Prospect Thornburg flirts with perfection

Prospect Thornburg flirts with perfection

MILWAUKEE -- One of the Brewers' top pitching prospects flirted with perfection on Monday night.

Right-hander Tyler Thornburg, No. 4 on MLB.com's list of the Brewers' Top 20 prospects, worked to within five outs of a perfect game in Double-A Huntsville's 5-2 win over Tennessee. His bid was spoiled when the Smokies' Michael Burgess chopped a ground-ball single past second baseman Scooter Gennett.

"As it got into the fifth and sixth and seventh, they started swinging early, so it was hard to figure out what pitches to throw in what counts, because they were swinging at pretty much everything," Thornburg told MiLB.com. "[A perfect game] is one of those things you notice early on, but you really don't start thinking about it until you get past the fifth or sixth.

"I loved it, though. It's always fun when something like that's going on. The adrenaline helps you out late in the ballgame, and overall it's great."

Thornburg, a 5-foot-11 righty whose delivery compares to San Francisco's Tim Lincecum, improved to 1-0 with a 0.98 ERA in three starts. He has 24 strikeouts and three walks in his first 18 1/3 innings.

Gennett, Milwaukee's No. 6 prospect, went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs in support of Thornburg's gem.

Thornburg was trying to match a feat achieved by current Brewers reliever Manny Parra, who pitched a perfect game for Triple-A Nashville on June 25, 2007.