Fisher, Hauff combine for no-hitter, but lose

In the realm of tough losses, it doesn't get much tougher than this. On Wednesday afternoon in Arizona, the AZL Royals' Brent Fisher took the loss despite striking out 11 batters while not allowing a single hit or walk.

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In fact, the only baserunner allowed came in the fourth inning, when with one out, Fisher was charged with a throwing error on a ball hit back to him by the AZL Cubs' Valerio Heredia. Heredia then stole both second and third base, and he scored on a sacrifice fly, which was one of only two balls that Fisher let out of the infield.

Michael Hauff relieved Fisher in the seventh inning and threw two perfect frames to preserve the eight-inning no hitter. The Royals couldn't muster much offense of their own, and were shut out on just four hits while losing the game, 1-0. CF Derrick Robinson went 2-for-4 with his second double in as many days, and his batting average has now crept back up to .230.

It will be interesting to see how much longer Fisher stays in Arizona. Drafted by the Royals out of high school in the 7th round last year, Fisher had an outstanding debut with the AZL Royals (5-2, 50.1 IP, 48 H, 13 BB, 69 K, 3.04 ERA), and most observers expected him to earn a promotion to either Idaho Falls or Burlington at the outset of this season.

However, a less-than-impressive performance in extended spring training prompted a return to the Arizona Rookie League. Of course, he's been even more dominant this year through his first six starts. In 31 innings pitched, Fisher has allowed only 14 hits and six walks (0.65 WHIP) while striking out 38 batters, and his ERA now stands at 2.04.
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