Wednesday, Jul 17 2013 10:54 PM

Local report: Highly-touted pitching prospect assigned to Blaze

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Robert Stephenson, a right-handed pitcher whose fastball averages 95 mph, has been assigned to the Bakersfield Blaze by the Cincinnati Reds and he will make his California League debut on Friday when the Blaze hosts Visalia.

Stephenson was Cincinnati's first-round pick (No. 27 overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Alhambra High School in the Bay Area city of Martinez.

He was named by Minor League Baseball as the Reds' No. 1 pitching prospect at the start of this season and Cincinnati's No. 3 prospect in the organization.

Stephenson has been with Dayton (Ohio) of the Midwest League, where he was 5-3 with a 2.57 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 77 innings. He earned the promotion after not allowing an earned run over his last four starts. He has also won five straight decisions.

In 2012, Stephenson split time between Dayton and Billings (Mont.), the Reds' Rookie classification team. He was 3-4 with a 3.18 ERA for those teams.

Blaze falls to Visalia

Five Visalia Rawhide pitchers limited the Bakersfield Blaze to four singles Wednesday night as Bakersfield lost 4-0 at Sam Lynn Ballpark, the Blaze's fourth straight loss.

Jon Moscot fell to 1-13 by allowing three runs in six innings for the Blaze. He allowed a two-run homer to cleanup batter Jon Griffin in the sixth inning that put the Rawhide ahead 3-0.

David Peralta had three singles, scored a run and drove in a run for Visalia.

Ryan Wright had two hits for the Blaze. James Duran and Yovan Gonzalez had the other hits.

Winning pitcher and Visalia starter Andrew Barbosa (7-6) struck out seven, walked four and allowed one hit.

Bakersfield has lost six-of-seven and was shut out for the fifth time this season.

The series continues tonight at 7:45.

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