Faris no-hitter over six; Alley tying single

Stephen Faris twirled magic on Monday, stifling the opposition over six no-hit innings. "I think I shook Mitch (Canham) off two or three times," Faris said. Josh Alley provides a game-tying single and has been clutch in a pinch. Jeremy Hefner struggles some, and the Storm offense is quiet.

Portland (8-4) won 2-1 over Fresno (Giants) in 10 innings

Cesar Ramos worked five scoreless frames, lowering his season ERA to 1.29. The left-hander allowed six hits and walked one while fanning two. He induced nine ground ball outs in a 87-pitch effort. The southpaw has not allowed more than a single earned run in his three starts to begin the campaign. Ramos had one such stretch last season with Portland, giving up one run over a three-game stretch from July 21 – August 1.

Josh Alley tied up the game with a two-out single in the ninth inning and Kyle Blanks' knock with the bases loaded scored Drew Macias to give Portland the win. For Alley, it was his first RBI of the season. The outfielder had been let go at the end of spring and re-signed only to head to the disabled list. He has just one start on the year but is 2-for-2 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI in three pinch hit opportunities.

Greg Burke worked two innings to earn the win, moving to 2-0 on the season. He walked two and struck out one, lowering his ERA to 1.29. Since allowing a run in his first outing, Burke has given up one hit and one walk while striking out seven over five frames. He had retired the leadoff man of every inning until issuing a walk to open the tenth.

San Antonio (5-6) won 5-1 over Tulsa (Rockies)

Stephen Faris carried a perfect game into the fifth before issuing a walk with two outs. The right-hander was lifted with a no-hitter going after six frames. He struck out five while tossing 79 pitches, including 49 for strikes. Faris had a one-hitter over seven innings on July 30, 2008 with San Antonio. Faris threw shutout ball of at least five innings in seven of his 26 starts a year ago.

"It wasn't just one pitch," Faris said of his effort on Monday. "As you know, I have been working on my changeup. Last year was the development of my curveball, and this year the focus is on the changeup and throwing it in different counts. I think it was a mix of everything. Obviously, locating the fastball – to have a good outing you have to do that every game."

Last time out, Faris allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits to this same Tulsa team over five innings.

"Mixing it up – I faced these guys last time," Faris said. "I had some bright spots in that outing and made a few mistakes here and there. I tried to minimize those mistakes this time and learned from yesterday watching some of the guys hit (while charting behind the plate). I tried to keep them off-balance."

The righty tossed a complete game one-hitter on July 17, 2007 while with Fort Wayne – a game whose lone hit was debatable and many believed it to be foul. Which one was better?

"I am confident that ball was foul," Faris said. "Our coach got tossed out and I even talked to (John) Whittleman (of the Rangers Clinton affiliate) after the game – a left-handed hitter – and he said it was foul too. That was kind of bittersweet. Both are nice. Being early in the season, our pitch count is 85 and I think I was close to 80. It was a god spot to bring somebody in. They are both nice. I wouldn't say one was better than the other. I will take either one any day."

None of it would have been possible without a gameplan and a catcher who called a good game and kept Faris in rhythm.

"Mitch and I have gotten along well," Faris said. "He hadn't caught me a whole lot since he was in big league camp. He did come up to Lake Elsinore for the playoffs when I was there but we had a little bit of time to get to know each other. We took the time to talk about each hitter along with pitching coach Steve Webber. We were on the right path – I think I shook Mitch off two or three times. Each inning we sat down and talked about each batter and what we wanted to do. It worked out for us."

Christopher Britton lost the no-hitter bid when the first batter he faced hit a sharp single to center. The right-hander allowed four hits and a run in his two innings of work, closing the game out with a double play. The last no-hitter in Missions history over nine innings came on June 9, 1984, a feat accomplished by three pitchers. The Florida native has allowed runs in four of his five outings to begin the season, yielding seven hits on 11 hits across five innings.

Craig Cooper continued his torrid pace to begin the season, collecting the lone multi-hit game for San Antonio. He was 2-for-5 and scored two runs. Cooper extended his hitting streak to six games in the process and has six multi-hit games across his first 11 contests. Despite reaching base 20 times, Cooper came into Monday having scored three times.

Lake Elsinore (5-7) lost 6-3 to San Jose (Giants)

Jeremy Hefner went five in Lake Elsinore's bid to win its fifth straight. The right-hander allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out nine. Four of the hits went for extra bases. Hefner has struck out 18 batters in his last 10 innings of work. The Oklahoma native allowed four runs or more in four of his 29 outings a season ago but has allowed four in two of his first three this season.

Cole Figueroa went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. The infielder also swiped his second base of the year for a Storm team that leads the California League in stolen bases. After starting the year with one hit in his first 17 at-bats, Figueroa has gone 6-for-19 with a modest five-game hitting streak. He also has four runs scored over his last three. Figueroa hit .289 in 32 games with Eugene last season.

Matt Teague worked two scoreless frames, allowing a pair of hits and walk while striking out two. The left-hander has given up just one run over his last 8.2 innings and has stranded four inherited runners over that span. He has held the opposition to a .167 average with runners in scoring position and has not allowed a two-out hit with runners on second or third. Teague went 7-8 with a 4.75 ERA across 108 innings splitting time between starting and relief for Fort Wayne last season.

Fort Wayne (10-0) had a scheduled day off

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