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First Raptors win elementary for Holmes

Dodgers' No. 4 prospect allows just two hits over five shutout innings
August 21, 2014

Grant Holmes is in the process of making himself comfortable with the Raptors. He seemed right at home Wednesday.

The Dodgers' No. 4 prospect gave up two hits over five shutout innings to pick up his first Pioneer League victory as Rookie-level Ogden defeated visiting Orem, 7-6. Holmes struck out five and walked one.

After allowing Andrew Daniel's single to start the fourth inning, the 18-year-old right-hander retired the final six batters to face him.

"I was just executing all my pitches," Holmes said. "I was throwing everything for strikes, getting the two-strike slider in the dirt and everything was just working. I had a couple of strikeouts throwing it inside and freezing up the batter. Other than that, the slider was the go-to pitch."

After going 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA in seven Rookie-level Arizona League outings, he made his Ogden debut on Aug. 15, surrendering seven runs on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings against Helena. For this year's 22nd overall pick, it was all about his comfort level.

"My first outing, I was kind of uncomfortable," Holmes said. "We just got off a little road trip, I was kind of tired. I wasn't making my pitches like I was tonight. My stuff wasn't very good and I was leaving balls up. I was just uncomfortable."

By the time Holmes exited Wednesday's start, the Raptors held a 6-0 lead.

"It was a great feeling knowing that I had the run support behind me," the right-hander said. "We just all played pretty well."

Selected out of Conway High School in South Carolina, Conway has quickly learned the easiest way to get hit around the park.

"The main thing is just keeping the ball down," he said. "The guys here will hit the ball if you leave it up. In high school, you can get by with high heaters and striking a lot of people out. Here you have to command every pitch and stay focused."

Julian Leon slugged a two-run homer, his second long ball in as many games, and Cody Bellinger went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for the Raptors. 

Raul Linares plated a pair of runs for the Owlz.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich.