Left-hander Chuck Lofgren put his best outing of the season on display Thursday morning in the Aeros 6-2 victory over visiting Erie.
Despite entering the game winless at 0-2 and carrying a hefty 8.66 ERA, the 22-year old left-hander limited the aggressive SeaWolves to a run on six hits, issuing walks to three batters while striking out nine over six strong innings.
"That's nine strikeouts against a pretty good lineup,'' said Indians farm director Ross Atkins, who was on hand Thursday to see for himself Lofgren's fifth start this season. "Chuck's had some issues with his release point, but today he was consistent and had a better pitch distribution than he did in his previous outing.''
Lofgren's nine strikeouts, one shy his career high, marked the most hitters he's fanned since striking out 10 Lynchburg Hillcats on Aug. 3, 2006 while pitching for high Class-A Kinston.
"Chuck's been working hard since spring training on maintaining a consistent release point," Aeros pitching coach Tony Arnold said. "His last two starts, he's thrown the ball better, but would got hurt when he'd leave a ball up.
"This time, he was able to maintain his focus. He still had spurts where he got behind in the count to a couple guys, but he was able to make the pitch he needed to make - twice with their best hitter at the plate.''