Matt Torra flirts with no-hitter in win for Durham Bulls
Twenty-four hours before Matt Torra took the mound at Durham Athletic Park, three Indianapolis pitchers combined on a no-hitter, which was the Durham Bulls' 13th straight loss.
Torra ended that streak on Monday and nearly made history for himself. The right-handed pitcher from Pittsfield gave up an eighth-inning single to Jordy Mercer to break up the bid for Torra's first-ever no-hitter. But the Bulls did get the 1-0 victory.
"It was probably around the fourth inning that it started clicking," said Torra, telling when he thought about the no-hitter. "Once you start getting through [the order] the second time, then it really starts to sink in. You do the best you can to ignore it."
Torra, now 2-2, retired the first 16 hitters before hitting Eric Fryer with a pitch. The righty retired the side in order in the seventh, but Mercer's infield single on a 2-2 pitch to lead off the eighth. Mercer had fouled off a couple of pitches and he hit a Torra slider into the hole at short.
"My shortstop [Shawn O'Malley] made a really good play on it," he said in a phone interview with The Eagle. "It was pretty deep in the hole. He beat it out by about a step-and-a-half."
Torra got two ground outs and a pop out to end his night. In eight innings, he threw 89 pitches -- 60 for strikes. Torra struck out Starling Marte looking to open the game, but didn't strike out anyone else.
"It's nice to have strikeouts, but to be efficient, I really try to pitch to contact," he said. "That was able to work for me. I was throwing strikes and they were swinging early. I didn't get too many two-strike counts. I'll take it."
In his previous start, Torra retired the first 12 Norfolk hitters before being touched up for four runs.
But after giving up the single, the Durham starter said there was no time for regrets.
"If it was something where we were winning by five runs, maybe it would have effected me a little more," Torra said. "With it being a 0-0 game and us losing 13 in a row, I knew I needed to keep my composure."
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