Snodgress takes no-no into seventh
Scott Snodgress will be honest with you. He didn't know exactly what to expect on Monday.
The Double-A Birmingham left-hander was coming off arguably his worst start of the season, during which he surrendered seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-1 loss to Jackson.
He knew he needed to make mechanical adjustments, so he got together with pitching coach Britt Burns and a member of his agency in an effort to drive the ball down in the zone and use his lower half better. But like anything new, Snodgress wasn't sure what the results would be until he took the mound.
"Honestly, I had no idea how it would be," he said. "You make adjustments hoping it will help, but you don't really know how it goes until you get out there. I thought I threw a good side session a few days ago, but beyond that, all you can do is go out and try to compete and see what happens."
The early returns have certainly been good.
The No. 6 White Sox prospect took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before finishing with a season-best one run on two hits over seven frames in the Barons' 4-1 win over the Suns on Memorial Day. He struck out a season-high seven in the effort.
Snodgress (6-3), armed with a fastball-curveball-changeup mix that constantly befuddled Jacksonville hitters, cruised through the first six innings, tossing just 74 pitches with only two walks and a hit batsman keeping him from a perfect game up until that point. While the zeros piled up on the Bragan Field scoreboard, the southpaw was fully aware of his flirtation with one of pitching's greatest feats.
"I was always conscious of it," he said. "It was always in the back of my mind that I hadn't given up any hits, but it's something I don't really like to dwell on. I was aware of it, but I'm just trying to keep my focus on the next pitch."
It didn't take long for the potential no-no to come to a close in the seventh. Jacksonville's No. 3 hitter Daniel Pertusati bounced a 1-0 pitch from Snodgress past a diving Mark Canha at first base and into right field for the home team's first hit of the afternoon. Zack Cox hit the very next offering from the left-hander to left, and two batters later, J.T. Realmuto put an end to the shutout with a sacrifice fly.
Although the outing didn't have a storybook ending, it was the best far the 6-foot-6 hurler, who entered the day 5-3 with a 4.73 ERA, pitched through his first 10 Double-A starts.
Monday marked the first time in over a month that he had allowed fewer than two runs in an outing, while the two hits allowed were the fewest he'd allowed in an outing lasting longer than four innings since last Aug. 10, when he combined on a one-hitter for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.
But thanks to those changes that have allowed his fastball to reach 95 mph on the radar gun and while improving the command of his off-speed offerings, Monday seemed different.
"The season's had its ups and downs for sure," said Snodgress, who lowered his ERA to 4.33. "There have been some really strong outings and some that haven't worked out. But overall, it's been a good learning experience. That's how I knew to try to make some adjustments, and I was fortunate for them to work out for me today."
Keenyn Walker -- Chicago's No. 8 prospect -- went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, a walk and two runs scored in the Barons' fourth straight win. Cody Puckett also smacked a solo homer in the win.
Marlins' top prospect Christian Yelich went 0-for-4 and struck out in each of his three at-bats against Snodgress.
Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MLB.com.