Marauders earn split doubleheader against Threshers

jlembo@bradenton.comJuly 18, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Tyler Glasnow knows it's out of his hands.

That being said, the thought of a promotion occasionally enters his mind.

The Bradenton righty, considered one of the top prospects in baseball, added another gem to his sparkling summer in a 7-2 win over the Clearwater Threshers in Game 1 of a doubleheader in front of 1,519 fans at McKechnie Field on Thursday.

Glasnow allowed two unearned runs and three hits while striking out four in 5 2/3 innings to lower his ERA to 1.77 in 15 starts.

Clearwater earned the split with a 7-4 win in Game 2.

So is Glasnow the next highly-touted Marauder headed to Double-A Altoona after outfielder Josh Bell got the call earlier this week?

"I'd lie if I said I never thought about it," said Glasnow, who is 6-4 and second in the Florida State League in ERA and fourth in strikeouts (86) despite missing a month of the season recovering from a back injury.

"But it's really not a priority of mine. Whatever happens,

happens ... I can't do anything about it anyway."

Facing a Clearwater lineup featuring three rehabbing big-leaguers (Reid Brignac, Feddy Galvis and Carlos Ruiz) and the Philadelphia Phillies' No.1 draft pick in 2013 (J.P. Crawford), Glasnow set down 15 straight after allowing a pair of unearned runs during the first inning. He also induced eight groundballs before yielding to Yhonathan Barrios, who pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings to earn his second save.

Minor-league doubleheaders are seven innings each.

"I thought he was definitely down (in the strike zone) a lot more with his fastball," Bradenton pitching coach Justin Meccage said of Glasnow's high ground-ball rate. "I thought he was down a lot, and a lot of his misses were down."

The pitcher agreed.

"The only thing I've really wanted to think was, 'Get it down'" Glasnow said. "So when in doubt or if it feels weird, get down on it; aim lower."

Glasnow has a 1.18 ERA in his last 10 starts while limiting opponents to a .181 average. Yet there is still some room for improvement, Meccage said.

"The secondary pitches, for sure," he said. "And mentality-wise, just to hone that in and get a consistent, aggressive mentality. He's handled some adversity the last few outings, which is encouraging. But I think that can keep getting better, too."

Playing their first game without Bell, the team leader in nearly every offensive category, the Marauders (16-9, 51-43 overall) got a jolt from Raul Fortunato, who had four RBIs in Game 1, including a three-run triple that capped a five-run fourth inning.

Max Moroff scored two runs in the opener for Bradenton.

Fortunato added a two-run home run in the nightcap, and Justin Maffei had two hits for the Marauders.

Bradenton starter Jason Creasy struggled in Game 2, allowing seven runs on nine hits in four innings, though his streak of not issuing a walk stretched to 37 1/3 innings.

Meccage said one of Creasy's strengths, his ability to work fast, led to his undoing Thursday.

"That tempo is important," Mecccage said. "But that ability to slow down that tempo is very important, too. And that's just something he has to learn."

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