Guerrieri hurls four no-hit innings for Stone Crabs

Rays No. 8 prospect allows one baserunner in his best start of the year for Class A Advanced Charlotte

Guerrieri hurls four no-hit innings for Stone Crabs

For a young pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery, success comes in small doses.

Rays No. 8 prospect Taylor Guerrieri has had strict pitch counts all season, which has left him unable to work deep into games. But he provided his best performance of the season on Thursday as he did not allow a hit while striking out six batters in four innings for Class A Advanced Charlotte. He allowed just one baserunner in four frames -- he walked Victor Cruzado in the second inning -- and struck out the side in both the first and third innings.

The Stone Crabs fell to St. Lucie, 7-2, with all of the Mets' damage coming after Guerrieri left the mound.

It's been a long couple of years for the 22-year-old. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in summer 2013, he was suspended 50 games for drug use in October of that year and missed almost all of 2014 due to a combination of the two. This year, he's been on an innings limit, but that hasn't stopped Guerreri from showing off the stuff that made him a first-round Draft pick in 2011.

The right-hander remains 1-1 after a no-decision, but he cut his ERA from 2.76 to 2.43. His K/BB line is 41-to-7 in 33 1/3 innings of work this year.

Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.