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Jumbo Shrimp's Guzman almost unhittable

Marlins No. 17 prospect carries no-hit bid into eighth inning
Jorge Guzman reduced his ERA to 3.89, the lowest it's been since June 25. (Ed Gardner/
August 3, 2019

Jorge Guzman's "pitching" mentality was on full display Saturday night.The Marlins' No. 17 prospect carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before yielding a leadoff single as Double-A Jacksonville blanked Biloxi, 5-0, at MGM Park.

Jorge Guzman's "pitching" mentality was on full display Saturday night.
The Marlins' No. 17 prospect carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before yielding a leadoff single as Double-A Jacksonville blanked Biloxi, 5-0, at MGM Park.

Guzman (5-10) retired the first 16 batters before issuing a one-out walk to Alexander Alvarez in the sixth. He also walked Dillon Thomas with two outs in the seventh.
Leading off the eighth, C.J. Hinojosa muscled an 0-2 offering into left field for a single to end the no-hit bid and the right-hander's night. He was lifted after 97 pitches, 64 for strikes.
"Pretty much all year, he's thrown the ball well," Jumbo Shrimp manager Kevin Randel said. "He's making strides. It's a learning curve. He's getting deeper in to ballgames.
"Tonight was the first time in his Minor League career that he got into the eighth inning. He executed his pitches well. He was throwing the slider for strikes and never lost focus." 
Gameday box score
Jordan Guerrero got out of the eighth after Joantgel Segovia bounced into a fielder's choice and Alvarez hit into a double play. The southpaw walked two and struck out three in the ninth to complete the one-hitter.
"We knew going into the eighth that [Guzman's] pitch count was good," Randel said. "We had reinforcements in the bulpen. Once it happened, his pitch count was still under 100. It was an outstanding job and a good win for the club."
In his past four starts, the 23-year-old has allowed six runs over 21 innings (2.57 ERA), including two scoreless outings of at least six frames. Conversely, his last two efforts entering Saturday lasted only four innings.
Guzman has 99 whiffs, tied with Pensacola's Jorge Alcala for ninth-most in the Southern League.
"Pap [pitching coach Bruce Walton] grinds the message, 'You're out there to get 18 to 21 outs.' We've been answering the bell," Randel said. "They're learning to navigate the lineup, especially that third time through the lineup. It's all about 'pitching' -- taking your shot on a strikeout, conserve pitches, get soft contact. All of them want to finish the seventh.
"And we've got some power arms, [top Marlins prospect] Sixto Sanchez, Guzman, [No. 13] Edward Cabrera. With those three, there will be times when they don't have their best stuff. Bruce wants all to throw a changeup for strikes when their fastball is scattered. It's really about getting through outings."

No. 13 Marlins prospect Lewin Diaz hit a three-run homer, his ninth in the Southern League and 22nd of the season, in the third inning off Shuckers right-hander Drew Rasmussen (1-3). It was his third straight game with a long ball.
"He is a great addition to the lineup, the organization," Randel said of the 22-year-old first baseman, who was acquired when Miami sent pitchers Sergio Romo and Chris Vallimont and player to be named to the Twins on July 27. "He's a run producer and answers the challenge. He's a good-looking ballplayer.
"We have a good club right now. The addition of [Marlins No. 4 prospect] Jazz Chisholm, he's an exciting player. Diaz, I really love his at-bats. He's a great kid and going to be a long-time big leaguer. That's in addition to [No. 25 prospect] Brian Miller, Riley Mahan. ... our pitching is strong and the offense is rolling."

Duane Cross is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @DuaneCrossMiLB.