Royals' Adcock dominant in AFL shutout
Rangers first-rounder Olt smacks one of three Saguaros homers
If this was Nathan Adcock's final outing of 2011, he made it a good one. In fact, he might have even overshadowed Mike Olt.
Adcock took a perfect game into the fifth inning, finishing with one hit over five dominant frames for his second win and Olt homered yet again as Surprise blanked Phoenix, 5-0, in the Arizona Fall League on Monday.
The Royals' right-hander was unhittable through four innings until the Yankees' Ronnier Mustelier drove a leadoff grounder up the middle to start the fifth frame. Adcock, who threw 56 pitches, got groundouts from Rob Segedin (Yankees) and Yan Gomes (Blue Jays) before striking out his final batter of the game, Ryan Ortiz (Athletics).
"I got into a real good rhythm, kept my sinker down, got some ground balls, some swings and misses," said Adcock. The 6-foot-5 righty spent all of 2011 in the Majors with Kansas City, where he went 1-1 with a 4.62 ERA in 24 outings, including three starts. "I just pitched to contact and got early outs."
Adcock struck out five and did not walk a batter, throwing his two-seamer, slider and change-up along with the sinker. With less then a week to play in Arizona, he realizes this may have been his final appearance.
"I always like to keep going as long as I can, I think I could have gone a little extra," he said. "But I'm glad I could give them a chance to win."
Those odds went up when Olt, a first-round pick by the Rangers in 2010, hit his league-leading 13th home run in his 24th game, a solo drive off Phoenix starter Travis Webb (Reds) in the fourth. The UConn product has homered in three straight games and six of his last seven starts, with seven long balls in that span. He has a shot to tie the AFL record of 14, which was set by Brandon Wood (Pirates) in 2005.
"He's just got power, sometimes he gets jammed and still gets the ball out," said Adcock. "Raw power to all fields. He works hard, he takes it seriously. He pours his heart and soul into playing baseball."
For the first few innings, though, the story was Adcock. He struck out two in the first and didn't allow a fly ball until the third.
"Yeah, [the perfect game] goes through your mind," Adcock said. "You think about it but you never want to jinx yourself, but you want to keep the same rhythm and tempo. I just had all four pitches going and kept them guessing.
"I threw them all pretty much for strikes," he added. "I'm a ground-ball guy, and my defense played well and backed me up today."
Surprise has already clinched the AFL West and will play in Saturday's championship game. Adcock would line up to start again Saturday, but he's doesn't know if he'll get the nod.
"I'm not sure, I haven't been told anything," he said. "Just playing it by ear."
Adcock got a lead to work with Monday when Marlins prospect Kevin Mattison homered in the third, his sixth of the fall. Olt led off the fourth with a drive to center and the Saguaros added three more in the sixth when Wil Myers (Royals) drew a leadoff walk, Olt was beaned by reliever Wes Etheridge and Marlins prospect Matt Dominguez followed with his fourth home run.
"Being with this team makes it a lot easier. There's a lot of energy, the guys play hard, they go all out for you," said Adcock. "That's what makes it fun, it makes you want to stay here and try to win a championship on Saturday."
Webb (2-1) took the loss for Phoenix after allowing two runs on four hits and a pair of walks over four innings.
Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.