Three outs from perfection, Edwar Cabrera was undone by just a couple of feet.
The Rockies' No. 19 prospect retired the first 24 batters before allowing a leadoff infield single in the ninth inning Tuesday as the Double-A Tulsa Drillers blanked the Corpus Christi Hooks, 4-0.
Cabrera struck out eight before Chris Wallace lined his 102nd pitch of the night up the middle. Second baseman Angelys Nina made a diving backhanded stop, but his throw just missed getting Wallace at first base.
"It was really close," Cabrera said. [Nina's] a really good fielder and I thought when he threw the ball he was out."
Cabrera exited to a standing ovation and was relieved by Coty Woods, who retired all three batters to complete the one-hitter.
"I was really happy," Cabrera said. "It was exciting. Eight perfect innings, I'm excited."
Tuesday's gem was nothing new for the 24-year-old left-hander, who's dominated the Texas League in his first three starts. He's allowed only 11 baserunners while striking out 16 over 20 innings.
"My fastball was working, my changeup was working and my breaking ball was working a little," Cabrera said. "My changeup was working a lot, I threw like 30."
The non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic had a whirlwind 2011 season in which he led the Minor Leagues with 217 strikeouts, establishing a Rockies organizational record. He finished 8-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 26 starts for Class A Asheville and Class A Advanced Modesto.
Lars Davis broke up a pitchers' duel and staked Cabrera to a 2-0 lead in the fifth with his first homer of the season. Cabrera praised his batterymate's skills behind the plate.
"He's a really good catcher, he called a really good game," he said. "It's awesome."
Kiel Roling padded the lead with a solo shot in the sixth and Rockies No. 16 prospect Josh Rutledge capped the scoring an inning later with an RBI single.