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Mudcats Nearly No-Hit in 2-1 Loss to Astros

June 13, 2018 - Carolina League (CarL) - Carolina Mudcats News Release

BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Buies Creek starter Cristian Javier tossed six no-hit innings and struck out five while leading the Astros to a series clinching 2-1 victory versus the Mudcats on Wednesday night at Jim Perry Stadium.

Javier (1-0, 1.00) earned the win for the Astros (36-29) in what was his first start of the season with Buies Creek. He was recently called up from Low-A Quad Cities and went on to stifle the Mudcats (30-35) while working through the sixth on 90 pitches,

Javier did walk the leadoff batter in both the second and third, but escaped both innings unscathed. In all, he walked three, hit one and struck out five all while no-hitting the Mudcats through the sixth.

Reliever Abdiel Saldana followed Javier and would eventually lose the no-hit bid after giving up a single to Luis Aviles Jr. in the seventh. Carolina managed to get two men on base in the seventh, but Saldana went on to get through the inning without allowing a run. He later gave up a run scoring single to Tucker Neuhaus in the eighth, but would finish with just the one run allowed on three hits over two innings.

Saldana also finished with three strikeouts and earned his first hold before giving way to Colin McKee (S, 2) who went on to retire the side in order in the ninth while earning the save.

Devin Williams started for Carolina and worked through two and 1/3 innings with five strikeouts. He left during the third after reaching his pitch limit and with two runners on base. Reliever Alec Kenilvort followed and went on to allow one of the two he inherited to score on a RBI groundout by Osvaldo Duarte.

The Astros led 1-0 after three and later added one more run in the sixth after putting together a rally against reliever Nathan Kirby, who had taken over in place of Kenilvort in the fourth.

Kirby went on to work through two scoreless frames before allowing a two-out RBI single to Luis Payano in the sixth while seeing the Astros take a 2-0 lead in the game. Kirby allowed just the one run on three hits, walked two and struck out four in the game for Carolina.

Reliever Alec Crawford pitched the seventh and ended up striking out two while pitching for the first time since May 19. Phil Bickford later worked the eighth and pitched around a hit and a walk while striking out two in a scoreless frame.

Carolina answered with their lone run in the eighth, but that would be all as they lost the final game of the series. The also lost the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader and ended up losing the series two games to one. Carolina will next head to Myrtle Beach at just 1-2 in their first half concluding eight game road trip.

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