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Left-hander Kickham twirls gem in win for Fresno

Left-hander Mike Kickham, the Giants' No. 17 prospect, threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings Thursday, helping Triple-A Fresno defeat Salt Lake, 8-0.

Kickham nearly threw the first nine-inning complete game of his career. He started the ninth inning with a strikeout, but then gave up a one-out double to J.B. Shuck. With Kickham's pitch count at 104, manager Bob Mariano made the move to the bullpen and right-hander Erik Cordier got the final two outs of the game to preserve the shutout.

Catcher Andrew Susac and center fielder Gary Brown, the Giants' Nos. 4 and 16 prospects, led Fresno's offense. Each had two hits, and Brown added two runs and two stolen bases.

Aside from Shuck's ninth-inning double, Salt Lake's only hit Thursday was a two-out triple in the first inning by Luis Jimenez. Otherwise, Kickham stymied the Bees' hitters. He struck out nine batters, walked three and allowed two hits in 8 1/3 innings, matching the longest start of his career.

Kickham's dominance against Salt Lake dates back to his last start against the Bees. He threw six hitless innings against the Angels' affiliate May 25.

With Thursday's victory, Kickham improved to 6-5 with a 3.68 ERA this season. He has struck out 75 batters and walked 36 in 85 2/3 innings.

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill.
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