Orioles minor leaguer Eddie Gamboa, pitching for Double-A Bowie, tossed a seven-inning no-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader against the Harrisburg Senators on Sunday afternoon.
Gamboa, who is transitioning to becoming a knuckleball pitcher this season, allowed three baserunners – all on walks – and struck out five in the Baysox’s 7-0 win at Prince George’s Stadium.
Over his past two starts, Gamboa has thrown 14 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit in that span, striking out 12 and walking six. Gamboa took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning during his last start a week ago.
Gamboa’s no-hitter Sunday was the ninth in Baysox history and the first since Radhames Liz's in 2007.
Gamboa (4-5, 3.48 ERA) retired the first 13 batters he faced before issuing a walk in the fourth inning. He walked just two batters after that and completed the no-hitter under heavy rain in the final inning while throwing solely knuckleballs.
“I just thought, ‘Why not?’” Gamboa said in a news release. “It’s hard enough getting a no-hitter as it is, so for it to pour and not have a grip, it really couldn’t have been tougher. The crazy thing about the last inning is it’s the only inning I’ve gone where I only threw knuckleballs. If I was going to give it up, it was going to be throwing the knuckleball.”
Currently in his sixth season in the minors, Gamboa has been working with Hall of Famer knuckleballer Phil Niekro this season trying to perfect the pitch, hoping that developing a knuckler would give him a better chance of getting to the majors. He's currently throwing about 60 percent knuckleballs.