Tough scoring decisions aren't welcomed by anyone in the middle of a no-hitter. Adam Warren will probably replay a close play at first base in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game.
The Yankees' No. 11 prospect took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before allowing an infield hit and an RBI double, settling for a no-decision in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 3-1, 11-inning win at Rochester.
Warren recorded a season-high nine strikeouts and threw 108 pitches but fell short of his seventh win.
"It was a tough play, a weak-hit ball hit to the second baseman. I dunno, they gave it a hit," he said of Brian Dinkelman's ground ball with one out in the eighth. "I didn't have that going for me, they ended up getting another hit, so didn't matter much anyway. Sometimes that's baseball -- you're gonna get those hits and sometimes you hate it."
Warren allowed a pair of baserunners on walks over the first seven frames. But after striking out the leadoff man in the eighth, Dinkelman reached on an infield single. Rene Rivera followed with an RBI double to right field, tying the game and putting some closure on the disputed play.
Official scoring aside, the strikeout total was Warren's highest since he fanned 11 last Aug. 26. He set a career high with 15 strikeouts for Double-A Trenton on Aug. 18, 2010.
Warren didn't dispute the close call, finishing up the eighth before handing the ball to Cory Wade.
"I dunno, heat of the moment, it's hard to say," Warren said. "It was a close play, it's hard to argue that kinda play."
Everything was working in Warren's favor for seven innings. He said he felt confident throwing all his pitches for strikes, working seamlessly with veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli.
"I think the biggest thing was knowing every pitch and count, keeping hitters off-balance and trying to work in and out with my fastball," the University of North Carolina product said. "I think that's the one thing I'm working on, throwing anything, anytime, and I was able to execute that tonight."
Warren pitched around a one-out walk to Clete Thomas in the second and struck out two in the third before Eduardo Escobar drew another free pass. That was all Rochester could muster until the eighth against the 2009 fourth-round Draft pick.
The 24-year-old right-hander said he buckled down on the no-hitter around the sixth, when it came into better focus.
"First thing after the fourth inning, I was like, 'Hey, they don't have any hits,' but for me, I didn't get serious thinking about it until after the sixth," Warren said. "I know a lot of game was left, but there's a chance and that's when I locked in and -- I don't want to say I felt more pressure, but I focused a little more."
Warren said the strikeout total was the type of thing a pitcher realizes once his night is done.
"I'm kind of aware, but I don't know how many I have," he explained. "I know in games when I do have more strikeouts. I felt I kept hitters off-balance, and you notice them going up a bit, but I wasn't thinking about that. I'm just trying to stick to my game plan."
Warren's second full season at Triple-A has generally gone as planned with a 6-7 record and 3.74 ERA in 22 starts. The Yankees gave him a spot start on June 29, and while the Major League debut was an accomplishment, the results were lacking: He surrendered six runs in 2 1/3 innings and allowed 10 of the 17 batters he faced to reach base.
"It's been an up-and-down season, some highs and lows, and most seasons are like that," Warren said. "I felt like I'm really starting to learn and get my pitches where I want to be. It's a learning process for me, but it's fun to put it all together and try to build on it."
To that end, Warren has a month left with the road-weary Triple-A Yankees, who've been playing their home games in a variety of ballparks in upstate New York. He'd love a chance to return to the Bronx when rosters expand in September.
"It's obviously going to be on your mind once you get a taste of it," he said. "You want to get up as soon as possible for the rest of the season, but my goal is to finish strong, don't worry about what's going, just finish strong."
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre pulled out the win in the 11th when Brandon Laird singled, Melky Mesa reached on an error and Chris Dickerson lined a two-out two-run single.
Rochester starter Liam Hendriks held the Yankees to three hits over seven scoreless innings.