D-backs promote Bauer to Triple-A Reno

DENVER — Trevor Bauer moved one step closer to the major leagues when he was promoted to Class AAA Reno on Thursday morning.

A move seemed almost inevitable, as Bauer was 7-1 with a 1.68 ERA in eight starts at Class AA Mobile in his first full pro season since signing with the Diamondbacks after being the third player taken in the 2011 draft.

Bauer is expected to make his first start at Reno on Friday. He was scheduled to pitch in Mobile on Thursday. He did not allow an earned run in his last two starts at Mobile, leaving with a streak of 14 consecutive scoreless innings.

Bauer broke former USC star Mark Prior’s Pac-12 season strikeout record at UCLA in 2011 and continued his swing-and-miss effectiveness at Mobile, striking out 60 in 48 1/3 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .192 batting average. His fastball has been clocked at 98 mph this season, and he throws an assortment of off-speed pitches.

“I think he has four above-average pitches right now,” D-backs’ director of player development Mike Bell said last week.

Bauer was the second pitcher in pro baseball to reach seven victories when he beat Chattanooga last Friday, one day later than Class AA Frisco and former D-backs first-round draft pick Barret Loux.