TACOMA, Wash. -- On a night when the game lasted 18 innings and more than five and a half hours -- and the winning pitcher was a reserve infielder that also served as the hero that hit the walk-off home run -- Oakland Athletics right-hander Daniel Straily and Seattle Mariners southpaw Danny Hultzen went toe-to-toe for much of the contest in a showcase of American League West pitching prospects in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.
Both pitchers may see the majors this season. For Straily, his timetable could depend on whether the A's move a starting pitcher at the trade deadline -- Bartolo Colon? -- or how left-handers Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson each progress in their rehab from serious arm injuries.
Hultzen could see time later this season as a warm-up for next spring when there figures to be a great chance he breaks camp as part of the Mariners' five-man rotation.
Hultzen, the No. 2 pick in the 2011 draft and the No. 24 prospect in Keith Law's midseason top 50 prospect update, made his fifth Triple-A start for the Tacoma Rainiers Wednesday and finally looked the part, going six strong innings and yielding just one run on three hits while fanning eight. After cruising through five, Hultzen served up a solo home run to lead off the sixth. After an error by his defense, he issued a pair of walks -- his only two of the game -- before striking out Michael Taylor to limit the damage.
Straily, however, stole the show, going eight scoreless innings before surrendering a leadoff double in the ninth that eventually came around to score the tying run. The former Marshall standout was a 24th-round pick in 2009 and has virtually come out of nowhere to lead all of the minors in strikeouts this season, which he's split between two levels.