In this day of pitch counts and protecting young arms, complete games in the lower levels of the minors are a rarity. Dunedin Blue Jays righthander Casey Lawrence didn't toss one in the D-Jays extra inning victory over the Tigers affiliate Lakeland, but he took a four hit shutout into the 10th inning in Florida State League action last night.
Through 9 innings, Lawrence had thrown only 85 pitches, so Manager Bobby Meacham wasn't hesitant to send him back out for the 10th. It was only after giving up a two-out single in the 10th, followed by a walk, that Lawrence's day ended after 103 pitches.
Lawrence got ahead on the hitters, throwing first-pitch strikes to 27 of the 35 hitters he faced. He struck out two and walked a pair in lowering his ERA to 1.13. Lawrence induced 13 groundouts on the day. The only time he was in trouble was in the 6th, when he got out of a jam with one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd with a groundout to first and a strikeout. The 25 year old Lawrence split last year between Dunedin and New Hampshire, with a combined 9-7 record, and a 3.87 ERA. He made one start for AAA Buffalo in the first week of the season, before being sent back to Dunedin.
The D-Jays scored in the top of the 13th to top Lakeland, 1-0. Lefthander Tony Davis picked up the victory for Dunedin, who improved their record to 10-4, good enough for a 1 game lead over Brevard County in the FSL's Northern Division.