With his seven shutout innings on Thursday, Nick Blackburn ran his scoreless innings streak to 41.1 frames, capping off an incredible June in which he did not allow a single earned run. Since being promoted to Rochester from New Britain, Blackburn has posted a 1.57 earned run average for the Wings, and has won five of his eight starts.
In his last five starts, all wins, Blackburn has established himself as one of the premier starters in the International League. Armed with a nice assortment of breaking stuff to go along with a low-90s fastball, Blackburn will be key to the Wings playoff push, now that Slowey and Garza dot the Major League roster.
To say June has been special for the right-hander would be an understatement, as he has baffled IL hitters to the tune of a .197 batting average. Even more impressive is the fact that he has walked only one batter this month, striking out 21 along the way. If he continues to pitch like this, the Twins will have no choice but to give him a shot at the big league rotation come next spring.