Jose Capellan was three outs from immortality. But Jeff Clement had other ideas.
Capellan nearly pitched the first individual no-hitter in Colorado Springs Sky Sox history in the nightcap of Sunday's doubleheader at Security Service Stadium but left the game after Clement's leadoff home run in the seventh.
"Nobody ever wants to be no-hit," Clement said. "I treated that at-bat like it was the seventh game of the World Series."
The Sky Sox won 6-1, giving them a split of the twinbill after the Rainiers prevailed 11-7 in the opener as Bryan LaHair slugged two homers against Greg Reynolds before 6,072 fans.
"I just wanted to throw a good game," Capellan said. "I have one no-hitter in my life."
That was in 2004 at Class A Myrtle Beach, the same season Capellan - now 27, and a native of the Dominican Republic - made his debut with the Atlanta Braves.
"I faced him (in 2004) when he was throwing 100 (mph) with the Braves," said Sky Sox catcher Humberto Cota, who was with the Pirates. "He's like a big bear out there, just having fun."
Capellan allowed two walks to Tacoma - one to Clement, a .364 hitter who was the third pick in the 2005 draft - as the Sky Sox built a 6-0 lead.
Sky Sox manager Tom Runnells replaced Capellan immediately after Clement's homer.
"I stretched him a little more than we wanted maybe," Runnells said, "but he said he was strong and ready to go in the seventh so we gave him a shot at it."
The only no-hitter in Sky Sox history was a combined effort by Chris Gissell (seven innings) and Jesus Sanchez (two innings) in a 3-0 victory at Nashville on Aug. 2, 2003.
The Sky Sox (6-5) and Rainiers (6-4) conclude their series tonight at 6:05.
Ring ceremonyAbout one-third of the Sky Sox roster will receive National League championship rings before today's game for their contributions to the Rockies' pennant in 2007. Rockies owners Charlie and Dick Monfort will participate in the on-field ceremony at approximately 5:30 p.m. ... The NL championship trophy will be on display through the fifth inning today, on the concourse down the first-base line.