The 28-year-old right-hander recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts and allowed one hit over 6 2/3 innings Friday night as the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits blanked the Jacksonville Suns, 1-0.
"The biggest thing was my sequencing," Buschmann said. "I thought I did a good job of establishing the fastball in and then working my slider off of that. That, along with my command, was something I've been working on. And it was really working tonight."
The Vanderbilt University product issued his lone walk to Donnie Webb leading off the game. Taylor Krick's one-out single in the sixth was the Suns' lone hit off Buschmann, who retired 16 straight batters in between.
Beginning in the fourth inning, Buschmann struck out five consecutive Suns, including all three in the fifth. That total surpassed his previous season high of four punchouts. The Missouri native had never reached double digits in his seven-year Minor League career, fanning nine on three occasions.
Buschmann said he wouldn't let the strikeout total alone speak for the quality of his outing.
"It does to some extent," he said. "Having worked on some things, I just wanted to make sure that my sequencing was on, and my approach seemed to work tonight. Strikeouts are nice, don't get me wrong, but as long as my approach is good, that's all I'm focusing on."
Buschmann lowered his ERA from 6.55 to 5.02. It had been 8.44 after his fourth outing on May 1. This spring, the 2006 15th-round Draft pick went from the Padres to the Nationals via the Rule 5 Draft before he was traded to the Rays. The uneasiness of his offseason contributed to his struggles, he said.
"With the first part of the season going the way it went, I wasn't getting into any kind of rhythm," Buschmann added. "I didn't have my normal build-up process. It was a little weird, but I'm feeling more comfortable now, for sure."
Buschmann also said he enjoyed his time in the San Diego organization, but his statistics told a different story.
After being drafted in 2006, he enjoyed some success, only to see his ERA climb north of 5.00 in each of the last three seasons as he split time between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Portland/Tucson.
Although his stats this season haven't differed too much, Buschmann is hoping that as he continues to grow comfortable in the Tampa Bay system, he'll continue to string together more outings like Friday's.
"It's nice to get a change of scenery," he said. "I loved everything in San Diego. From top to bottom, the organization is full of great people. But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't nice to get out of the PCL."
Rays' No. 2 prospect Hak-Ju Lee doubled home Mark Thomas with the decisive run in the eighth.