Homer Bailey fanned a season-high 11 in six no-hit frames, but it wasn’t enough as visiting Sarasota fell to Jupiter, 2-1, on Monday.
Bailey left with a 1-0 lead after the sixth inning. The right-hander tossed his most dominant start for the Reds (16-15) to date.
Just two batters reached base against Bailey in this contest. Brad McCann walked with two outs in the first and Brad Davis got aboard on catcher’s interference in the second.
Bailey’s stuff was untouchable as only two balls were hit out of the infield and his 11 strikeouts matched a career high set on August 11, 2005, while pitching for the Dayton Dragons of the Midwest League.
‘It wasn’t a whole lot of strain,” Bailey said. “I’m getting at my peak toward the end of the start. All the games I have been taken out in, I feel like I had been rolling. I was getting stronger the last two innings and starting to unwind. For the first time in a while, I felt like I had control of my curveball. All three of my pitches were working and I felt like I was able to locate them all.”
Bailey wanted to head out for the seventh, but the Reds have a strict 90-pitch limit for the 2004 first-round pick.
I saw him pitch 2-3 times last year and he never approached what he’s done in the first month of the season at Sarasota. He seems to be really maturing, which is great news for Reds fans.