The philosopher Henry David Thoreau said to simplify. So Anthony Ranaudo did.
The Red Sox's No. 8 prospect allowed three hits and fanned five over seven innings as Triple-A Pawtucket blanked Durham, 10-0, on Monday.
Ranaudo walked two and retired the final seven batters to face him. The 24-year-old right-hander threw 60 of his 90 pitches for strikes and faced four over the minimum for the Red Sox.
"It sounds super cliche, but I was just trying to throw strikes," Ranaudo said. "We had a big lead, and from the first batter of the game, my right fielder (Alex Hassan) made a sliding catch. The defense played really, really well behind me tonight. It made it easy for me to throw strikes and attack those guys.
"I've had pretty good command the last couple of games. I made a little adjustment in my delivery. I've been able to command the zone a lot better the last five or six outings.
That tweak came before his start June 6. Since, Ranaudo is 4-0 in in five International League starts with an 0.85 ERA. Most importantly, his control has improved, as his percentage of strikes thrown in these starts has been 66 percent. Prior to that, it was 62 percent.
"To make things easier, I simplified my delivery out of the windup," the New Jersey native said. "I closed myself off a little bit. I tried to keep my delivery as simple as I could to get a little bit of momentum with my back step and put me back in that power position. It's been a good adjustment for me, I've been able to repeat my delivery a lot better and throw a lot more strikes."
Since May 15, Ranaudo is 6-2 with a 1.13 ERA and is on a four-game winning streak for Pawtucket.
"It's nice," he said. "Anytime you go out there and you're throwing the ball well, it's always a good feeling. It's especially comforting when you get guys on base and you know you're throwing the ball well. It gives you a little bit more confidence to execute pitches when you need to. Honestly, when I take the ball, I'm just trying to win."
Overall, the Louisiana State University Product is tied for second on the circuit with nine wins and fifth with a 2.35 ERA in 17 starts for the Red Sox.
Daller Hinojosa fanned two in a perfect inning of relief and John Ely allowed two hits in the ninth to finish the game off.
Veteran Andres Torres was 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs while Alex Hassan plated four runs for Pawtucket.
Nathan Karns fell to 4-5 after giving up eight runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings for the visiting Bulls.