Red Sox top prospect Owens flirts with no-hitter
Red Sox top prospect Henry Owens had his no-hit bid broken up with two outs in the eighth inning Thursday, but Double-A Portland held on to defeat New Hampshire, 8-2.
Owens threw seven hitless innings before running into trouble in the eighth. It began when he walked the first two batters of the inning. After getting the first out, he was then hit in the hip by a line drive. Though a run scored, shortstop Deven Marrero was able to record an out on the play.
After being checked on by the trainer, Owens stayed in the game. But the next batter, third baseman Andy Burns, broke up the no-hitter with a two-out RBI double.
Burns' double also knocked Owens out of the game. The hurler threw 96 pitches in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters and allowed two runs on one hit and five walks.
With Thursday's victory, Owens, ranked No. 28 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list, improved to 4-2 this season. He has a 3.61 ERA and 41 strikeouts compared to 18 walks in 42 1/3 innings.
Owens is no stranger to no-hitters. He began the season with a no-no on Opening Day against Reading. That game, however, was shortened to six innings by rain. He also was a part of a combined no-hitter last season at Class A Advanced Salem. He threw six hitless innings in that game as well, before turning the ball over to the bullpen for the final three innings. That game was part of a three-start stretch in which he didn't allow a hit over 19 1/3 innings.
Thursday was expected to be a pitchers' duel between Owens and Blue Jays No. 1 prospect Aaron Sanchez. But the Sea Dogs got to Sanchez early, scoring three runs on two hits and three walks in three innings. A high pitch count in the third inning ended his night early.
Sanchez, ranked as the No. 21 prospect in baseball, threw 53 pitches and struck out two batters. He has a 3.05 ERA in 38 1/3 innings this season.