Freeland ends AFL season with fourth straight win

Rockies prospect extends hot streak with five scoreless innings against Scottsdale

Freeland ends AFL season with fourth straight win

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Finishing the season strong and entering the offseason with momentum is always a goal, and it's exactly what Rockies prospect Kyle Freeland was able to accomplish.

The left-hander was dominant in his final outing of the Arizona Fall League, as he threw five shutout innings and led the Salt River Rafters to a 4-2 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions on Thursday afternoon at Salt River Fields.

"You always have that little thought in the back of your mind on the last game of the season," Freeland said. "You want to end it on a high note, end it on a win, and I was able to do that."

Freeland, the No. 9 prospect in the Rockies organization, threw 30 of his 54 pitches for strikes and limited the Scottsdale club to just five baserunners (four hits and a walk).

"It was great, went out, found the zone early, got outs and got my team back in the dugout so we could score some runs," he said.

Feeding off the momentum their starting pitcher generated, Salt River provided some early run support and helped Freeland win his fourth consecutive start.

Blue Jays prospect Emilio Guerrero drove home the first run of the day with an RBI single in the second inning, and Toronto's No. 7 prospect, Rowdy Tellez, plated another run with a double in the third.

While Freeland's start was great, it was just the latest in a string of strong starts from the former first-round pick.

Freeland was unable to get out of the first inning in his first AFL start, but over his final five, a span of 24 2/3 innings, he gave up just two earned runs.

"Minus that first outing, I thought I did excellent," Freeland said. "I worked on things I needed to work on, accomplished what I wanted to accomplish and I felt great about the entire season."

When a pitcher is on the type of run that Freeland is having it may be tough to step away for a couple of months, but the lefty can take the lessons he learned pitching in the Fall League and use them to improve going forward.

"One thing that I'll build off is the momentum that I have right now," Freeland said. "I want to carry that through the next couple months into Spring Training. I want to keep that work ethic and keep that grind to win games for my team."

Adalberto Mejia, the No. 12 prospect in the Giants organization, also finished the AFL on a positive note. Mejia gave up two runs on five hits while striking out four in his four innings of work Thursday. The left-hander gave up three runs across his final three starts, a span of 12 2/3 innings.

William Boor is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.