The third time is the charm.
At least that was the case for Los Angeles Dodgers starter and West Jefferson native Caleb Ferguson.
The left-handed hurler had a solid outing in his third career start for the Dodgers despite a 4-1 loss against San Francisco Sunday.
Ferguson (0-1, 7.59 ERA) went a string five inning, allowing just two two hits and a lone walk. He struck out a new career-best six batters. He did surrender four runs (three earned) on a pair of two-run home runs.
“Today of the three was (Ferguson’s) best outing,” LA manager Dave Roberts said afterward. “I thought he did a good job pounding the strike zone.”
Ferguson, 21, is one of a handful of pitchers who has made the jump to the big league team this year, thanks to a number of injuries to Dodgers starting pitchers.
San Francisco catcher Nick Hundley hit two-run shot in the top of the first to put the Dodgers behind, 2-0. The Giants struck again in the third when Brandon Bell touched Ferguson for another two-run shot.
He retired the last eight batters he faced and posted perfect innings in the fourth and fifth prior to being removed from the game after just 84 pitches. His manager sees the lefty youngster making progress.
“Caleb is still adjusting,” Roberts said. “He’s up for whatever challenge is presented to him. To his credit, he’s been very flexible. The good thing with Caleb, with each start he’s getting more comfortable and progressively better.”
As the Dodgers get healthy, the question on whether Ferguson will stay in the majors or get sent back down to Triple-A Oklahoma City is still up in the air.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.