Smokies' Underwood spins seven-inning gem

Cubs No. 17 prospect loses no-hitter on one-out single in sixth

Duane Underwood Jr. is 6-1 in his last eight starts with 37 strikeouts and nine walks over that span. (Brian McLeod/

By Chris Tripodi / | August 11, 2017 9:39 PM ET

Duane Underwood Jr. has been going deeper into games of late, but Friday night's outing was easily his best effort of 2017.

The Cubs' No. 17 prospect carried a no-hitter in the sixth inning as Double-A Tennessee blanked Biloxi, 6-0, at MGM Park. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed one hit with six strikeouts as he pitched seven frames for the third straight game. 

Gameday box score

Underwood (12-5) retired the first four batters he faced before plunking Dustin DeMuth with one out in the second. Angel Ortegagrounded into a double play as Underwood got out of the inning unscathed.

Video: Smokies' Underwood notches sixth strikeout

The Marietta, Georgia, native faced the minimum through 5 1/3 before Brewers No. 19 prospect Jacob Nottingham blooped a single to center to break up the no-hitter. Underwood got Gabriel Noriega to ground into a force play at third before striking out Johnny Davis to end the sixth. The Georgia high school product retired the side in order in the seventh and ended up throwing 66 of 86 pitches for strikes.  

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The scoreless outing was Underwood's first since April 24 at Chattanooga, where he allowed three hits over five innings to pick up his first win. He had allowed two runs in each of his last two starts and watched his ERA drop from 5.01 to 4.15 since July 17.

Over his last four starts, the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has surrendered eight runs -- four earned -- on 17 hits with three walks and 23 strikeouts in 27 innings. 

MiLB include

The Smokies hit three homers in support of Underwood. Jason Vosler opening the scoring with a two-run shot to right in the first. Yasiel Balaguert belted his 13th to left-center later in the inning, and Cubs No. 22 prospect Charcer Burks blasted a solo shot to left-center in the second.

Shuckers starter and Brewers No. 3 prospect Luis Ortiz faced seven batters and was tagged for four runs on four hits and a walk. 

Chris Tripodi is an editor for Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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