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Indy nearly twirls second no-no of season

Four Pirates pitching prospects wind up combining on one-hitter
Cam Vieaux retired nine consecutive batters for Triple-A Indianapolis without yielding a hit. (Scott W. Grau/
April 27, 2022

After laying claim to the first no-hitter of the year, Triple-A Indianapolis came within two outs of the second one. Instead, the Indians settled for a most unconventional one-hit shutout.

After laying claim to the first no-hitter of the year, Triple-A Indianapolis came within two outs of the second one. Instead, the Indians settled for a most unconventional one-hit shutout.

Despite yielding nine walks, four Indianapolis pitchers combined to hold Iowa hitless over 8 1/3 innings before capping off a 4-0 blanking of Iowa at Principal Park on Tuesday night.

"Guys just go out there and compete," first-year Indians pitching coach Dan Meyer said. "It's a good group of guys, talented group of guys, who are always willing to get better and to learn and to execute the gameplan. And credit to our catchers too. The catchers do a great job behind the plate to call a great game and lead them in the right direction.

"Tonight was a little too many walks than you like to see, but it was a little cold out there, so that happens. But it was good to see us limit the damage and get some weak contact. They have a filthy lineup over there and I thought we did a great job of keeping them under control."

The I-Cubs' lone hit of the game came on P.J. Higgins' seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield. The ball zipped between third baseman Rodolfo Castro and shortstop Oneil Cruz.

"Obviously, there is some disappointment there when you see that, of course," Meyer said. "But you just give them some credit, that's a good hitter, and the ball just found a hole and got through. And at that point, you just worry about winning the ballgame."

Right-hander Yerry De Los Santos quickly shut the door after that, coaxing John Hicks into a weak ground ball to second before punching out Trent Giambrone on four pitches. De Los Santos worked around a one-out walk and needed 18 pitches to navigate through the ninth -- 10 were strikes.

"De Los has been great all year," Meyer said. "He's a back-end guy and has one heartbeat when he comes in. Big situations do not scare him at all. He closed out our first no-hitter. You put him in any tough situation and he gets better. He couldn’t have done a better job for us this year so far."

Osvaldo Bido got the bid started for the Indians. The right-hander bent but never broke, yielding five walks and needing 70 pitches to get through 3 2/3 frames. Bido, first baseman Mason Martin and Ji-hwan Bae combined to pick off Robel Garcia to prevent Iowa from having a runner in scoring position in the second. The only time the Cubs had a runner on second during the 26-year-old's outing was after Donnie Dewees successfully swiped the bag with one out in the fourth. But he was stranded there when Bido fanned Garcia and lefty Cam Vieaux came on to record the final out.

Vieaux settled things down, retiring the first nine batters he faced -- striking out one -- before walking Higgins on six pitches with two outs in the seventh. The 28-year-old exited after tossing 36 pitches -- 25 for strikes -- and earned his first victory of the season.

"Cam was about as efficient as you could be, and that really helped us get some momentum," Meyer said. "He just came in, got ahead, threw strikes and got early contact, weak contact, and I think that got us in a zone. Those were quick innings and helped us find our rhythm in the game and that always goes a long way. That was huge for us."

Eric Hanhold took the ball from there and got Hicks to line out to short to end the frame. Handhold worked around a leadoff walk in the eighth by sitting down the next three Indians hitters, whiffing a pair, to keep the no-hit bid intact through eight.

"Everybody is different, but we really emphasize pounding the zone early. Get strike one," Meyer said. "Especially with the pitch clock here, we want to get ahead right away, strike one, and get the hitters on the defensive. Working quickly also keeps the defense in the game and helps everyone find a good pace. We want our pitchers to just attack guys and keep the defense in the game."

Martin's RBI triple in the first proved to be the only offense Indianapolis needed. The 24th-ranked Pirates prospect is batting .328 with 15 extra-base hits and 14 RBIs through 16 games this season.

Taylor Davis drove in a pair of runs with a single to center in the fourth and a sacrifice fly to left in the eighth, and 13th-ranked Pirates prospect Travis Swaggerty worked a bases-loaded walk to account for the Indians' offense.

Rob Terranova is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobTnova24.