Molina twirls five no-hit frames

Jays prospect leaves with three run-lead in Dunedin's defeat

Riding a four-game win streak, Nestor Molina last lost on May 31. (Mark LoMoglio/

By Andrew Pentis / Special to | July 21, 2011 6:18 PM ET

Dunedin's Nestor Molina is quickly becoming the Florida State League's most dominant starting pitcher.

Molina extended his scoreless streak to 17 1/3 innings with five no-hit frames Thursday in the Class A Advanced Blue Jays' 4-3 loss to the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

Molina walked two of the first seven Stone Crabs he faced before retiring his final 10. He fanned four to cross the century mark on strikeouts this season; he has 101 K's in 93 1/3 innings.

The 22-year-old right-hander's scoreless run dates back to the middle of his July 1 outing, when he allowed two on five hits over five innings at Lakeland. He hasn't lost since May 31 against Palm Beach.

In six starts since a June 10 appearance in which he allowed seven Brevard County runs on 11 hits -- his last game before heading to the league's All-Star festivities -- Molina is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA.

His season ERA (2.51) ranks third on the circuit and his WHIP (1.00) is tops.

A first-season starter, Molina had never before tallied more than three hitless innings. He completed that many twice as a Class A Lansing reliever last season.

The 2006 free-agent signee out of Venezuela was denied his fourth consecutive win when reliever Aaron Loup allowed three runs -- two earned -- in the sixth. A second Jays reliever, Dumas Garcia (2-3), gave up Reid Fronk's walk-off sacrifice fly.

Dunedin first baseman Jon Talley hit a solo homer off of starter Jacob Thompson, who allowed all three runs over six innings. Crabs reliever Michael Jarman (3-3) finished the game with three one-hit innings.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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