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Rain can't wash Wilson's no-no away

Southpaw key in Indians no-hitter for second time this season
August 10, 2012
Justin Wilson made it through eight innings without allowing a hit Thursday night, and then it began to rain.

It rained so much, in fact, Wilson wound up with a no-hitter after all.

The Triple-A Indianapolis left-hander worked struck out five and walked one before the ninth inning was called off due to the weather, giving the Indians a 3-0 win over the Charlotte Knights.

It was the second time he was involved in a no-hitter this year, as three Indianapolis hurlers combined on one on April 29. Wilson carried the load that day as well, going 7 1/3 innings before handing off to Jose Diaz and Doug Slaten.

Tossing one all by himself, though, had a bit of a different feel to it for the Pirates' No. 8 prospect.

"A start like this is one to keep in my mind for a while," Wilson said. "It's a relief to get back to [pitching that way]. I'd had some struggles as of late, and I'm happy to get on the mound and perform like this."

The 24-year-old had to wait out a rain delay and hope to get back out for the ninth to finish what he started. Instead, it wound up lasting long enough to simply finalize the no-hitter.

"I didn't know if it was going to rain for 10 minutes or a couple hours, you go with the flow at that point," he said. "I went to go try and stay loose. Once they looked at the radar and saw how much rain was coming, they shut me down. I didn't want the rain to come in, but then I found out it was official in the clubhouse. It was great.

"I got a pie thrown in my face," he added.

Wilson took a perfect game into the seventh before walking Dewayne Wise with one out. He gave much of the credit for his feat to catcher Tony Sanchez.

"Tony Sanchez was outstanding behind the plate. They played great defense all around, but I can't say enough about Tony. He was putting down the right fingers," said the 2008 fifth-rounder. "Of course you want to go nine, I wanted to keep what I was doing going, but I mean you can't fight Mother Nature."

The no-hitter came at a particularly opportune time for Wilson. Since July 1, he had posted a 5.69 ERA in seven starts -- his most difficult stretch of the season.

After Thursday's effort, the Fresno State product is 9-5 with a 3.88 ERA over 125 1/3 innings. His 126 strikeouts rank second in the International League and he's walked 64. He's also tied for eighth in wins.

Sanchez, Pittsburgh's No. 6 prospect, drove in two of the Indians' three runs. Yamaico Navarro added a triple, a double and scored twice.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to