The progression of Jorge Guzman took another step forward Friday night as he managed to one-up his last outing.The 17th-ranked Marlins prospect hurled six hitless innings and recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts as Double-A Jacksonville held on for a 2-1 win over Mississippi at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
The progression of Jorge Guzman took another step forward Friday night as he managed to one-up his last outing.
The 17th-ranked Marlins prospect hurled six hitless innings and recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts as Double-A Jacksonville held on for a 2-1 win over Mississippi at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
In his previous start on Saturday in Biloxi, Guzman (6-10) took a no-hitter into the eighth before allowing a leadoff single. He was even better against the Braves, with multiple punchouts each inning from the second through the sixth, including three in the third and sixth. He walked four and threw 63 of 99 pitches for strikes while lowering his ERA to 3.70.
"Pretty much all year, he's thrown the ball well," Jumbo Shrimp manager Kevin Randel said after the Biloxi gem. "He's making strides. It's a learning curve. He's getting deeper in to ballgames."
The right-hander retired nine in a row to open the game before issuing a leadoff walk to Ray-Patrick Didder in the fourth.
Guzman set down six of the final seven batters, with another walk to Didder leading off the sixth the only blemish.
Gameday box score
"He figured some things out on his side work," Randel told the Jumbo Shrimp network following Friday's game. "Staying compact really keeps the ball over the plate for him. It minimizes his misses and gets him around the [strike] zone more.
"Tonight was no different. He just kept attacking. It was a solid outing."
It was the second straight game in which the Jumbo Shrimp starter whiffed 13 batters. Daniel Castano posted a baker's dozen on Thursday in a 5-1 win over the Braves.
Mississippi ended the no-hit bid in the seventh. With two outs, Connor Lien lofted a single to right field off a 3-1 offering from left-hander Alex Vesia but was stranded.
Jacksonville's Bryson Brigman slugged a solo homer, his second, in the second inning to give Guzman an early lead. He has hit in six of the last eight games to raise his average to .255, the highest it's been since April 10.
"Obviously, he was struggling when he was here," Randel said, referencing the shortstop's .226 average through mid-June. "He went down to [Class A Advanced] Jupiter and did a great job, earned a spot back up here."
Brigman batted .267 in 20 games in the Florida State League before rejoining the Jumbo Shrimp on July 12.
"Some limited playing time, but when he gets his chances he comes up with big hits," Randel said.
The Braves averted the shutout in the ninth when Braves No. 11 prospectGreyson Jenista hit a one-out dinger, his eighth of the season and fourth at Double-A.
Philip Pfeifer (1-2), making his second start for Mississippi after returning from Class A Advanced Florida, yielded two runs on two hits while walking four across five innings. He struck out six.
Duane Cross is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DuaneCrossMiLB.