It took three Salem pitchers throwing 143 pitches, but the Salem Red Sox completed a nine-inning no-hitter against the Frederick Keys Wednesday night at Harry Grove Stadium.
Salem won 6-0 and limited the Keys to seven base runners -- five walks, a hit batter and a batter reaching on a third-inning error by first baseman Matt Gedman -- in front of a crowd of 4,961.
Starter Henry Owens did most of the heavy lifting and allowed six base runners in six innings, but no hits. The big left-hander walked four, hit Nicky Delmonico in the head and had Sammie Starr reach on Gedman's error, while striking out 10 batters. He threw 89 pitches, 51 for strikes.
Matty Ott then threw two perfect innings, fanning two, taking Salem to the ninth with a no-hitter intact. Matt Price relieved Ott and walked Michael Mosby, who entered the game for Delmonico in the seventh, to start the inning. He then struck out Michael Ohlman and Aaron Baker swinging and sealed the no-hitter by inducing a groundout to second base on a 3-2 pitch to Glynn Davis.
For Salem (15-11, 48-48), it was their first no-hitter since becoming a Boston Red Sox affiliate in 2009. For Frederick (10-15, 44-50), it was the first time they've been no-hit since Salem's Kip Bouknight threw a 7-inning no-hitter against the Keys on Aug. 7, 2002.
Owens (7-4) earned the win, a part of the first no-hitter of his professional career in his second full season. Keys starter Brady Wager (2-4) took the loss. He was strong early but allowed five runs in his final two innings.
Salem broke a scoreless stalemate in the sixth with a walk and back-to-back hits, Deven Marrero doubling home Matty Johnson, who walked, stole second and moved to third on an error, for the game's first run. Stefan Welch then singled home Marrero to put the Red Sox up 2-0.
In the seventh, Johnson's RBI triple put Salem up by three and Henry Ramos slugged a two-run homer to right on the next pitch Wager threw, which would be his last. He left the game with the Keys trailing 5-0.
Wager allowed five runs, nine hits, walked one and struck out three. Jesse Beal pitched the final 2.1 innings for Frederick.
He allowed one run, when Ramos hit his second homer of the game in the eighth, a leadoff, solo shot to dead center field, setting the final score.
Both starters were dominant early, and without getting a hit, the Keys threatened twice in the first five innings but were unable to plate a run.
In the fourth, Owens hit Delmonico and walked Ohlman on four pitches to start the inning and the pair moved up a base on a double steal on Davis' strikeout, the second out of the inning. But they were stranded when Owens struck out Tucker Nathans.
In the fifth, Jason Esposito led off with a walk, stole second with one out and moved third when Blake Swihart's throw went into center field. But he, too, was stranded there, when Jerome Pena struck out and Johnny Ruettiger, who walked, was called out stealing second for batter interference on Pena.
A pair of double plays kept Wager out of trouble in the early going. The Keys turned four double plays on the night.
Frederick struck out 14 times Wednesday, one short of the team's season high. Delmonico, Ohlman and Esposito all reached once on a walk and each stole a base. Salem posted 13 hits, five Red Sox picking up a pair of base knocks. Ramos went 2-for-5 with his 10th and 11th home runs and three RBIs.
The Keys look to rebound tomorrow afternoon in a 12 p.m. game against the Red Sox. Zach Davies starts for the Keys against left-hander Mickey Pena. For tickets, purchase online at FrederickKeys.com, by phone at 301-815-9939 or at the box office at Harry Grove Stadium.