Gavin Floyd knew his appearance was going to be brief when he took the mound during Sunday's Futures All-Star Game at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field.
So he made sure the batters he faced took a quick seat as well.
Floyd, one of two Clearwater Phillies selected to represent the U.S. team, pitched a perfect third, striking out two. The right-hander threw 13 pitches, eight for strikes.
"I knew beforehand I was only going to get one inning," said Floyd, whose team beat the World squad 3-2. "Overall, though, it was a great experience. I got to pitch in a big-league ballpark. I got to meet Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, who was our coach. And I also talked to some major-leaguers."
The only regret he had was the trip didn't last longer. Floyd flew to Chicago on Saturday, played in the seven-inning game Sunday and left Monday morning.
Still, Floyd should be used to cameo roles by now. He faced one batter in the Florida State League all-star game last month.
"It's okay," Floyd said. "I'm just glad I'm able to get in and make an impression."
Though Floyd's all-star stints have been short, his list of accomplishments in his first season at advanced Class A has been long. The 2001 first-round pick was selected to two all-star teams, has been FSL pitcher of the week twice and has ranked among the league leaders in strikeouts (89) and ERA (2.54).
WHIFFED IN THE WINDY CITY: For Clearwater first baseman Ryan Howard and Tampa second baseman Robinson Cano, the bay area's other two representatives, it was 1-2-3 strikes and you're out at the Futures Game.
Both struck out in their only appearances and left a combined three runners on base.
CLEARWATER: Since being passed over for the FSL all-star game, Ezequiel Astacio has been making voters look foolish.
Sunday the right-hander pitched six scoreless innings for his ninth win in his past 10 starts. He leads the league with 12 wins and is sixth in ERA (2.74).
Astacio has allowed 14 runs in his past 662/3 innings, including two runs or fewer in his past five starts.
DUNEDIN: The Blue Jays, who started the second half 1-6, have won 15 of 18 to move into first place in the Western Division.
TAMPA: Cano has been a bright spot in a dismal second half for the last-place Yankees, who are 8-16. The second baseman is fourth in the league with 100 hits.