If Anthony Castro's 6.43 ERA after his first two starts this season qualified as a low point, his last two outings have been on the opposite end of the spectrum.The Detroit right-hander followed up a career-high 6 2/3 innings in his last start with a professional-best 12 strikeouts over six
If Anthony Castro's 6.43 ERA after his first two starts this season qualified as a low point, his last two outings have been on the opposite end of the spectrum.
The Detroit right-hander followed up a career-high 6 2/3 innings in his last start with a professional-best 12 strikeouts over six frames, scattering three hits and two walks, as Class A West Michigan crushed Fort Wayne, 10-0, on Monday at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Castro (3-1) won two of his last three starts to lower his ERA from 3.55 to 2.84 over the stretch of 17 2/3 innings. For the month, he's compiled a 2.61 ERA in four outings.
Gameday box score
He fanned Jack Suwinski to begin the first inning, but Suwinski reached first on a passed ball by catcher Austin Athmann. Castro retired the next three hitters, two via whiffs.
The Caracas, Venezuela native continued to attack the zone the rest of the night, firing off 59 strikes on 89 pitches.
Despite a two-out single from Tyler Selesky in the second, Castro recorded his second consecutive three-strikeout frame.
He faced his first real challenge in the third after walking Rod Boykin and Suwinski to start the inning. But the 22-year-old struck out Reinaldo Ilarraza and got Fernando Tatis Jr. to hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Castro fanned six of the next seven TinCaps and worked around G.K. Young's one-out double in the fifth with back-to-back punchouts of Boykin and Suwinski.
The 6-foot, 174-pound hurler faced one last test in the sixth when Tatis ripped a single with one out. But Castro got Hudson Potts to ground to third to start an inning-ending double play.
After his development was slowed by Tommy John surgery in 2015, Castro has totaled 35 strikeouts in 38 innings and kept his opponents' batting average to .208 in his first season past Rookie ball.
Blaise Salter keyed the offense for the Whitecaps with three doubles and four RBIs. Danny Woodrow added three hits and plated two while Anthony Pereira collected two doubles and an RBI.
Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt.