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Fulchino Throws Six Hitless Frames


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07/23/2006 1:31 AM ET

'Topes Fulchino throws six hitless frames

Tempers flare on steamy night in New Orleans

By Eric Justic / Special to MLB.com

 

 

 

Jeff Fulchino tossed six hitless innings to win for the first time in nearly three months as the Albuquerque Isotopes topped the New Orleans Zephyrs, 9-1, on Saturday in a game that featured five ejections.

Fulchino (3-7), who had lost six straight decisions since May 6, allowed one run, walked three and struck out six. The right-hander has given up more than two earned runs in only one of his last nine appearances.

 

The 2001 eighth-round draft pick of the Marlins wanted to establish the inner half of the plate against the Zephyrs. Fulchino was mostly successful, although he hit three batters. That had tempers flaring on a sticky night at Zephyr Field.

 

"It's pretty much crazy that it was a no-hitter and we were having a beanball war," Fulchino said. "You don't expect to have something like that go on in the middle of a no-hitter."

 

The ejections occurred over the final four frames in the sixth straight meeting between the teams. Isotopes center fielder Eric Reed was tossed after striking out in the sixth. Zephyrs reliever Chris Booker and pitching coach Steve McCatty were thrown out after Booker fired three inside pitches to Robert Andino to begin the seventh.

 

"I think it started last night," Fulchino said. "They hit one of our guys, we hit one of theirs. They warned both sides.

 

"And today I had a few balls get away from me. I hit three guys, so I'm sure they weren't too happy about it, so they went after Andino. They were intentionally trying to hit him and throwing balls high at his head."

 

Fulchino gave the ball to Wes Wilkerson after throwing 100 pitches. Wilkerson retired five straight batters before hitting Marlon Byrd with two outs in the eighth. Wilkerson and Isotopes manager Dean Treanor were ejected after Byrd was plunked.

 

Josh Stewart came in and gave up an infield single to George Lombard before retiring the next four batters to complete the one-hitter. Three Isotopes also combined on a one-hitter in a 1-0 loss to Portland on May 6.

 

The 26-year-old Fulchino allowed just two base runners over the first five frames. He walked Brandon Harper in the second and hit Josh Labandeira in the third.

 

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound right-hander kept the no-hitter intact despite throwing 31 pitches in the sixth. He hit two batters and walked two. Henry Mateo scored the Zephyrs' only run on a passed ball. Fulchino stranded three runners by retiring Harper on a flyout.

 

"I was tiring a little in the sixth. I started to think about the no-hitter and wasn't making my pitches," he said. "I also hit a double in the top of the inning, so I was tired from running the bases. That and it being such a hot muggy day definitely didn't help."

 

Tom Wilson was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a season-high five RBIs for Albuquerque (49-52). His three-run double highlighted a four-run sixth before the Isotopes tacked on four more in the seventh, with Wilson singling in two.

 

New Orleans starter Andrew Good (4-7) was charged with five runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking one.

 

Nelson Figueroa finished up with two scoreless innings for the Zephyrs (51-50).

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For Fulchino to have a sub 4 ERA in that league is something! Maybe he'll get another shot when rosters expand. He's always posted solid minor league numbers.

 

No doubt, absolutely no reason not to call him up. And Stokes; and Garcia.

woah.... slow down there on Garcia

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For Fulchino to have a sub 4 ERA in that league is something! Maybe he'll get another shot when rosters expand. He's always posted solid minor league numbers.

 

No doubt, absolutely no reason not to call him up. And Stokes; and Garcia.

woah.... slow down there on Garcia

 

 

I don't want to see Garcia until 2007 unless we have an injury. I want Garcia to remain a starter.

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For Fulchino to have a sub 4 ERA in that league is something! Maybe he'll get another shot when rosters expand. He's always posted solid minor league numbers.

 

No doubt, absolutely no reason not to call him up. And Stokes; and Garcia.

Pff! Jeff will call Joe and tell him when he is coming up. Man that guy is so huge, I can't wait for the next bench clearing when he is in the majors :D

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If Borowski is in fact moved and everyone moves up a notch that will probably create an opening for Fulchino, or perhaps Garcia.

 

I think Jeff has a leg up on some of the others because of the innings he's thrown the last year or so. That experience may make up for whatever less talent he has, real or perceived, compared to Garcia.

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