Yankees RHP Jonathan Loaisiga struck out eight batters in 5 1/3 scoreless innings in Monday's 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Making his third MLB start after being promoted from Double-A Trenton to replace the injured Masahiro Tanaka, the 23-year-old Loaisiga (2-0) took a perfect game into the fifth inning and a no-hitter into the sixth, retiring the first 12 batters he faced.
"He had some confidence out there," catcher Austin Romine told reporters after the game. "I could see him in a groove, he just got the ball and executed pitches."
After walking Carlos Santana to lead off the fifth, Loaisiga kept his no-hitter intact by getting two groundouts and a strikeout to end the inning. But in the sixth, Jorge Alfaro ended Loaisiga's no-hit bid with a single to right field. Loaisiga walked pinch hitter Aaron Altherr to put two runners on with nobody out.
He induced a Cesar Hernandez groundout and was replaced by David Robertson, who struck out Rhys Hoskins and got Odubel Herrera to ground out to keep the Phillies off the board.
"I would have had to answer a lot tougher questions if he hadn't given up that hit because he was coming out" manager Aaron Boone said, according to Newsday's Erik Boland. "We were hoping to get him through that sixth."
Loaisiga threw five scoreless innings in his MLB debut on June 15 but struggled in his last start, allowing three runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Seattle Mariners last Wednesday.
He rebounded on Monday. Loaisiga retired Philadelphia's 1-3 hitters in all seven at-bats, striking them out five times.
"He's got a lot of swing and misses on his slider, there's a lot of depth to that pitch," Romine said. "I think his changeup is working really well to keep him honest on all three. He was working in and out."
Though Loaisiga's strikeout-to-walk ratio in the MLB (18-to-8) is significantly worse than it was in 45 innings with High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton (58-to-4), his K/9 rate has remained on par (11.57 in the majors, 11.6 in the minors).
"He's got life on his fastball ... he had good stuff," Romine said. "He battled, he challenged them early, he was attacking the zone, it was really good stuff. ... I think he pitched really well for the situation."