Usually when a player is promoted to a new level, it takes some time for him to adjust. After three starts for Double-A Chattanooga, it seems that the Southern League needs time to adjust to Allen Webster.
The 21-year-old Dodgers prospect took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Monday night, but the Lookouts fell to the visiting Carolina Mudcats, 6-5.
Webster departed after yielding a leadoff triple to Mudcats right fielder Felix Perez in the seventh. Perez went on to score, leaving Webster charged with one run on one hit over six frames. He struck out six, walked four and hit two batters.
An 18th-round pick in the 2008 Draft, Webster began the season with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga after going 12-9 with a 2.88 ERA in 26 games with Class A Great Lakes last year. He was even stronger with the Quakes this spring, posting a 5-2 mark with a 2.33 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 54 innings over nine starts.
The right-hander was promoted to Chattanooga on May 27 and lost his first Double-A decision to Huntsville that night, allowing three runs on two hits and three walks over five frames. He went seven strong frames in the Rickwood Classic at Birmingham on June 1, giving up a pair of runs on four hits, but did not factor into the decision.
Despite keeping Carolina out of the hit column, Webster did not make it easy. He walked the first three batters of the game, but escaped unscathed with a strikeout, a fielder's choice and a groundout.
After retiring the next nine Mudcats in order, a walk, a hit batsman and an error left Webster looking at another bases-loaded situation with one out in the fifth. The North Carolina native got Quintin Berry to ground into a double play to end the threat.
He struck another batter in the sixth before giving up the triple to Perez to start the seventh. Webster recorded nine groundball outs against one flyout and threw 91 pitches -- 50 of them for strikes. After three outings, the Southern League is batting .123 (7-for-57) against him.
Shawn Tolleson, another recently promoted Dodgers prospect, took over and did not allow a hit, but Perez scored on a forceout.
The Mudcats battled back in the eighth, turning two walks, three hits and an error into four runs. Jake Kahaulelio's bases-loaded triple capped the scoring as Carolina tied the score, 5-5.
With one out in the ninth, Carolina third baseman Mike Costanzo blasted a solo homer -- his sixth of the season -- to put the Mudcats on top.
Lookouts reliever Steven Ames (0-1) suffered his first loss after allowing one run on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter as Chattanooga lost for the 10th time in its last 12 games.
Justin Freeman improved to 1-2 for Carolina after fanning a pair in a perfect eighth. Veteran left-hander Tim Hamulack, a former Major Leaguer, notched his first affiliated Minor League save since 2009 by closing out the ninth with one walk.