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Odorizzi, Bulls bullpen hurl no-no05/05/2013 2:51 PM ET
By Jake Seiner / Special to MLB.com
From the dugout, Jake Odorizzi watched Brandon Snyder's fly ball soar toward the center-field wall, and he thought about the weather.
"The wind was really unpredictable today," he said. "At times, it was blowing in, and at times, it was blowing out. I didn't know what would come of that."
With a no-hitter and a 2-0 lead hanging in the balance, Durham center fielder Rich Thompson tracked the ball back to the warning track, where he made a stellar basket catch over his right shoulder next to the 400 foot sign on McCoy Stadium's outfield wall.
The flyout scored a man from third base, but preserved the no-hitter with two outs in the ninth. Jeff Beliveau relieved Kirby Yates to face left-hander Jeremy Hazelbaker, and he struck out the outfielder to complete Durham's no-hit victory over Pawtucket, 2-1.
The no-hitter was the second for the Bulls since moving to the International League -- the first was a combined effort by Jason Hammel and Juan Sales against Columbus on July 16, 2006. It also marked only the second time Pawtucket went hitless in a nine-inning game. The first was in 1994 at the hands of Toledo's Jose Lima. The PawSox had never been no-hit in McCoy Stadium.
Odorizzi (3-0) struck out three and walked four over seven innings, lowering his ERA to 2.65. The right-hander, acquired in the offseason from Kansas City in a package for James Shields, has achieved success in recent years retiring hitters through the air, posting a .44 groundout-to-flyout ratio in 145 1/3 innings across the Texas and Pacific Coast Leagues last season.
He stuck by the air-heavy formula Sunday, inducing eight flyball outs -- including four popusp -- to just three groundouts in the no-hit effort.
"The approach was the same as every game," Odorizzi said. "I was just throwing the fastball and mixing in my other stuff, trying to keep guys off-balanced.
"That's basically what we did today. I left some stuff up today, and the one or two times they hit balls decent, they were right at guys. It was one of those days when everything was going right."
Odorizzi allowed just one baserunner and faced the minimum over the first four innings, and got three of his four popups in the first two innings. He walked Ryan Lavarnway and Mark Hamilton consecutively in the seventh, but after a coach's visit, struck out Dent and got Snyder to fly out to Wil Myers to end the frame.
He finished the effort with 95 pitches. Odorizzi was also a part of a no-hitter with Class A Wisconsin in 2010, when he tied a then-career high with 10 strikeouts.
"Being a part of something like this two times is pretty awesome," Odorizzi said. "It's definitely a special time for the team."
Frank De Los Santos relieved Odorizzi for the eighth, and got two outs but walked two hitters before being lifted for Yates. The right-hander struck out Jonathan Diaz to end the eighth.
Yates walked a pair of hitters to lead off the ninth, and Ryan Dent sacrificed the duo to second and third with one out. Then Snyder ripped his fly ball to center. Thompson reeled in the ball, which easily scored Lavarnway from third.
"I think initially, everyone kind of had the same idea going through their head," Odorizzi said, acknowledging he thought it might have been a home run.
"Richie gave it his all and ran it down. He lets that drop, and the game's tied. He had to go all out for that, and he made a great catch."
Yates was replaced by left-hander Beliveau after that, and the native of Providence, R.I., wrapped up the no-hit bid.
Durham scored in the first and second innings. Mike Fontenot drew a two-out walk in the first inning and advanced to third base on a walk to Myers and a wild pitch. Third baseman Snyder misplayed Vince Belnome's grounder, allowing Fontenot to score.
Thompson scored the insurance run in the second on one of the two passed balls allowed by Lavarnway on Sunday.