Durham, NC – Jeremy Hellickson tossed 8.0 shutout innings allowing only one hit as the Bulls edged Pawtucket 1-0. A second inning solo shot by Ryan Shealy proved to be the difference as Hellickson was nearly flawless to earn his league leading seventh win of the season.
Hellickson was perfect through six innings of work, but a leadoff walk to Tug Hulett ended his bid for perfection to start the seventh. The end of the no-hitter came one inning later, as Aaron Bates took a fastball the opposite way to right for a leadoff single in the eighth.
The 23-year-old righty induced 10 ground ball outs to go along with five strikeouts on the night, not allowing the PawSox hitters to get the ball in the air as he blazed through the lineup. With the eight shutout innings tonight, his ERA drops to 2.88 in 10 starts this season.
Hellickson is no stranger to a near no-hitter, as it marks the second time in his Bulls career he has one-hit an opponent through 8.0 innings. On August 30, 2009, Hellickson struck out 12 in a masterful performance over Gwinnett which also took place at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Shealy was the offensive star of the night for the Bulls, as he tagged a Kris Johnson offering to dead center field for his eighth home run of the year. The blast would prove to be the difference, as Winston Abreu came on to work a perfect ninth inning for his third save of the season.
The win improves the Bulls to 25-20 on the season, increasing their lead in the Southern Division to 5.0 games over Gwinnett. The two teams conclude the series tomorrow as LHP Heath Phillips (3-4 4.58) takes the hill for the Bulls against RHP Michael Bowden (1-2 6.03) for the PawSox. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.