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Rasmus nearly perfect, no-hits P-Rays08/12/2009 1:17 AM ET
By Brittany Ghiroli / Special to MLB.com
Cory Rasmus hasn't had an easy road, but the former first-rounder showed Tuesday night what he can do with the right breaks.
Making his third start of the season, Rasmus tossed a no-hitter and was one walk from perfection as the Danville Braves routed the Princeton Rays, 13-0, in the second game of a doubleheader.
"This team has a lot of good starters," said Rasmus, who made seven relief appearances before he was inserted to the rotation earlier this month.
But none of his fellow D-Braves have shown the dominance Rasmus displayed at Hunnicutt Field. The 21-year-old right-hander struck out nine and took a perfect game into the fifth inning, where a leadoff walk to Ryan Wiegand proved to be his only blemish.
Rasmus (2-2) promptly struck out Geno Glynn and Tomas Francisco around an infield pop-up from Jason Patton. Wiegand, a former Appalachian League Player of the Week, was the only P-Ray to touch first base all night.
"I was just trying to mix it up and using my changeup when I was behind in the count," said Rasmus, who picked up his first win since June 25. "And it ended up working out for me in the end."
Being behind the proverbial eight-ball is nothing new for Rasmus, who missed the entire 2007 season following shoulder surgery and pitched only 5 2/3 innings in four outings last season for for the Braves' Gulf Coast League affiliate.
"It's been a long, tough road so far," admitted Rasmus, who was selected by Atlanta with the 38th overall pick in the 2006 Draft. "But [my shoulder is] starting to feel a whole lot better over the past month of two. [I'm] willing to push it and stretch it a little bit more and it's been reacting the way I hoped it would."
The Georgia native, whose brother, Colby, is an outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, hadn't tossed a no-hitter at any level prior to Tuesday. So Rasmus, who didn't realize he was working on a no-hit bid until he glanced at the scoreboard in the seventh, didn't mind the customary silent treatment from his teammates that followed.
"I knew what was going on. Everybody knew," said Rasmus, who mostly found himself alone in the dugout between innings. "It's just baseball code."
With Rasmus' gem, Danville has claim to the last two Appy League no-hitters. David Francis fanned 16 last season in a rain-shortened no-no against Pulaski on July 22.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.