Former University of Kentucky pitchers Alex Meyer and Taylor Rogers turned in stellar performances with six shutout innings apiece in Triple-A Rochester's doubleheader at Syracuse on Tuesday afternoon.
Meyer, who is one of the Minnesota Twins' top prospects but had struggled a bit in his first two starts, struck out career-high tying 11 batters in Game 1.
He only gave up two walks and three hits before leaving with game with no runs on the board for either side. He got a no-decision when teammate A.J. Achter gave up a lead-off home run in the bottom of the seventh (and final) inning.
"It was good just to get back on track and have the good outing I knew I could," Meyer told MiLB.com. "Obviously, I had a couple of rough outings before today. ... I just really needed to go out and simplify things, not overanalyze anything. Just go out and get a good start, and that's what happened."
Meyer said the outing will help his confidence going forward.
"At the same time, I've still got work to do," he told MiLB.com. "This isn't the time to just be happy with things. I've still got to keep my foot on the gas, but this'll make it easier to get back out there next time."
Rogers gave up four hits and walked one with six strikeouts in Game 2, which the Red Wings won 2-0. The win was Rogers' first of the season and his first at the Triple-A level. He also pitched seven scoreless innings in his season debut, but didn't factor in the decision.
"It's been fun watching him," Meyer said. "He's been throwing the ball pretty well, and that was big to help us get the second win there."
MLB.com ranks Meyer, now 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA, third on its list of the Twins' top prospects. Rogers, who is ranked 18th on that list, is 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA.
Rochester's roster also includes another ex-Cat, Logan Darnell. He is 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in three relief appearances covering two innings.
■ Joe Blanton, a former Franklin-Simpson and UK standout who spent 10 years in the majors before retiring at the start of the 2014 season, improved to 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA in his comeback bid at Triple-A Omaha.
Blanton, now part of the Kansas City Royals organization, pitched six shutout innings in the Storm Chasers' 4-2 victory against Memphis. He gave up four hits, walked two and struck out six.
■ Andrew Albers (UK) pitched six no-hit innings before giving up a double and a run-scoring single in the deciding seventh inning of Triple-A Buffalo's 1-0 loss in the first game of a doubleheader at Pawtucket.
Albers, a Toronto Blue Jays prospect who spent last season pitching professionally in South Korea, gave up two hits, walked two and struck out four in 6-1/3 innings. He's 1-2 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts for the Bisons.
■ J.T. Riddle (Western Hills, UK) scored two runs in Class A Advanced Jupiter's 3-1 victory in the first game of a doubleheader at St. Lucie.
Riddle, a Miami Marlins prospect, entered the game as a pinch runner in the seventh and walked in his only plate appearance. One of the runs Riddle scored was on a single by fellow ex-Cat Cameron Flynn.
In the second game, Riddle was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. That boosted his batting average to .255 this season.
■ Derek Self (Caverna, U of L) pitched two scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts to earn the victory in Double-A Harrisburg's 6-3 defeat of Altoona.
The Washington Nationals prospect has is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts in nine innings.
■ Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer Ryan Wright (U of L) hit a pair of triples and knocked in one run in Double-A Pensacola's 8-4 loss to Birmingham. Wright is batting .318.
■ Late Monday, Stewart Ijames (Owensboro Catholic, U of L) hit his fourth home run of the season in Class A Advanced Visalia's 5-0 win at Modesto. The Arizona Diamondbacks prospect also had an RBI double to go with his solo homer.
Ijames, an outfielder, is batting .281 with six RBI in nine games.
Legends lose their third straight game
Carlos Mesa hit a three-run home run in the third inning, and the Greenville Drive went on to defeat the Class A Lexington Legends 5-3 on Tuesday night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. The Legends have lost three in a row.
Second baseman Carlos Garcia had three the Legends' eight hits to improve his batting average to .412. Catcher Luis Villegas, making his season debut for Lexington, was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
■ The Lexington Legends' game at Greenville on July 30 is one of 10 minor league games chosen to be televised on the CBS Sports Network this season.