The return of Johnny Cueto wasn't the only big Giants pitching news Wednesday. It was a pretty big day for a handful of arms on the San Jose Giants as well.
Led by 2020 second-round draft pick Nick Swiney, San Jose's staff combined to strike out a season-high 20 batters in the Giants' 7-0 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm.
Swiney threw the first three innings of the night, and the left-hander was dominant from the get-go. After striking out one in the first inning, Swiney struck out the side in the second and third inning. The North Carolina State product gave up two hits and walked just one batter in his three scoreless innings.
This hasn't been an easy season for Swiney, but when healthy, he has been great. Swiney, 22, dealt with a concussion early in the year and missed nearly three months of action. He now has started three games for San Jose and hasn't allowed a single earned run. In 9 1/3 innings for the Giants, Swiney has 18 strikeouts, four walks and has given up just four hits.
The lefty had five starts in the Arizona Complex League and was just as dominant. He allowed only one earned run in eight innings while striking out 16.
Randy Rodriguez followed Swiney, and the Storm had just as much of a problem with the right-hander. In two innings of work, he allowed two hits and all six of his outs came via strikeout.
Rodriguez, 21, was named the Low-A West Pitcher of the Week on Monday. He has not allowed an earned run all month long. In August, Rodriguez is 2-0 -- he earned the win Wednesday night -- and has 26 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings.
Abel Adames and Clay Helvey finished the final four innings, tossing two each. They each gave up just one hit. Adames struck out four and Helvey had three Ks of his own.
San Jose's barrage of strikeouts beat its previous season-high of 19 in one game. The Giants' pitching staff leads all of Minor League Baseball with 1,187 strikeouts, which is good for 12.1 per game. Good luck to the rest of the league that is now called Low-A West.
A note to future hitters facing San Jose: Grab some pine, meat.