In just his third start since being acquired from the Dodgers along with Steve Ames and Josh Wall for Ricky Nolasco, Angel Sanchez has made a name for himself in the Marlins organization.
Miami's No. 10 prospect struck out three over the first six innings of a combined no-hitter with Colby Suggs and James Nygren in Class A Advanced Jupiter's 5-0 victory over Clearwater on Monday night at Bright House Field.
Sanchez, who came back out to watch the ninth after getting some treatment in the clubhouse, is looking forward to the prize that comes to the pitching staff after the rare outing.
"Everybody was excited and happy that we got a no-hitter, but the most excited were the pitchers. Every time we get a shutout or no-hitter, we can hit a [batting practice]," Sanchez said.
Opposing starter Severino Gonzalez (1-3) pitched well, allowing a run on six hits and striking out seven in six innings. Sanchez used the pitchers' duel as fuel to maintain his focus.
"I felt pretty excited because I knew that [Gonzalez was] trying to beat me and I'm trying to do the best I can do to give the win to my team, trying to just compete, not try to do too much, just keep the ball down and not worry about anything," he said.
Sanchez (2-0) came out after the sixth because a cold had cost him some sleep the past few nights and the coaching staff didn't want to tire him out on a humid night in Florida.
"The weather -- that's why I got a little sick," he said. "I was playing in California [before the trade] and it was like 110 degrees, but here it's 82 and humid."
The 6-foot-3 right-hander throws a four-seamer in the mid-90s, a cutter and a sinking two-seamer, and mixes in a change-up and a slider that spins like a "Sharknado." In 16 innings for the Hammerheads, he has held opponents to a .197 batting average and posted a 1.69 ERA.
Despite the numbers, the adjustment hasn't been easy for Sanchez since changing organizations earlier this month.
"It's kind of hard to come to a new team, but I think it's a pretty good team and organization," he said. "I think I will be OK or better here. In the time I've had here I like everything -- the workouts, how they bring all the new players around. I like everything about Miami."
The third-year pro credited his defense and bullpen for making the no-hitter possible.
"The bullpen is pretty good, we have a lot of great guys in the bullpen. They keep the ball down, they're not afraid to throw strikes. They come out of the 'pen and do a good job," he said.
The 23-year-old entered the game averaging a strikeout per frame in 93 innings, but fanned only three Threshers.
"My fastball was down in the zone and when I have my fastball in the spot that I want, I just try to make them all easy all the time and not strike everyone out, just get innings," Sanchez said.
The Dominican Republic native said he wasn't aware of the no-hitter until he came out of the game.
"I really wasn't thinking about it. I was just thinking about keeping the ball down at the knees and spotting, that's where they want me to throw the ball. I was just trying to keep comfortable on mound ... mix my pitches and make one when I needed it," he said.
Suggs and Nygren combined on three perfect innings to seal the feat.
Center fielder Isaac Galloway led the way offensively, going 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Left fielder Brent Keys, Miami's No. 19 prospect, also had two hits, scored twice and drove in a pair.