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Gnats' Tapia loses no-hit bid in seventh
Mets prospect yields single, unearned run, strikes out eight
07/22/2012 6:29 PM ET
Domingo Tapia has recorded 62 strikeouts against 21 walks over 73 innings.
Domingo Tapia has recorded 62 strikeouts against 21 walks over 73 innings. (Savannah Sand Gnats)
Domingo Tapia is known for a four-seam fastball that peaks in triple digits. But his slower sinker is leading him to success.

Relying on his developing secondary offerings, the Mets' No. 10 prospect took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and allowed just one hit and an unearned run while striking out eight in Class A Savannah's 5-1 win over Rome.

"I was trying to pitch to contact," he said through teammate and translator Luis Rojas, "working with my sinker and changeup."

Tapia (5-2) walked the first batter of the game. Braves center fielder Tony Mueller stole second, took third on a passed ball and score on a groundout. The 20-year-old right-hander struck out his next three batters and wouldn't allow a hit until left fielder Robby Hefflinger started the seventh with a single into left field.

"I threw a sinker first pitch that he fouled off, changeup for a ball, then a sinker that he grounded through the 5-6 hole," said Tapia, who walked two batters and plunked another.

That falling fastball helped Tapia rack up 10 groundouts.

The native of the Dominican Republic last took a no-no deep into a game when he hurled 5 2/3 hitless innings on May 10. Was he aware of the zero on the scoreboard this time around?

"No. I was locked in on getting outs," he said. "I didn't realize I had a no-hitter going."

All told, Tapia has fashioned a 3.45 ERA in 14 South Atlantic League starts. This is his first full season after New York signed him as a non-drafted free agent in February 2009. Where does Sunday's start rank?

"I have had some good ones," he said.

Braves starter Fabian Williamson (0-2) gave up four runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings.

Cole Frenzel had two hits and two RBIs for Savannah, which has taken 11 of 14 meetings from Rome this season.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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