Smith picks up first win of year in relief effort

by CHRIS GOLTERMANN

Will Smith continued his scoreless innings streak since being called up by the Kansas City Royals last week, with the Newnan left-handed reliever picking up his first win since arriving from Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday.

Smith gave up a game-tying single and a sacrifice fly after entering with two runners on and two outs in the seventh inning, but stayed the course over 1 2/3 innings work without allowing another hit or a run. 

The effort lowered his ERA to 2.70 while putting together a scoreless streak of 9 1/3 innings since returning to the major leagues for the fifth time in his short career. He immediately made his relief debut on the night he rejoined the Royals, working a scoreless ninth inning at home against the Braves. 

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound lefty, who will turn 24 on Wednesday, made his rookie debut in 2012 during two separate stints with the Royals as a starting pitcher. He was asked to shift to the bullpen last month in anticipation of Kansas City needing another potential lefty and had a save and a 0.84 ERA in seven relief appearances at Omaha before being recalled. He had also gone 5-3 with a 2.88 ERA as a reliever. 

Kansas City (41-43) defeated Oakland 4-3 on Saturday. 

BLOUGH ENDS JUNE ON A ROLL IN CAROLINA LEAGUE: Former East Coweta High ace pitcher Bryan Blough had a five-game consecutive win streak snapped on Tuesday while making an impressive surge for the Winston-Salem Dash, the Chicago White Sox’s Single-A Advanced affiliate in the Carolina League.

Over his last 10 appearances, the 6-1, 190-pound right-hander has posted a 6-1 record and a 2.55 ERA to go with 42 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched.

Prior to a loss on Tuesday against the North Division-leading Potomac Nationals, Blough had won five straight starts including a shutout at Lynchburg on June 22, where he gave up just three hits over eight innings. He finished 5-0 for June with a paltry 1.29 ERA after starting the season with a 2-4 record. 

He’s made a team-high 17 starts this season while taking a 7-5 record and a 4.09 ERA into this week’s schedule beginning today at Myrtle Beach. 

The 23-year-old was drafted in the 18th round of the 2011 draft out of Kennesaw State. 

KENDRICK BEGINS CAREER WITH YANKEES: Conner Kendrick didn’t waste any time getting into a Yankees uniform after being drafted by New York in the ninth round of this year’s major league draft. But the former Auburn Tiger and Northgate High left-handed ace is beginning his professional career with the Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Penn League. 

Kendrick decided to forgo his final year of college eligibility at Auburn, tweeting the news on June 15 with the hashtag “#dreamcometrue.” In his only year with the Tigers after transferring from Northwest Florida State College, he went 5-3 with a 2.13 ERA in 80 1/3 innings. Kendrick emerged as a starter after beginning the year in the bullpen and finished with a team-high 75 strikeouts. 

So far, the former Vikings has thrown 4 1/3 innings in two relief appearances, the latest coming on Thursday.

He became the third player in Northgate’s baseball history to be drafted by a major-league team, joining Will Smith in 2007 and Dominique Partridge in 2001. 

BEDROSIAN CONTINUES SCORELESS STREAK: Adjusting to a role familiar to his father, Steve, during his major league career, cam Bedrosian is beginning to pick up some steam as a reliever with the Single-A Burlington Bees, having allowed no earned runs with 10 strikeouts over his last four appearances. 

The younger Bedrosian picked up his first victory of the season in Friday’s two-inning effort against the Clinton Lumberkings, going the final two innings while allowing one hit and a walk to go with two strikeouts. It was the first hit the 6-0, 205-pound right-hander had yielded over a span of four-plus innings dating back to June 26. 

For the season, he has made 23 appearances, including two starts, while fourth on the team with 46 strikeouts. 

The 21-year-old, who was drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2010, underwent “Tommy John” surgery in 2011 before finally returning to the mound a year later. 




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