Hector Noesi is putting into practice the hard-earned lessons he learned in the big leagues. The results spoke for themselves on Saturday.
The Mariners farmhand took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before allowing a two-out single to Adam Eaton as Triple-A Tacoma blanked Reno, 2-0.
Noesi did not figure in the decision after recording a team season-high 11 strikeouts and walking two. He faced five batters over the minimum and threw 78 of 121 pitches for strikes.
"Today, it was everything," Noesi said. "I tried to put my pitches down. I was not thinking about [the strikeouts], I was doing the best that I can."
The 25-year-old right-hander retired his first 10 batters before walking Taylor Harbin, who made it to third on a throwing error by right fielder Carlos Peguero. But Noesi fanned Mike Jacobs and did not allow another baserunner past second.
Noesi struck out Tyler Kuhn and Tyler Bortnick to begin the eighth before Ryan Budde reached on a throwing error by shortstop Carlos Triunfel. Eaton, who leads all Minor Leaguers with 189 hits, followed with a well-placed ground ball to right field.
"It was a soft groundball and nobody caught it. It was a slider down and he hit a ground ball," said Noesi, who was immediately relieved by Shawn Kelley.
The native of the Dominican Republic was unimpressed by his strikeout total, which was two shy of the career high he established on April 29, 2010 while pitching for Class A Advanced Tampa in the Yankees organization.
"Well, I'm really, really happy," Noesi said after his eighth start with the Rainiers. "I'm getting back again like before. I'm not happy about the strikeouts, I'm happy that I feel better every time I go to the mound."
Acquired by the Mariners in the offseason with Jesus Montero, Noesi went 2-11 with a 5.77 ERA in 17 big league starts earlier this year. Assigned to the Pacific Coast League on July 14, he's optimistic that what he learned during his time in Majors will help him work his way back to Seattle.
"I learned about when I throw, keep the ball down," Noesi said. "It's the only thing that I have to do. I've been more consistent now."
Kelley (2-0) recorded the final four outs, fanning two, and came away with the win when Mike Wilson slugged a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.
Nick Franklin, the Mariners' No. 3 prospect, tripled, singled and scored a run for the Rainiers.