Andrew Cashner's continued work on his breaking pitches has paid dividends in Arizona.
The right-hander pitched four shutout innings for the second start in a row as the Mesa Solar Sox routed the Peoria Javelinas, 8-1, on Thursday afternoon.
Cashner scattered five hits and struck out four over four innings. The Cubs' first-round 2008 pick had pitched four no-hit frames in his previous start, and he said his ability to work in off-speed pitches has been one of the keys to his performance.
"I just took the time to mix up some pitches and got out of some jams with off-speed pitches," Cashner said. "Today was a little different from my last outing. Last outing, I had better command of my fastball."
Cashner (2-2) posted a 2.60 ERA in 24 starts for Class A Advanced Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. Selected 19th overall out of Texas Christian University, he's already set a goal for 2010: to reach the Majors. He is expected to pitch in Saturday's Rising Stars Showcase.
"I'm really working on throwing my changeup for strikes and throwing my fastball on both sides of the plate," Cashner said. "If you can command your fastball, that's what will get you to the big leagues."
The offense banged out 14 hits for Mesa (8-12). P.J. Phillips (Angels) homered and scored twice on a three-hit afternoon. Red Sox farmhand Luis Exposito scored twice, and Starlin Castro (Cubs) plated a run.
Casper Wells (Tigers) extended his hitting streak to six games with a sixth-inning single and Brewers prospect Lorenzo Cain had an RBI for Peoria (13-8).
Javelinas starter Justin Cassel (White Sox) took the loss after allowing four runs on five hits with three strikouts in three innings. Fellow White Sox prospect Kyle Bellamy allowed one hit and fanned two in one inning.
Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.