Padres' Bass solid over five innings in AFL
Right-handed prospect allows two runs in Peoria's loss to Surprise
San Diego farmhand Anthony Bass got his first taste of the Majors this season. Now he's working hard to ensure his three months in "The Show" was not just a flash in the pan.
Making his third start in the Arizona Fall League, the 23-year-old surrendered two runs on five hits while striking out eight batters over five innings in the Peoria Javelinas' 4-3 defeat to the Surprise Saguaros on Tuesday.
"I was happy up until the fifth inning and then I started to miss a few spots," he said. "I made a couple bad pitches to give up the two runs, but other than that I was pleased.
"I was executing my pitches and setting hitters up and finishing them off. I struck out guys on my fastball, my curve and my change. All three of my pitches were working today."
Bass used an inning-ending double play to erase Florida outfielder Kevin Mattison's leadoff single and stolen base in the first inning, and he stranded Joe Terdoslavich (Braves) at second in the following frame.
After a 1-2-3 third, the right-hander struck out the side in the fourth before running into trouble. Terdoslavich pulled a one-out single to right field in the fifth, and Mikie Mahtook (Rays) followed with a base hit to left.
Bass fanned Kyle Skipworth (Marlins) for the second out, but No. 9 hitter Leury Garcia (Rangers) tied the game with a run-scoring double to center field that was deflected by Jaff Decker, a teammate of Bass' in San Antonio. A wild pitch allowed Mahtook to score the go-ahead run, but he fanned Mattison with his 67th and final pitch of the afternoon to limit the damage.
"It was a tough play," Michigan native Bass said of Garcia's double. "It was hit to the left-center field gap and it hung up in the air a little while. I thought Jaff might have a shot at it, but he laid out and it went off his glove. I know he gave it his all."
Bass' eight strikeouts fell one shy of his career high, achieved on three occasions most recently in back-to-back outings against Frisco and Corpus Christi in May.
Selected by the Padres in the fifth round of the 2008 Draft out of Wayne State University, Bass was called up to San Diego twice this season. He made his Major League debut as a spot starter on the road in Colorado on June 13 -- a 3-1 victory -- before being sent back down to Double-A San Antonio.
He was promoted for a second time July 1. This time he stayed with the team for the remaining 82 games of the year, going 2-0 with a 1.68 ERA in 27 appearances.
Bass hopes he can impress enough this fall and Spring Training to earn a spot in the Padres' Opening Day bullpen next April.
"Mechanically speaking I feel pretty good, pretty fluid, so I don't want to play with that," he explained.
"I don't want to change a whole lot, I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and everything else will take care of itself. If my fastball command is there, that is something the organization is high on. Other than that, I think I'm pretty good shape."
Braves right-hander Billy Bullock (1-0) earned the win in relief, allowing two runs on two hits over an inning of work.
Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.