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Pino anchoring Columbus Clippers’ no-hit brigade

Columbus Clippers pitcher Yohan Pino has proven to be the prospect that the Cleveland Indians had been looking for when they acquired him in a trade from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Carl Pavano.

After a win on Sunday, Pino has a team-best 4-0 record this season. He leads the team in strikeouts with 28, and has a 3.68 ERA.

Pino began pitching in the Indians’ farm system in September 2009. He has pitched in five games, earning a 6-0 record with the Clippers.

Pino features a fastball in the 90 mph range, a curveball that drops down to the mid-70 mph range and a changeup.

In a win last Tuesday against the Charlotte Knights, Pino overcame a rough first inning to quiet the Knights’ bats and collect his third win of the season.

Jason Donald, second baseman for the Clippers, was pleased with Pino’s performance against the Knights.

“Innings like that happen,” Donald said. “He hasn’t had any innings like that in 2010. The whole year, he has kept us in ball games. He’s done a great job, and he’s a guy that deserves the run support that he received tonight. He’ll be the first to tell you that he didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but it was good enough to get through five innings and get to the bullpen to finish it up for us.”

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Pino had four appearances with the Cleveland Indians during spring training. He had a 1-0 record with a 4.22 ERA, striking out nine batters in 10.2 innings pitched.

Pino is still a young prospect at age 26.

“If you look at our rotation, there are a lot of young arms including Carlos Carrasco, Hector Rondon, Jeanmar Gomez and Yohan Pino,” Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “We’ve got some really good-looking young arms in the starting rotation and in the bullpen.”

Pino has been impressive since he stepped into the starting rotation with the Class AA New Britain Rock Cats in 2009.

Pino has made 18 straight starts without missing an outing with the Rock Cats, Rochester Red Wings and Clippers.

In those 18 starts, Pino has a 10-2 record with 100 strikeouts.

Pino is one of the Clippers’ three starting pitchers that have pitched a no-hitter. Pino tossed his no-hitter on June 30, 2007, while pitching for the Fort Myers Miracle. Carrasco threw a no-hitter on Aug. 13, 2007 for the Reading Phillies, and Gomez threw a perfect game on May 21, 2009 for the Akron Aeros.

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