Bailey Fires No-Hitter

Homer Bailey made history last September when he tossed the first no-hitter for the Reds since Tom Browning's perfect game in 1988. Last night he repeated history and became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter this season and nearly had a perfect game in the Reds 3-0 win over the Giants.

Last September 28 Homer Bailey threw a no-hitter against the Pirates. Tuesday he did something no other pitcher has done since that day: throw another one. A single walk preventing him from matching Tom Browning's feat in 1988 of tossing a perfect game as the Reds prevailed 3-0 over the visiting Giants. They took an early lead when Sin-Shoo Choo led off the first inning with a double, advanced on a bunt, and scored on a sac fly. Brandon Phillips added insurance in the sixth inning with a two-run home run. Choo was a frequent flyer on the base paths with two hits and a couple of walks in the game. Phillips reached safely with a walk in addition to his homer.

Bailey needed 109 pitches to accomplish the feat, 76 of which were strikes. He also punched out nine strikeouts along the way while lowering his ERA to 3.57 and WHIP to 1.07. This season he's had to deal with low run support as the Reds offense scored two runs or fewer in half of his fist sixteen starts and last night's win brought his record up to 5-6. His outing matched his current season strikeout rate of 9 per nine innings which is the sixth highest among NL pitchers. Considering such a low WHIP it's no surprise that he's working on the best K/BB ratio of his career which is now at 4.27.

Bailey is coming off a breakout season after posting the first sub-four ERA, 200+ innings, and double digit win totals in his career. He made his debut with the Reds back in 2007 and it's easy to forget that he turned 27 years old just last month. The Reds have had high hopes when they drafted him in the first round with the seventh overall selection in the 2004 draft. After going through a learning curve at the MLB level he's becoming the pitcher they have envisioned.

In retrospect some of the struggles he experienced earlier were probably more a product of promoting him to the parent team too early. Unlike today the Reds were competing with some lean rotations during his first years and there was pressure to pull him into MLB action before he was ready. There were also some nagging ailments along the way and he never made more than 22 starts in a season before last year. Last season he was a member of a quintet of workhorses as the Cincinnati rotation did not miss a start all season long and Bailey, along with two other members of it tied for the lead league with 33 games started.

The next time Bailey takes the hill he'll once again go after as second no-hitter in a row, a feat accomplished only once in MLB history by the Reds Johnny Vander Meer in 1938. He followed up his first one with four shutout innings in a final, abbreviated outing as manager Dusty Baker prepped his rotation for the postseason. In the meantime the Reds will hand the ball to Tony Cingrani as they go for a sweep over the Giants Wednesday at Great American Ball Park. Should the two teams meet again in the playoffs Bailey will be a handy man to have. Going back to last year's playoffs he's allowed only one run on one hit in sixteen innings while striking out nineteen with only two walks over his last two outings against the 2012 champions.

Down on the Farm:

Louisville failed in their attempt to climb back to .500 as they lost 4-1 at home to Indianapolis. The Bats lineup totaled only two hits in the game including a solo home run by Denis Phipps. Chad Reneike turned in a quality start, but took the loss from allowing two runs on six hits and three walks over six innings while striking out seven. The outing brought his ERA down to 3.11 on the season.

Pensacola lost a three-run lead when they allowed two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings in their 6-5 loss at Jacksonville. The Wahoos took an early lead from a solo homer by Devin Lohman in the first inning. They retook the lead with a four-run rally in the fourth inning that was highlighted by a Travis Mattair triple. The fish lineup totaled five hits in the game with Donald Lutz, Marquez Smith and Danny Vicioso each reaching safely twice via a hit and a walk. Daniel Renken got no decision from a quality start, allowing two runs on five hits in six-plus innings. Drew Hayes entered in the eighth and was charge with two runs while finishing it for the loss.

Bakersfield allowed runs early and often and never really challenged in their 12-1 loss at Lancaster. The Blaze offense combined for only three hits in the game. Starter James Allen allowed six runs in only one inning pitched for the loss.

Dayton's home game at Bowling Green was postponed due to wet grounds.

Billings opened up a four-run lead with three-runs in the fifth inning and held on for a 4-2 win at Missoula. Avain Rachal hit a two-run homer in the rally after Ronald Bueno doubled home a run. Previously Bueno plated the first run of the game with a sac fly. Austin Salter got the start and threw three perfect innings with four strikeouts. Layne Somsen allowed two runs in one-plus innings that had good timing for the win. Joe Mantoni entered in the eighth and was not charged with a run while finishing the game for the save.

The AZL Reds scored a run in the sixth to cut their deficit to one but allowed six in the seventh in their 10-1 loss at the AZL Giants. The Reds totaled only four hits in the contest with Jose Fernandez drawing two walks. Jeremy Kivel got the start and held the Giants to two runs (one earned) in five innings, but that was enough to charge him with the loss.

The DSL Reds had an off-day and will host the DSL Padres on Wednesday.

The DSL Rojos allowed three in the fifth in their 5-1 loss to the visiting DSL Pirates2. The Rojos had only five hits with Francis Azcona reaching twice with a single and a walk. Starter Israel Cuevas was lifted in the fifth inning and charged the loss for allowing five runs (four earned).

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