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Crick goes down, Fleet picks up slack

Prospect leaves after two, reliever carries San Jose to win
April 18, 2013

When Kyle Crick left Thursday's game with a strained oblique, Austin Fleet was there to take over for Class A Advanced San Jose.

Fleet (2-0) came on in the third inning and took the Giants through to the sixth, tossing four perfect frames and striking out six to lead San Jose to a 5-1 win over Inland Empire.

Crick, San Francisco's No. 1 prospect, left the game after allowing a hit and two walks while striking out three in two scoreless frames. Giants vice president and assistant general manager Bobby Evans said in a statement he would be reevaluated Friday.

Fleet, meanwhile, picked up the slack and took charge of a Giants bullpen that wound up being responsible for seven innings to ensure the win. Josh Osich allowed a run on two hits in two frames and Hunter Strickland scattered two hits in a scoreless ninth.

"It's huge anytime a starter goes down that early. You really need somebody to step up and give you a lot of quality innings," said Giants manager Andy Skeels. "After a long travel day, you're getting off the bus, and I thought it was a great effort. That was something we really needed, a huge effort that Mr. Fleet gave us."

Fleet, a 16th-round pick in the 2010 Draft, spent last season with Double-A Richmond, registering a 3.83 ERA in 56 1/3 innings. He struck out 54 and walked 21.

said he knew he could turn to Fleet, a reliable long man out of the 'pen.


"Mr. Fleet spent time in Double-A last year, has the experience, understands that he has to stretch the game for us and get us deep into our bullpen. [It's important] that you have somebody who has game awareness and has some presence about him and understands what needs to be done. He just did a fantastic job for us."

Crick was making his third start of the year. The 49th overall selection in the 2011 Draft became the fastest-rising San Francisco prospect last year with a breakout season for Class A Augusta. The 20-year-old went 7-6 with a 2.51 ERA in 111 1/3 innings, striking out 128 and walking 67.

Through 9 2/3 frames this year,'s No. 85 overall prospect has a 0.93 ERA with 12 punchouts and nine walks.

"[Crick] looked great. The first couple hitters he walked, but after that he settled in nicely, looked really good," Skeels said of Crick's abbreviated outing.

Shawn Payne led San Jose offensively out of the leadoff spot, doubling and scoring twice. Angel Villalona went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to