Trevor Bauer's afternoon changed dramatically within a few minutes Tuesday. The Indians hurler was an out away from a no-hitter, but wound up fortunate to avoid a loss.
Cleveland's No. 1 prospect threw 6 2/3 hitless innings before being pulled one out shy of a seven-inning no-hitter in Triple-A Columbus' 4-2 loss to Charlotte at Huntington Park.
Pitching in a doubleheader opener, Bauer struck out seven but battled his own control for much of the afternoon -- he walked four, hit four batters and threw a wild pitch that allowed Seth Loman to advance into scoring position in a seventh inning that eventually sunk the Clippers.
After throwing 106 pitches, Bauer. was pulled by Columbus manager Chris Tremie with two outs and a pair of runners in scoring position in the seventh in favor of Preston Guilmet. The reliever allowed both inherited runners to score on Carlos Sanchez's single before serving up a go-ahead two-run homer to Brent Morel.
Within minutes, Columbus' first no-hitter in three years had turned into a stunning loss.
Bauer, who started for Cleveland on May 1 before being optioned back to the Minors, worked with runners on base in five of the seven innings he pitched in. He worked around a walk and a hit batsman in the first, struck out one in a 1-2-3 second, whiffed Dayan Viciedo to strand a pair of runners in the third, hit a man with one out in the fourth and the fifth and worked a perfect sixth before falling one out shy of his second career complete game.
The right-hander threw just 60 of his 106 pitches for strikes and labored through the seventh, at one point meeting with his infield on the mound to let Guilmet warm up. Bauer hit Loman to start the inning and bounced a pitch in the dirt that allowed him to advance before Jim Gallagher drew Charlotte's fourth walk, prompting a meeting on the mound with Columbus pitching coach Tony Arnold. Columbus third baseman Ryan Rohlinger made a great throw while falling on Steve Tolleson's sacrifice bunt to keep the no-hitter alive before Cord Phelps snagged a line drive at second for the second out.
But with one out to go, Bauer was done. Sanchez greeted Guilmet with a game-tying two-RBI single up the middle and Morel hammered a two-run drive off the high wall in right field.
It would have been the Clippers' first no-hitter since July 26, 2011 when Justin Germano went nine innings in his shutout of Syracuse.
Columbus scored twice in the fourth. Matt LaPorta hit a leadoff homer and the Clippers manufactured a run on a walk, a steal, a groundout and a sacrifice fly by Tim Fedroff.
John Danks started for Charlotte, allowing both runs on four hits and five walks over five innings. Donnie Veal pitched the final two frames for his first win.