Kaminska fires blanks as Scorpions snap skid
Pirates prospect strikes out three over five shutout innings for first AFL victory
Kyle Kaminska set the rhythm for the Scorpions on Wednesday, and in the process, helped the team find a new beat.
Kaminska allowed three hits and struck out three over five shutout innings as Scottsdale beat Mesa, 5-2, in Arizona Fall League action.
The 24-year-old right-hander faced two over the minimum and walked a batter. Kaminska (1-1) threw 38 of his 57 pitches for strikes and induced seven ground-ball outs for the Scorpions, all part of his plan.
"I'm a sinker guy, so I am trying to get a lot of ground balls," Kaminska said. "When I got traded to the Pirates, that was their main priority for me -- to pitch to contact. That's going to be my game if I'm going to pitch in the big leagues."
Kaminska was acquired by the Pirates on July 31 from the Marlins. The Ohio native was 6-4 with a 5.24 ERA in 33 games between Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans before the trade. After, Kaminska was 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in five games -- four starts -- between Class A Advanced Bradenton and Double-A Altoona.
"I don't think words can really describe it. It was a weird feeling getting traded, but it was a good thing, having another team want you," Kaminska said.
The Scorpions entered play in the midst of a three-game losing streak, sitting one game behind the Solar Sox in last place in the East Division.
"I just went out and pitched my game," Kaminska said when asked whether he felt any pressure to end the skid. "I work quickly and I think that helps with the offense and makes things easier for everyone else.
"That's always been my thing when I pitch, I try to work quick. Growing up in Chicago and watching Mark Buehrle pitch, I always felt like everything meshed well for the offense and defense."
Giants' No. 15 prospect Ricky Oropesa was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and fellow Giants farmhand Chris Dominguez smacked an RBI double for the Scorpions.
Dan Runzler (Giants) struck out the final batter of the game to record his first save of the fall for Scottsdale and Yankees farmhand Mark Montgomery tossed a hitless inning of relief.
Orioles' No. 12 prospect L.J. Hoes singled home both of Mesa's runs.
Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.