island Yankees, 13-2, at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
The 21-year-old right-hander posted a 7.20 ERA in his first seven starts and lost five straight games from June 28-July 19. In his debut five weeks ago, the seventh-round pick of the Devil Rays surrendered five runs -- four earned -- over 2 2/3 innings.
But Reid (1-5) looked like a different pitcher in his second trip to Staten Island (23-16).
"It's definitely been a struggle," he admitted. "I worked on a lot of things, like slowing down my delivery and staying balanced toward the plate. It made a difference in this game."
The improvements showed immediately as Reid pitched five innings for the first time in his brief Minor League career. He retired his final eight batters and allowed only four base runners, walking three and striking out three.
"Being in baseball is a humbling game," he said. "I've had to swallow a few bad apples, but I definitely knew (my first victory) would come around.
"I felt good out there, very controlled. It's definitely a start in the right direction."
After giving up four runs over four innings in his last start on Tuesday, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Reid issued a leadoff walk to Seth Fortenberry and plunked Wilmer Pino. But he worked out of the jam as the next two Yankees flied out and Pino was caught stealing.
Reid was in trouble again in the third, when he walked the first two batters. But Fortenberry grounded into a double play and Pino bounced to shortstop.
"There was a lot of frustration between my first loss and my first win, but it makes it much sweeter," said the James Madison University product. "I think by the time my next start comes around, I'll forget about this game. But when the season ends, I'll definitely look at it as being a step forward."
Reid exited after reaching his pitch count, and Fortenberry wasted little time ending the no-hitter by lining a one-out single in the sixth off reliever Brian Baker. Fortenberry also spoiled the shutout by trotting home when Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Reid was helped by the Renegades' best offensive showing of the season. Maiko Loyola had a pair of RBI doubles and drove in three runs. John Matulia and Jairo de la Rosa each contributed three hits, three runs scored and an RBI.
Joseph Callender, William Stewart and Matthew Fields knocked in two runs apiece for Hudson Valley (16-22).
Yankees starter Edgar Soto (1-3) was charged with seven runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks.
Pino had with two of Staten Island's four hits.