SUGAR LAND — Offensive firepower has marked the start of the Sugar Land Skeeters' run in Triple-A baseball, but Saturday's game against the Albuquerque Isotopes was a pitchers' duel.
The Skeeters' Peter Solomon won the duel en route a 2-0 victory at Constellation Field.
“It felt great to give the team a longer outing and be out there for six innings.,” Solomon said.
“Everything thing was working. I was on the same page as my catcher (Michael Papierski)
“We executed the plan pretty well and how we wanted to.”
Solomon struck out nine batters to match the Skeeters' season-high, while he scattered two hits over six innings to help complete Sugar Land's first shutout in 2021. The Isotopes could only muster two walks against the Sugar Land starter.
“Each pitch felt pretty good,” Solomon said. “There wasn’t a pitch that I didn’t feel confident throwing.
“The curveball was working really well; I was getting strikes with it and a pretty good amount of swings and missed with it.
“I executed fastball pretty well; I didn’t leave many over the plate. That was something I was working on. I made sure I got to both sides of the plate and didn’t leave anything in the middle; because they are really good hitters, and they capitalize on mistakes.”
The Skeeters scratched out two runs in unique ways; Lorenzo Quintana scored on a wild pitch in the third inning. Papierski delivered his second RBI triple of the homestand in the eighth inning.
Riley Ferrell (1.2 IP) and Ronel Blanco (1.1 IP) combined to pitch three innings to close out the win for Sugar Land. Blanco collected his first save of the season.
Outs on the bath paths
Sugar Land squandered scoring chances in the third and fourth innings with outs on the base paths. Quintana and Papierski reached with one out in the third inning. A fielder's choice put runners on the corners and the wild pitch that scored Quintana. The same pitch put Bryan De La Cruz on second base, but pitcher Jose Mujica picked off de La Cruz.
In the fourth inning, Ronnie Dawson led off with one of his two hits Saturday night, a double to center field. Dawson tagged out at third base on a ground ball to the shortstop.
Abraham Toro would get to third base after a fielder’s choice, a ground out by Jake Meyers and a single from Jose Siri. Siri attempted to steal second, and Toro tried to protect the runner by drawing a throw home.
Toro was caught in the ensuing rundown for the final out in the fourth inning.
Albuquerque’s Mujica matched Solomon with five solid innings, allowing one earned run on three hits. Ben Bowden, Antonio Santos and Logan Cozart each pitched an inning out of the bullpen, allowing one earned run on two hits over three innings.
Strength of Solomon
Saturday’s outing marked the longest start for Peter Solomon since August 30, 2018, where he pitched six scoreless for the High-A Buies Creek Astros, now the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. He was 9-1 with a 2.32 ERA in 100 2/3 innings during the 2018 season between Buies Creek and low-A Quad Cities.
Solomon’s start marks only the third time in his minor league career that he has pitched out of the fifth inning.
Solomon is one of six active Skeeters on the Astros’ 40-man roster. The 24-year-old pitcher was drafted out of the University of Notre Dame by Houston in the 2017 MLB draft.
Solomon had Tommy John Surgery after two appearances with Fayetteville in 2019 and the 2020 minor league canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.