Domingo Tapia is known for a four-seam fastball that peaks in triple digits. But his slower sinker is leading him to success.
Relying on his developing secondary offerings, the Mets' No. 10 prospect took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and allowed just one hit and an unearned run while striking out eight in Class A Savannah's 5-1 win over Rome.
"I was trying to pitch to contact," he said through teammate and translator Luis Rojas, "working with my sinker and changeup."
Tapia (5-2) walked the first batter of the game. Braves center fielder Tony Mueller stole second, took third on a passed ball and score on a groundout. The 20-year-old right-hander struck out his next three batters and wouldn't allow a hit until left fielder Robby Hefflinger started the seventh with a single into left field.
"I threw a sinker first pitch that he fouled off, changeup for a ball, then a sinker that he grounded through the 5-6 hole," said Tapia, who walked two batters and plunked another.
That falling fastball helped Tapia rack up 10 groundouts.
The native of the Dominican Republic last took a no-no deep into a game when he hurled
5 2/3 hitless innings on May 10. Was he aware of the zero on the scoreboard this time around?
"No. I was locked in on getting outs," he said. "I didn't realize I had a no-hitter going."
All told, Tapia has fashioned a 3.45 ERA in 14 South Atlantic League starts. This is his first full season after New York signed him as a non-drafted free agent in February 2009. Where does Sunday's start rank?
"I have had some good ones," he said.
Braves starter Fabian Williamson (0-2) gave up four runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Cole Frenzel had two hits and two RBIs for Savannah, which has taken 11 of 14 meetings from Rome this season.