Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Rocks' Blewett finishes off first-career shutout

No. 4 Royals prospect tosses career-high 111 pitches, fans four
Scott Blewett has given up two runs or fewer in nine of his 16 starts this season. (Patrick Cavey/MiLB.com)
July 2, 2017

If Scott Blewett's warmup tosses were any indication of how he was going to pitch in Sunday's game, it was going to be a very short outing. "If you saw the bullpen before [Sunday's] game it wasn't so pretty, probably the worst bullpen I've had coming into a game," the No.

If Scott Blewett's warmup tosses were any indication of how he was going to pitch in Sunday's game, it was going to be a very short outing. 
"If you saw the bullpen before [Sunday's] game it wasn't so pretty, probably the worst bullpen I've had coming into a game," the No. 4 Royals prospect said. "My secondary stuff in the bullpen was good enough where I thought alright, this could keep me in it.
Blewett (5-6) found his rhythm, scattering four hits with four strikeouts in his first-ever professional professional shutout, as Class A Advanced Wilmington blanked Salem, 4-0, on Sunday at Frawley Stadium. It marked the Rocks' first nine-inning shutout since Zach McClellan completed the feat on Aug. 26, 2003. 

Gameday box score
The 2014 second-round draft pick, who reduced his ERA from 4.25 to 3.83 after throwing a career-high 111 pitches, has now tossed five scoreless outings of at least six innings this season. In manager Jamie Quirk's book, Sunday's start tops them all. 
"He will never forget his first complete game shutout," Quirk said. "You don't see that often in the Minor Leagues. Usually pitches get you or whatever but it was his game. He doesn't know it, but if one other guy got on[in the ninth] I was going to go get him just because it was a 2-0 game and I was not going to let anything happen where he would get the loss. That other guy never got on base. He did a great job, no walks." 
The 21-year-old struggled in his last start against Frederick when he allowed five runs on seven hits -- including two home runs. That outing only made the 6-foot-6, 210-pound hurler work harder to perform better Sunday. 
"My last start in Frederick didn't go as planned," he said. "It was one of those times where I had to go out and compete. I had my swing and miss stuff then. I realized I was working deep into games and had to be more efficient. [Sunday] the game plan was get ahead as fast as we can. If we can get some quick outs, that was the key. Going that far into the game and getting those quick outs, that was huge." 
Blewett set down the game's first six hitters before Jordan Betts legged out an infield single and then advanced to second on a throwing error by shortstop Jecksson Flores. The Baldwinsville, New York native retired the next three Salem hitters on eight pitches. 
Tweet from @WilmBlueRocks: [email protected] was trying to fill us in on his complete game shutout. @Chase_Vallot had a different idea. �� @MiLB pic.twitter.com/cgL9Ja1mna
After a 1-2-3 fourth, Jose Sermo cracked a double with one out in the fifth. Blewett stranded the runner when he fanned Betts and got Jeremy Rivera to fly out to right. 
"It's a learning process," Quirk said. "Every pitcher is infatuated with strikeouts but strikeouts can be a detriment to how far you go in the game. He instigated contact, he pitched ahead and he got them defensive. They were putting the ball in play but very weakly. They were defensive swings because he was ahead in the count. That's how you get complete games. It's not all about the strikeouts and that's what he learned today." 
Blewett continued to roll over the next three frames, pitching around Chris Madera's one-out single in the sixth. He set down six in a row heading into the ninth when Nick Lovullo started the inning with a single. Blewett retired the final three hitters to close the book on a special night. 

"It was my first complete-game shutout," Blewett said. "Last year I had two seven-inning complete-games. The nine-inning complete game, that's the big one, that's the important one. It was a lot of fun." 
Brandon Downes provided the only runs his starter needed with solo roundtrippers in the first and sixth. 
"Brandon Downes is in a very good place right now," Quirk said. "Obviously, we all know he missed a lot of time with his two injuries. He is playing catch up right now. His swing is really good, it's under control. The second home run he hit, that thing was a bomb. Just an easy swing. He has got stupid power."

Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt.