Henry Owens showed Thursday why he’s considered the top pitching prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization.
Owens tossed a six-inning no-hitter as the Portland Sea Dogs — the Red Sox’s Double-A affiliate — kicked off their 2014 season with a rain-shortened, 5-0 victory over the Reading Fightin Phils. Owens struck out nine and walked two over six no-hit innings before Thursday’s contest was called because of rain.
Owens’ no-hitter — which goes in the record books as a complete-game no-no — is the first in the Sea Dogs’ history as a Red Sox affiliate. The Sea Dogs were a Marlins affiliate before becoming part of the Red Sox system before the 2003 season.
Owens, who did not allow a ball out of the infield Thursday, entered the 2014 season as the Red Sox’s No. 2 prospect behind shortstop Xander Bogaerts, according to Baseball America and MLB.com. The 22-year-old left-hander, who was named the Red Sox 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, went 11-6 with a 2.67 ERA between High-A Salem and Portland last season.
Mookie Betts and Blake Swihart — two other highly touted Sox prospects — powered Portland’s offense Thursday. Betts drilled a leadoff home run as part of a 4-for-4 effort, and Swihart went 2-for-3 with an RBI triple.