Chris Devenski knows what it takes to throw a no-hitter. On Wednesday at Stockton, he felt like he could do it again.
The right-handed Astros prospect surrendered just two hits over seven innings in the Class A Advanced Lancaster JetHawks' 10-0 shutout of the Stockton Ports. He racked up eight strikeouts without issuing a walk, inducing 11 groundouts and two flyouts in the process.
While pitching for Class A Lexington, he no-hit Rome on Sept. 1, 2012, notching a career-high 16 strikeouts over nine innings.
"I've thrown a no-hitter before, and honestly, I felt like I was in that zone," Devenski said. "I could have probably went more, but my pitch count was getting up towards the end of the seventh.
"I kind of knew that that was it. But I would have been happy to keep going. I never quit. I keep going, no matter what."
In the 2011 25th-round pick's most recent effort, he allowed only a bunt single by Wade Kirkland in the third inning and a bloop single by Renato Nunez in the fourth. Ryon Healy also reached on a fielding error by first baseman Conrad Gregor in the seventh.
Devenski (5-5) lowered his ERA to 4.11 while winning his fourth straight decision.
"Everything was working," he said. "I was mixing it up good. I trusted my catcher (Jobduan Morales) and had trust in my stuff. I kept it simple. Didn't try to do too much. The first inning, I mixed in my fastball, my changeup and my curveball. ... Then after that, it was kind of cat-and-mouse with them."
The 23-year-old, who was drafted by the White Sox and then traded to the Astros in the Brett Myers' deal in 2012, isn't shy about his hopes for the rest of the season.
"Particular goals? Yeah, I want to get a shot at the next level," he said. "My goal is to get called up, but if I need to be here to help the team here win, that's fine. Whatever's coming my way, I'm with it. I just want to pitch."
Through 17 games (11 starts) in Lancaster, he has compiled a 77-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The California native and Cal State Fullerton product also has a pair of saves.
"I don't think I need to change anything," Devenski said. "I think I'm throwing the ball well. I'm going to continue to do that and build off of this outing tonight and keep working hard every day."
Patrick Christensen gave up two hits and struck out two over the final two innings while sealing the JetHawks' fifth shutout of the year. Jordan Scott, Rio Ruiz, Morales, Austin Elkins and Jack Mayfield picked up two hits apiece, with Morales and Elkins both chipping in a pair of RBIs. Scott, Ruiz, Morales and Mayfield all doubled.
Ports starter Yeiper Castillo (0-2) surrendered five runs on five hits and four walks in four innings.