According to Baseball America, right hand pitcher Jacob Turner is the top prospect in the Detroit Tigers’ organization. Saturday night, the 21 year-old showed why.
Turner tossed a complete game three-hit shutout against the Louisville Bats and the Toledo Mud Hens’ offense provided just enough to beat the Bats 2-0. 7,249 braved the heat to watch the Bats lose their tenth game in their last eleven.
The Bats, who donned replica 1982 Louisville Redbirds jerseys to commemorate 30 years of baseball in Louisville, were shutout for the second straight game against Toledo. Friday it was Tigers’ no. four prospect Casey Crosby. Saturday it was top prospect Turner.
“(Crosby and Turner) are both really good pitchers,” Bats manager David Bell said. “(Turner) has good stuff. He looks like a big league pitcher the way he uses both sides of the plate, sinks it, cuts it, and throws it all for strikes.”
Turner faced just two over the minimum while going the distance for the Mud Hens. It was Turner’s first career complete game as well as his first career shutout.
For the tenth time in their last eleven games, the Bats gave up the first run of the game. The Mud Hens got a solo home run from Bryan Pounds in the fifth to take the initial lead. It was all they needed.
Since being promoted to Triple-A, Pounds has played in four games and hit four home runs—including a grand slam against the Bats Friday.
After a tough first inning, Bats starter Pedro Villarreal retired twelve straight before giving up the home run to Pounds.
“He knows how to pitch,” Bell said of his young righty. “He really knows how to compete and bounce back.”
Villarreal’s biggest feat of the night came in the sixth inning. Already trailing 1-0, Danny Worth led off the inning with a single and Ben Guez doubled to set up a chance for a big inning. Villarreal struck out John Lindsey and Ryan Strieby then got Matt Young to groundout to end the inning with no damage.
The Mud Hens got another chance against Bats reliever Nick Christiani in the seventh. After getting the first two batters of the inning, Christiani walked the next batter and gave up back to back singles to load the bases. On the first pitch he saw from Christiani, Ben Guez flew out to end the frame.
Toledo got a third chance in the eighth against Donnie Joseph and made good of it. Lindsey and Strieby singled back-to-back to start the inning. Two batters later, Jerad Head doubled down the first base line to score Lindsey and make it 2-0. Joseph got the next two batters to avoid any more damage.
Villarreal (2-6) was saddled with his sixth straight losing decision since winning his first two. In is his last nine starts, the Bats (32-59) have scored just 37 runs and are 1-8 in those games.
Since their nine game winning streak June 18-26, the Bats have lost ten of eleven. In that time, they’ve been outscored 72-27 and are hitting just .204 as a team.
The Bats will look to get to go into the All Star Break on a high note Sunday when they wrap up their three-game series with the Mud Hens (37-52). The Bats will send Sean Gallagher (6-6, 5.42 ERA) to the hill against Thad Weber (5-7, 4.07 ERA) of the Hens. Louisville will be looking to snap a nine game losing streak to Toledo. First pitch for Sunday’s game is set for 2:05.