Loree the story again for Volcanoes

Former 50th-round pick takes another no-hitter into seventh

Mike Loree has pitched at least six hitless innings four times in eight starts this season. (Salem-Keizer Volcanoes)

By Alan Friedman / Special to MLB.com | July 26, 2008 9:37 PM

Call it just another day at the office for Mike Loree.

The 21-year-old right-hander retired the first 14 batters and took another no-hitter into the seventh inning Saturday as the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes beat the Boise Hawks, 3-1, at Volcanoes Stadium.

Loree (2-2) wound up allowing a run on two hits, fanning three and walking one, as he brought his ERA back down to 2.01.

"My catcher [Johnny Monell] called a great game," he said. "I threw a lot of fastballs and mixed in my changeup. I was working on throwing downhill and get my downhill trajectory working. This was a good win for us."

Despite his .500 record, the 6-foot-6 Villanova product has had a noteworthy professional debut in the Northwest League. In four starts from June 25-July 11, he retired 62 of 63 batters.

"Then he went through some 'normal' starts where he gave up some runs," Salem-Keizer manager Tom Trebelhorn said. "But he was fine. He did a quality job tonight against a good hitting team."

Selected by the Giants in the 50th and final round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, Loree gave up three runs in back-to-back outings against Vancouver and Spokane prior to his latest start. But he was perfect against Boise until issuing a two-out walk in the fifth to former first-round pick Kyler Burke.

Loree had a no-hitter going until Ryan Keedy doubled with two outs in the seventh and scored on a single by Michael Brenly. It was the fourth time in eight pro starts that he has pitched at least six hitless innings.

But the New Jersey native said his early-season success has not generated the pressure of unrealistic expectations.

"I have expectations for myself every game," he added. "I just want to give our team an opportunity to win, but I haven't felt any pressure."

From a purely mechanical perspective, Trebelhorn said Loree has been working on the best way to take advantage of his height.

"When tall guys pitch from a tall angle, they get a natural break on their fastball," the former Major League manager said. "It makes them more difficult to hit."

Loree left after Brenly's base hit and Jason Neitz got the final out in the seventh. Daniel Runzler followed with a scoreless frame and Edwin Quirarte closed it out in the ninth, allowing one hit and fanning one, to notch his fifth save for the Volcanoes (20-19).

Salem-Keizer scored in the first on Mike Loberg's RBI single and added two in the third on Ryan Lomand's run-scoring groundout and Jose Flores' RBI base hit.

Starter Aaron Shafer (0-1) gave up one run on two hits over two frames to take the loss for Boise (24-15).

Alan Friedman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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