Naugatuck’s Pat Dean made his Triple-A debut a spectacular on Monday night in Durham, N.C., one day after being promoted from the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats to the Rochester Red Wings.
Dean, now in his fourth season in the Minnesota Twins minor league system, allowed just two hits over seven innings to the Durham Bulls in a battle of first-place teams in the International League.
Dean earned the win as the Red Wings topped the Bulls, 4-2.
Dean, 24, did not allow a hit over the first five innings while walking three and striking out one for the Red Wings who called him up for help in the middle of a pennant race. Rochester went into Monday’s action with a two-game lead over Pawtucket in the North Division.
He was relieved by Michael Tonkin to start the eighth inning after throwing 94 pitches (56 for strikes) and finished with four strikeouts and three walks. He allowed only two runners to reach second base.
Dean’s performance came against a Durham Bulls team that is not only in first place in the South Division but has the best record of all 14 International League teams.
Rochester gave Dean a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth on a walk, a double by Chris Parmalee and an RBI single from Jeff Clement.
The Red Wings added a second run in the seventh inning when Josmil Pinto scored on a sacrifice by Eduardo Escobar. Rochester tacked on the final two runs in the eighth.
Durham’s Kevin Kiermaier reached on a bunt single to third base leading off the bottom of the sixth to halt Dean’s no-hit bid. Dean bounced right back, getting Cole Figueroa to pop out to short and Tim Beckham to ground into a double play.
The former Naugatuck High star was drafted by the Twins in the third round of Major League Baseball’s 2010 First-Year Player Draft after his junior year at Boston College.
This season he proved to be very valuable at the Double-A level as he led the Rock Cats in innings pitched with 125. He had a 6-11 record with a 4.68 ERA this season. Although he yielded 151 hits, he displayed very good command as he allowed only 17 walks all season with 61 strikeouts.