Brady Singer looked every bit a top pitching prospect in his final start as one.
As he eclipsed his eligibility for inclusion on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list, the No. 57 overall prospect allowed two hits and struck out eight over six innings in the Royals' 4-0 blanking of the Tigers on Wednesday at Comerica Park.
Singer (3-4) issued one walk en route to extending his scoreless streak to 14 innings. In his last start Thursday, he took a no-hitter into the eighth and ended up allowing one single over eight frames.
"I think I learned a lot throughout the first eight starts," he told reporters after the game. "I've kind of honed in on what I needed to work on. The huge thing is just focusing throughout the game, just taking what I've learned the past few starts and applying it."
Facing the Tigers and opposing No. 46 overall prospect Tarik Skubal, the right-hander struck out the first five batters. He needed only 10 pitches to dispose of Victor Reyes, Willi Castro and Miguel Cabrera in the opening inning before fanning Jeimer Candelario and Niko Goodrum to open the second.
"He just jumped right back into the rhythm he had last start," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "There was control on that fastball almost at a different level. Obviously, he barely threw a ball for the first 20 pitches that came out of his hand. And it's not like they were catching the middle of the plate, they were all on the corners and down and elevated when he wanted to, the slider was sharp. It was just a great continuation of where he was last time out."
Singer did not give up a hit until Castro singled to left field with one out in the fourth. Candelario reached on an infield hit one out later, but the Royals' former No. 3 prospect retired seven of the next eight batters and turned a 3-0 lead over to the bullpen.
"The past two starts, it's just command of the fastball, and I feel like my slider and my changeup got a lot better as well," Singer said.
Matheny pulled his starter after he threw 58 of 81 pitches for strikes. Singer totaled 119 pitches his last time out.
"If he had not done what he did last time, then there probably would've been a conversation," Matheny said. "And I explained to him, this is part of the way this works when you take such a run at a special accomplishment, we have to be real about the fact we have to protect you. I know he felt strong, he wanted the ball, he didn't like it, all that's good. That's exactly where he should be."
In his last two starts, Singer has dropped his ERA from 5.58 to 4.14. Among rookies, he's tied with Oakland's Jesus Luzardo for the Major League lead with 52 strikeouts.
Skubal fell to 1-3, despite recording a career-high eight strikeouts over six innings. The fifth-ranked Tigers prospect yielded three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and did not walk a batter.
In other action:
Nationals 4, Rays 2 (10 innings)
Luis Garcia belted a go-ahead two-run homer in the 10th inning to beat Tampa Bay. The second-ranked Washington prospect turned on a 94-mph fastball from right-hander Nick Anderson and sent it 427 feet out to right for his second big league homer and first since Aug. 17. No. 21 overall prospect Carter Kieboom scored on the blast as the designated runner and went 1-for-4. Tampa Bay's No. 19 prospect Randy Arozarena was 0-for-2 with a run scored before leaving for a pinch-hitter. No. 28 Josh Fleming was credited with his first hold after limiting the Nationals to one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Box score
Orioles 5, Braves 1
With five scoreless frames, Baltimore's No. 15 prospect Keegan Akin picked up his first big league win. He allowed three hits and a walk while notching a career-best nine strikeouts as he faced four batters over the minimum. The nine punchouts were the most by an Orioles rookie since Dylan Bundy whiffed nine in 2016. With the effort, Akin lowered his ERA to 3.38. No. 16 prospect Hunter Harvey pitched a scoreless inning, yielding one hit. Fifth-ranked Ryan Mountcastle went 0-for-3 but drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Box score
Yankees 13, Blue Jays 2
Nick Nelson finished off Toronto by pitching the ninth inning. New York's No. 17 prospect allowed a solo homer to Joe Panik, but that was all. For Toronto, No. 21 prospect Santiago Espinal entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh and lined a single in the eighth. Box score
Mets 5, Phillies 4
Andrés Giménez continued his hot stretch at the plate by driving in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning. With the game tied, 4-4, the No. 86 overall prospect gave New York its first lead of the night with a line-drive single to center. Gimenez has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and is batting .284 overall. Top Phillies prospect Alec Bohm singled in the ninth for his only hit in five at-bats. Mickey Moniak made his big league debut as a pinch-runner for Bohm, but the No. 13 prospect was stranded at first base. Box score
Reds 1, Pirates 0
Sixth-ranked Cincinnati prospect Jose Garcia scored the game's only run. After singling off right-hander JT Brubaker with two outs in the fifth, he took third on a base hit by Curt Casali and came home on a single by Shogo Akiyama. Reds No. 4 prospect Tyler Stephenson struck out as a pinch-hitter, while No. 41 overall prospect Ke'Bryan Hayes singled in four trips to the plate for Pittsburgh. Box score
Marlins 8, Red Sox 4
No. 9 prospect Trevor Rogers got the start for Miami and gave up a run on three hits and two walks while striking out three in three innings. Tenth-ranked Monte Harrison singled and walked in four plate appearances, reaching base twice for the first time this month. No. 4 Jazz Chisholm was 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, while third-ranked Boston prospect Bobby Dalbec went 0-for-3 with a walk. Box score
Rangers 1, Astros 0
Leody Taveras -- Texas' No. 3 prospect -- doubled, singled and scored the game's only run on a ninth-inning double by Joey Gallo. Seventh-ranked Anderson Tejeda struck out in all three at-bats. For Houston, No. 12 prospect Enoli Paredes struck out the only batter he faced. Box score
Twins 5, White Sox 1
Matt Foster surrendered a two-run homer to Miguel Sano while recording two outs in the eighth. Chicago's No. 26 prospect has given up three earned runs over six innings in September as his ERA has climbed to 2.05. Third-ranked Nick Madrigal is batting .324 after going 0-for-3. Box score
Giants 9, Mariners 3
Joey Bart caught all nine innings and threw out Kyle Lewis trying to steal second in the fifth. Offensively, the top San Francisco prospect went 1-for-5 and is hitting .257. Seattle's No. 29 prospect Ljay Newsome got the start, but gave up five runs on eight hits -- including a pair of homers -- and a walk with one strikeout over three innings as his ERA jumped 3.24 to 6.35. Box score
Athletics 3, Rockies 1
Colorado's No. 18 prospect Josh Fuentes blooped a single to right in the fourth off Oakland starter Mike Fiers. It was his lone hit in four at-bats, but extended his hitting streak to five games. The 27-year-old is batting .333/.345/.490 in 18 games this season. Box score
Cubs 3, Indians 2 (10 innings)
James Karinchak fanned two in a hitless seventh for Cleveland. The club's No. 17 prospect has struck out 47 percent of the batters he's faced this season while compiling a 2.66 ERA in 23 relief appearances. Box score
D-backs 9, Angels 6
No. 75 overall prospect Daulton Varsho singled and walked in four plate appearances for Arizona, reaching base twice for the second time in three games. Top Los Angeles prospect Jo Adell went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is hitless in 20 at-bats over his last six contests. Box score
Cardinals 4, Brewers 2 (1st game)
Making his Major League debut, St. Louis' No. 18 prospect Justin Williams got the start in right field and ripped a single in three at-bats. In his first plate appearance, the former second-round pick grounded a base hit through the right side against Brandon Woodruff. Box score
Brewers 6, Cardinals 0 (2nd game)
No. 12 St. Louis prospect Johan Oviedo started in the nightcap, but surrendered six runs -- five earned -- on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. No. 27 Seth Elledge recorded a pair of outs in the sixth for St. Louis, working around a walk. Box score
Dodgers 7, Padres 5
Making his second start in three days, Brusdar Graterol gave up a run on a hit and a walk with one strikeout in 1 1/3 innings. Through 19 frames, the fourth-ranked Los Angeles prospect sports a 3.32 ERA. No. 21 Victor Gonzalez earned his first hold, yielding a run on a hit batsman with one strikeout in one inning. Top Dodgers prospect Gavin Lux went hitless in three at-bats but drew a walk. San Diego's No. 6 prospect Adrian Morejon (2-1) took the loss after allowing two runs -- one earned -- on two hits with three strikeouts in two-plus frames. Box score
Daren Smith is an editor for MiLB.com.