Allen, Marte Outduel Colon

Allen turned in one of his best outings last night

SAVANNAH, GA - Last night, Kyle Allen had an opportunity few young pitchers receive: to square off against a former Cy Young Award winner. Allen took the chance and ran with it as he put together one of his best starts of the season. Jefry Marte chipped in with the go-ahead run in a tightly contested game.

At the single-A level of the minor leagues, young hitters have the opportunity to fine-tune their skills against a variety of young pitchers that are trying to do the same.

However, Tuesday night at Historic Grayson Stadium brought a whole new challenge to the Savannah Sand Gnats hitters as they stepped into the batters box to face a pitcher that knows his job and does it very well.

The Chicago White Sox's hard-throwing right-hander and 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon made his first rehab start with the Kannapolis Intimidators Tuesday night against the Sand Gnats and posed possibly the biggest test that the young Gnats hitters will face all season.

The start was Colon's second in the minors this season since he was placed on the DL June 9 with a sore left knee. Colon pitched five innings for Triple-A Charlotte on July 9, where he only allowed one run on just two hits on the mound for the Knights.
Despite some expected struggles to start the game, the Savannah hitters came in to their own as the game progressed and were able to manufacture a couple runs to give the Sand Gnats to 2-0 victory.

After five innings of scoreless baseball, the Gnats broke through in the bottom of the sixth after Raul Reyes hit a liner to right-center that was enough to get the speedy outfielder a standup triple. Reyes scored on the next at-bat when 18-year-old Jefry Marte knocked a shot down the left foul line for an RBI double.

Marte would later score on an RBI single by Eric Campbell, who has been playing and hitting well since returning from the DL with left rotator cuff tendonitis.

Marte would finish the night 2-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored. He is now tied with teammate Sean Ratliff for second on the team with 26 multi-hit games.

Other than the young Gnats hitters doing what it took to get the ‘W,' the real story of the night might be 19-year-old Kyle Allen who picked up the win over the former Cy Young winner.

Allen pitched 6 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing only three hits and recording five strikeouts. The start matched his previous season best start when he tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings on three hits and five strikeouts back on June 14 against Augusta. Sincea rocky April, Allen is 5-4 with a 3.36 ERA. The opposition is hitting .210 off him in three starts in July with a ground ball ratio of nearly 3-to-1.

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