A slight change in his mechanics has made a big difference for Potomac Cannons pitcher Travis Held. Last night he pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, but finished with a no-decision in a 1-0 loss to the Salem Avalanche before 3,075 at Pfitzner Stadium.
Jody Gerut hit a solo home run in the eighth inning off reliever Jason Navarro.
Held lasted 6 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and no walks while striking out five. He was matched by Josh Kalinowski, who yielded five hits and one walk while striking out 10 in eight innings.
Kalinowski (7-4) entered the game as the leader in strikeouts (112) and earned run average (2.38) in the Class A Carolina League.
Held entered the game with a 1-6 record and a 5.94 ERA, but matched Kalinowski throughout.
"You don't pitch any different in a 0-0 game," Held said. "You try to get the win. It's one of those things."
Three weeks ago, Held worked with a roving instructor and repositioned his arm during his delivery from a three-quarter motion to a higher motion. He also developed a split-finger pitch and a slider to go with his fastball and curveball.
Last night, though, he said he mainly threw curveballs and a two-seam fastball. But he said the change has allowed him to get more velocity on his curveball.
Kalinowski was the 33rd-round pick of the Colorado Rockies in the 1996 draft. Last season, he went 12-10 with a 3.92 ERA and 215 strikeouts -- the second-highest total in the minor leagues. This year he was twice named Carolina League pitcher of the week.
"He worked most of his pitches away on the outer part of the plate," Cannons Manager Joe Cunningham said. "He kept us off balance all night."
PHILLIES 11, BAYSOX 1: Host Reading exploded for 11 runs in the sixth and seventh innings to win its fifth straight Class AA Eastern League game. The Baysox managed only five hits, with two coming from center fielder Luis Matos. He hit a solo home run -- his second in two nights -- in the eighth and also doubled. John Parrish (0-1) took the loss for the Baysox, giving up six runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.
WARTHOGS 7, KEYS 6: Frederick (52-20) led 6-2 after four innings, but it was not enough to prevent Winston-Salem (49-51) from winning the first of a three-game series.