In a bounce-back effort, Jeff Bain produced.
The D-backs prospect threw six hitless innings and Class A Advanced Visalia came within four outs of its first no-hitter in more than 15 years en route to a 5-0 blanking of Stockton on Saturday night at Recreation Park.
Gameday box score
Bain labored against Stockton in his previous outing on Aug. 19, surrendering eight runs on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts in five innings.
"I needed that. I really needed that," he said of Saturday's response. "Throughout the week, I worked on making better quality fastballs and better pitches. Going over a lot of stuff I did at Stockton last time, a lot of fastballs were too good. I was a little finer with the fastball but also a little more aggressive. Just the fastball was better."
Facing the Ports again, he struck out eight and issued three walks.
Bain (4-2) retired the first four batters before walking A's No. 13 prospect Greg Deichmann in the second inning. After he was caught stealing, Edwin Diaz walked, but the right-hander retired Brett Siddall on a fly ball to center field.
"My fastball command is something I was working on throughout the week," he said. "Trying to get to the arm side of the rubber and get my breaking ball back. Being able to go to all my pitches helps."
Bain set down the next five batters, striking out the side in the third and fourth, with just a fourth-inning walk to Viosergy Rosa in between. When Diaz fanned to open the fifth, the 2017 16th-round pick recorded seven consecutive outs via the punchout.
Getting those strikeouts was a sign for Bain that he had his pitches working again.
"It's the exact feeling that I needed to get back to something that I'd gotten away from," he said. "I think having a slider now helps. Not being able to put that in there for strikes the past couple of weeks has really hurt me. But getting out there today, it really put the wind back in my sails."
Chase Calabuig reached on an error by shortstop and No. 2 D-backs prospect Jasrado Chisholm in the sixth, but Bain left the with the no-hitter in tact after throwing 52 of 86 pitches for strikes.
After strugging against the same team six days earlier, producing his best start since a promotion from Class A Kane County is exactly what the University of California product was looking for to close the regular season on a high note.
"I want to finish up feeling good, at the very least," he said. "I want to feel confident and go out having a competitive start every single time out. Results-wise, it's not the most important factor, but we're trying to make a playoff push, so I'd like to go out and give our team a chance to win every time out. I want to put up a competitive start for my team each time."
Carlos Bustamante pitched around a leadoff walk in the seventh before Trace Loehr broke up the no-hitter with a two-out single to right in the eighth. Mason McCullough loaded the bases in the ninth but nailed down Visalia's 11th shutout of the season.
Adam Walton hit a two-run homer in the second and D-backs No. 4 prospect Pavin Smith contributed a two-run double for the Rawhide.