Gnats' Tapia loses no-hit bid in seventh

Mets prospect yields single, unearned run, strikes out eight

Domingo Tapia has struck out 29 batters over 32 innings. (Savannah Sand Gnats)

By Andrew Pentis / Special to | July 22, 2012 2:29 PM ET

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.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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