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Cole pitches first complete-game shutout in Double-A

The Nationals have acquired A.J. Cole twice in his young career, first selecting him in the fourth round of the 2010 Draft, then trading for him in March 2013.

After a start like Saturday's, it's easy to see what Washington likes about the 22-year-old right-hander.

Cole, the Nats' No. 2 prospect, pitched a gem for Double-A Harrisburg, firing a seven-inning four-hitter, while striking out eight batters and walking none in the Senators' 5-0 win over the New Britain Rock Cats.

The outing marked Cole's first career complete game and shutout, and it was the first time this season he pitched past the sixth inning. He improved to 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA on the year.

After pitching in the Nationals' system from 2010-11, Cole was dealt to the A's as part of the Gio Gonzalez trade. He came back to Washington in 2013 and broke out with Harrisburg last year, posting a 2.18 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings.

That success earned him the No. 60 spot on's Top 100 Prospects list, and it has carried into this season, as Cole hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his eight starts.

Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.
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