The California League is known for its hitter-friendly ballparks and high-scoring games. That wasn't the case on Friday night in Bakersfield, however, as three Blaze pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter in a 3-0 win over Modesto. It was Class A Advanced Bakersfield's first no-hitter in at least two decades, as far back as the club's records go, and the first by a home team at Sam Lynn Ballpark, which dates back to 1941.
Osmer Morales started for the Blaze and was sharp, striking out seven and walking one in five innings. He retired the first 13 batters he faced before issuing a full-count free pass to Dom Nunez with one out in the fifth -- the only baserunner of the night for the Nuts.
It was the first start of the season for the 23-year-old right-hander, who posted a 0.63 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings (seven appearances) out of the bullpen for Class A Clinton before moving up to Bakersfield.
• Gameday: Bakersfield 3, Modesto 0
Isaac Sanchez replaced Morales on the mound in the sixth and extended the combined no-hit effort by striking out three over two perfect frames, while Jake Zokan sealed the feat with two strong innings of his own. The 25-year-old lefty struck out four of the six batters he faced while throwing 19 of his 24 pitches for strikes.
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Bakersfield first baseman Jay Baum kept the no-hitter intact with a dazzling defensive play in the top of the eighth inning, leaping high into the air to haul in a line drive. The Blaze then carried that momentum into the bottom half of the frame as they rallied for three runs to break a scoreless tie. Baum once again played the hero, delivering a two-out, two-run single to cap the scoring.
Mariners No. 3 prospect Drew Jackson had a solid game out of the leadoff spot for Bakersfield, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.