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Davis tosses second no-hitter

Unlike first gem, Devil Rays' prospect gets the win
May 4, 2007
With his family in attendance, Wade Davis pitched his second career no-hitter and the first in the 27-game history of the Vero Beach Devil Rays.

And this time, he actually won the game.

After pitching a no-hitter and losing in his final start last season, Davis led the Devil Rays to a 4-0 blanking of the Jupiter Hammerheads and a split of Friday's doubleheader at Roger Dean Stadium.

"Well, it's definitely nice to win one for once," Davis said. "It was pretty good, too, with my family and my girlfriend in the stands."

The Davis clan traveled more than two hours from Lake Wales, Fla., to see Wade on the mound, and he did not disappoint.

Davis retired the first seven batters he faced before Steve Gendron reached on second baseman Hunter Vick's error in the third inning. But Gendron was caught stealing and Davis faced the minimum into the sixth, when Lorenzo Scott Jr. drew a two-out walk.

As Davis hung seven zeroes on the scoreboard, he extended his scoreless streak to 15 innings. The 21-year-old right-hander struck out six while mixing in a sharp curveball with a sinker that coaxed seven ground-ball outs.

"This game was a little different [than the last no-hitter] because I felt that my stuff was sharper," said Davis, Tampa Bay's third-round pick in the 2004 draft. "I had much better command of my fastball and the sinker had great movement. Our defense was pretty locked in, too, so I was pretty confident that they would be able to get to pretty much anything."

In the seventh, Jupiter's Brett Hayes led off and nearly dunked a single into short right field. But Vick was able to get back on the ball and keep it from falling in.

"My heart rate was definitely going on that play," Davis admitted. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried on that play. Thank goodness [Vick] was there."

In his previous no-hitter, Davis walked two over seven innings against Class A Beloit. But he was responsible for the game's lone run as his throwing error allowed Yancarlos Ortiz to reach base in the fourth. Ortiz stole second, took third on another throwing error and scored on a sacrifice fly.

In Friday's contest, Davis lowered his ERA to 1.73, which ranks third in the Florida State League. He's also tied for third with 34 strikeouts and has limited opponents to a .175 batting average.

Vero Beach (12-15) also struggled at the plate, getting held to one hit before Rhyne Hughes led off the seventh with a single. Four batters later, Jackson Brennan came up with the bases loaded and ripped a two-run double. The Devil Rays scored two more runs on a wild pitch.

Hammerheads starter Aaron Thompson (1-2) battled control problems as he walked five over 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with four runs -- three earned -- on three hits while striking out four.

Jupiter fell to 12-16.

Michael Echan is a contributor to