Duke in the MLB: Stroman stumbles to first loss, rebounds with Sunday gem

A busy week of travel last week caught up to Marcus Stroman with one of the worst starts of his career Wednesday, but his struggles did not last long. 

Three days after attending Duke’s undergraduate commencement ceremony, Stroman suffered his first loss of the year and gave up a season-high 13 hits and seven runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. However, the Medford, N.Y., native quickly rebounded, earning his fifth win of the season Sunday.

Stroman ran into trouble against the Rays as soon as he stepped on the mound. Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, and after the Blue Jays jumped in front 2-1 in the bottom of the first, Stroman surrendered a combined four runs in the second and third frames.

Toronto's ace gave up his final two runs in the fifth off a double and two singles before he was pulled an inning later.

But against the Minnesota Twins Sunday, Stroman shook off his struggles and returned to form, allowing just one run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Unlike his outing against the Rays, Stroman started strong, giving up just one hit through the first seven innings and retiring 16 of 17 batters during one stretch. Although the right-hander finished with just three strikeouts, he forced the Twins into 13 groundouts.

Stroman—who holds a 3.89 ERA—has now conceded fewer than three earned runs in four of his last five appearances. He is expected to make his next start Saturday against the Boston Red Sox. 

Duke’s other MLB representative, Chris Capuano, rebounded from a poor outing last week. After surrendering two runs against the San Diego Padres May 14, the 6-foot-2 southpaw pitched two hitless innings and matched his season-high with five strikeouts against the New York Mets Friday.

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