Carlos Carrasco fired a six-inning no-hitter Tuesday as the Reading Phillies posted a rain-shortened 1-0 victory over the Altoona Curve at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Carrasco (5-3) matched a career high with eight strikeouts and walked two in pitching the Phillies (65-62) to their third straight home shutout. After he tossed a 1-2-3 sixth, umpires halted play for 97 minutes before calling the game.
"This was the first night he's been able to throw all three pitches [fastball, curve, change] for strikes," Reading pitching coach Tom Filer said. "And they were quality strikes.
"Lately, he'd been having a little trouble commanding his fastball and trying to stay within himself. Tonight, he did everything I've been looking for. He threw everything close to the plate, and nothing was hit hard off of him."
This was the second time in his four-year career that Carrasco was involved in a no-hitter. On Aug. 13, 2006, he pitched seven innings and combined with Andrew Barb to no-hit Lexington for Class A Lakewood.
Reading's last-no-hitter was thrown by Adam Walker on June 13, 2001 against the New Haven Ravens.
Carrasco, a 20-year-old right-hander from Venezuela, was 6-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts for Class A Advanced Clearwater earlier this season before earning a promotion to the Double-A Eastern League.
"I had the changeup going on in Clearwater. I finally got it back today," Carrasco said through an interpreter. "I'm very happy, but it was more important that we won tonight. Of course, it is something I can build on and I hope to get a lot better from here."
Filer said a factor in Tuesday's performance may have been the presence of Philadelphia Phillies catcher Rob Barajas, who is on a rehab assignment along with outfielder Shane Victorino.
"Overall he was great," Barajas said. "I heard he was having trouble with his control and walking a lot of guys. That being the case, I decided I was going to set up on the plate. I wasn't going to go in the corners and give him a lot of plate to work with. He kept his fastball in the strike zone, and his changeup was outstanding. He even mixed in some pretty good curveballs.
"From what I saw, he was as good as advertised; I was real impressed with his outing."
Barajas, who is recovering from a groin strain, went 0-or-2, while Victorino, who had a strained right calf, was 1-for-3.
The Phillies scored the game's only run in the bottom of the second when Jason Hill singled, took third on Greg Jacobs' double and came home on a groundout by Joey Hammond.
Dewon Brazelton (4-4) was the hard-luck loser for the Curve (64-62), allowing one run on seven hits and a walk while fanning three over five frames. It was his second straight complete game.
Altoona has been shut out in three straight games for the first time in its nine-year history.