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01/21/11 8:51 PM EST

Abad has no-hit stuff in Dominican playoffs

Astros left-hander retires first 16 batters, remains unbeaten

Astros left-hander Fernando Abad continued his dominant season in the Dominican Winter League on Friday with a near-perfect outing in Game 3 of the Championship Series.

Abad tossed six hitless innings as the Toros del Este edged the Estrellas de Oriente, 2-1, to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-9 Finals.

After going 3-0 in 10 regular-season Winter Ball appearances, Abad improved to 4-0 in the playoffs. He's pitched 19 scoreless innings, allowing only eight hits and three walks while striking out 17.

Making his first start of the Championship Series, the 25-year-old retired the first 16 batters before former Major Leaguer Edwin Bellorin reached on third baseman Danny Richar's error in the sixth. Abad retired the next two batters on ground balls before Toros manager Dean Treanor went to his bullpen.

Braves prospect Jairo Asencio tossed two perfect innings, but Phillies farmhand Michael Martinez broke up the no-hitter with a one-out double in the ninth off big league veteran Julio Manon. The Toros' shutout bid ended moments later when Manon's wild pitch scored Bellorin, who'd drawn a leadoff walk.

A member of the Astros organization since 2002, Abad went 4-3 with a 2.35 ERA in 19 games between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Round Rock last season. He made his Major League debut on July 28 against the Cubs and ended up going 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 22 relief appearances for Houston.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.