Right-hander Austin Voth, the Nationals' No. 16 prospect, retired the first 18 batters he faced Tuesday and combined with reliever David Ramos for a one-hit shutout in Class A Hagerstown's 2-0 victory against Lakewood.
Voth took a perfect game into the seventh inning, only to see it broken up when Phillies No. 3 prospect J.P. Crawford drew a leadoff walk. Carlos Tocci followed with a single, ending the no-hitter. But Voth recovered to retire the next three batters and preserve the shutout.
Voth exited the game after allowing just one hit and one walk in seven scoreless innings. He struck out six batters. Ramos relieved him to start the eighth and retired all six batters he faced to earn his first save.
Voth, the Nationals' fifth-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, has dominated the South Atlantic League this season. But Tuesday still stood out as the best start of his young career, eclipsing a start last month when he allowed just one hit and one walk in six shutout innings against Hickory.
With the victory Tuesday, Voth improved to 4-3 with a 2.23 ERA. He has struck out 69 batters and walked 19 in 64 2/3 innings. He leads the SAL with a 1.02 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched), while ranking second in ERA and third in strikeouts.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less