McCray throws six hitless innings

Nathan Moreau pitched a no-hitter a little more than a month ago. Former Parkview teammate Stephen McCray almost matched him on Sunday.

McCray, a 16th-round draft choice by the White Sox in June, threw six hitless innings for Great Falls against Helena in the rookie Pioneer League. The right-hander had thrown just 61 pitches, but didn't get to try for the no-hitter because he had been working out of the bullpen and wasn't stretched out yet.

The former Tennessee pitcher made his first start for Great Falls last Tuesday, working four innings in a no-decision. His first 11 appearances for the Montana team were in relief.

McCray, 22, improved to 3-2 with the victory over Helena and he lowered his ERA to 2.76. He has 33 strikeouts to 12 walks in 322/3 innings.

Two runners reached against McCray, one on an error and the other after being hit by a pitch. He struck out six and walked none, but the Great Falls bullpen was not able to keep the no-hitter going in a 9-4 victory.

"I got accustomed to being in the bullpen, but I always prefer to be the starter," McCray told MLB.com.

McCray was 10-7 in two seasons at Tennessee, posting a 3.04 ERA in 14 starts as a senior. He started his college career at Young Harris and helped lead the team to the Junior College World Series as a freshman.

Moreau, who was drafted in the 11th round by the Orioles in 2008 after his junior year at Georgia, tossed a nine-inning no-hitter for Frederick on June 30 in his first start after being promoted from lower-level Class A Delmarva. The left-hander struck out six and walked none, allowing two Salem runners reaching on errors.

Moreau, 23, is 5-5 with a 3.79 overall this season in 22 games, 13 of them starts. He has 94 strikeouts to 32 walks in 901/3 innings.