As the stars of tomorrow converged on Target Field in Minneapolis for the start of All-Star festivities on Sunday, Milwaukee Brewers prospect Jorge Lopez retired the only batter he faced in the All-Star Futures Game.
The 16th annual game between teams of U.S. and World prospects ended up a 3-2 U.S. victory behind a sixth inning home run by Texas Rangers prospect Joey Gallo, whose two-run shot provided the winning margin.
It was the fifth straight win for the U.S. team in the series.
Lopez, a 21-year-old from Puerto Rico who is pitching this season at High-A Brevard County, entered the game for the World team to start the bottom of the eighth and threw seven pitches before getting J.P. Crawford to bounce out to second base.
Lopez, ranked 19th among Brewer prospects by MLB.com, is 8-4 this season for the Manatees with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.187 WHIP. In 16 starts, he has one complete game and has fanned 70 hitters in 91 innings.
Lopez has made a quantum leap forward in his performance this season after going 7-8 with a 5.23 ERA and 1.436 WHIP for Class-A Wisconsin in 2013.
Lopez, tall and lanky at 6-foot-4 and 165 pounds, was taken by the Brewers in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Caguas Military Academy in Puerto Rico and spent two years in Rookie level ball, pitching in the Arizona League in 2011 and splitting 2012 between the Dominican Summer League and Arizona.
He pitched his first career complete game on June 26, allowing just two runs on five hits in a 4-2 win over Lakeland in a game shortened to eight innings because of rain. He carried a shutout into the eighth before surrendering a two-run home run.
Twelve current members of the Brewers participated in the Futures Game, including Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Garza, Scooter Gennett, Tom Gorzelanny, Jimmy Nelson (last year), Lyle Overbay, Francisco Rodriguez, Jean Segura, Tyler Thornburg and Rickie Weeks.
Aramis Ramirez, the Brewers’ All-Star third baseman, played in the first Futures Game in Boston in 1999.