The move of Ryan Perry from reliever to starter continues to progress in a positive direction. Although not as overpowering as his recent starts, Perry continues to make hits difficult to come by for opponents.
Perry allowed just two hits over five innings Sunday as Double-A Harrisburg defeated Erie 3-1, improving his record to 1-1 as a starter. He gave up two walks and struck out three, marking the second start in which he lasted at least five innings.
The plan was to ramp him up each start from three innings to four and so on. Harrisburg pitching coach Paul Menhart said after Perry's first start that he could have gone four innings, and with 10 innings in the last two starts it is obvious that he can take the workload.
The most impressive stat from the first four games as a starter is Perry's ability to not allow hits, with only eight surrendered in 16 2/3 innings.
Perry is 1-1 with a 1.62 ERA in four starts, allowing just those eight hits, three runs, one home run, seven walks and 13 strikeouts.
Jose Lozada had a two-run shot and Justin Bloxom cranked a solo homer in the Senators' win over Erie. At 48-40, HArrisburg is a season-high eight games above .500.
I would imagine if Perry can continue to pitch this well as a starter, the Nationals will give him a taste at Triple-A Syracuse before the season ends to see what he can do. But he certainly has the stuff to compete at the top level, and now it is all about about repeating the delivery and command from the beginning of each game.
Also, I can't waste a chance to talk about Matt Skole and Steven Souza Jr. The duo crushed home runs again as low Single-A Hagerstown beat Lexington 6-3. Skole hit his league-leading 21st round-tripper for his 73rd RBI, which is also best in the South Atlantic league.
Souza blasted No. 15, the homers coming back-to-back. Justin Miller also hit his seventh of the season and first at home.