AFL nearly sees a no-hitter

Rusty Tucker aided the no-no bid

The Javelinas came within two outs of the Arizona Fall League's first no-hitter in 2005 on Wednesday, but lost it in a pinch. Dodgers prospect James Loney broke it up with a pinch-hit one-out homer in the ninth, but Peoria was able to hold on to beat the Phoenix Desert Dogs, 3-1 at the Peoria Sports Complex on Wednesday night.

Orioles farmhand Adam Loewen (1-0) pitched five strong innings, striking out six, walking two and got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to bounce into an inning-ending double play in the first. The southpaw also finished his night strong as he retired the last 12 batters he faced.

Relievers Ramon Ramirez (Rockies), Andy Mitchell (Orioles) and Rusty Tucker (Padres) each helped keep Phoenix hitless through the next three innings before giving way to Brian Wolfe (Brewers) in the ninth. After Tony Abreu (Dodgers) made the first out of the inning, Loney stepped in for leadoff man Josh Burrus (Braves) and hit the first pitch he saw from Wolfe over the right field fence, ending both the no-hitter and shutout.

The Javelinas grabbed the lead back in the third inning when Adam Jones (Mariners) drew a two-out walk and advanced on a balk from Desert Dogs starter Jamie Shields (Devil Rays). Corey Hart (Brewers) brought Jones home in the next at-bat with a line drive single to left. Peoria tacked on two more insurances runs in the sixth on an RBI ground out from Dan Uggla (Diamondbacks) and an RBI single by Nick Markakis (Orioles).

Shields (1-1) pitched effectively, despite getting tagged with the loss, tossing five innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out three. Saltalamacchia earned the other Phoenix hit with a two-out bloop single in the ninth.

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