On June 7, things weren't exactly looking rosy for Dylan Baker. He had given up three runs on three hits and four walks in five innings, causing his ERA to grow to 5.05. Although he didn't suffer the loss, his Class A Lake County squad had just fallen for the fifth straight time with him on the mound.
Times are certainly different now.
The 21-year-old right-hander carried a no-hitter into the seventh on Sunday afternoon before completing eight two-hit innings in the Captains' 1-0 win over visiting Fort Wayne.
It was his fourth straight win and his third outing over that span in which he didn't allow any earned runs. After the longest start of his professional career, he is 5-5 with a 3.63 ERA over 15 outings.
"Dylan really picked us up," Captains pitching coach Steve Karsay told The News Herald. "He pitched like a front-of-the-rotation guy and delivered what we needed."
Baker was selected by the Indians in the fifth round of last year's Draft out of Western Nevada Community College, where he went 13-0 with a 1.91 ERA a year ago. He was perfect through 4 1/3 innings Sunday before walking Chris Burke. Maxx Tissenbaum busted the no-hit bid up with a line-drive single to right leading off the seventh. Diego Goris added another single three batters later, but the Lake County starter set down four in a row to close out his outing.
"I was trying not to think about it, but the thought [of a no-hitter] crossed my mind a couple of times," Baker told the newspaper.
The ground game played a key role in the gem as 15 of his 24 outs were recorded on ground balls. Five came via the air and four by strikeouts.
"I was in the groove, throwing as hard as I can and making good pitches," Baker said.
The stellar start concludes a very solid month of June for the right-hander.
After going 0-2 with a 4.95 ERA in April and 1-2 with a 3.58 mark in May, Baker finished the third month of the season 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA. He was named the Indians Minor League Player of the Week last week after allowing two earned runs over 12 2/3 innings in a pair of road starts.
Dorssys Paulino -- the Tribe's No. 3 and MLB.com's No. 99 overall prospect -- hit an RBI triple in the third to supply the Captains with the only run they needed. Josh Martin allowed one hit and struck out one in the ninth en route to his second save of the season.