Colin Rea took a no-hitter into the eighth inning July 12 in leading the Fukouka Soft Bank Hawks to an 8-0 home victory over the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound right-handed pitcher from Cascade, allowed two hits, struck out eight, walked three and hit a batter in the complete-game performance. Fukouka gave Rea all the offense he needed with a three-run bottom of the first inning.
Rea improved to 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA after tossing his first complete game and his first shutout of the season. In 40 innings of work covering six outings, Rea has allowed nine earned runs on 22 hits, struck out 38, walked 13 and hit three batters.
Fukouka (37-36) sits in fourth place in the six-team Pacific League standings. The Hawks are the defending champion of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan’s major leagues.
Because of Japan’s coronavirus-related travel ban, Rea missed the team’s spring training and the start of the regular season.
In January, Fukouka signed Rea to a one-year contract with a team option for a second season.
He went 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 14 innings covering nine outings for the Chicago Cubs last season, his first at the MLB level since requiring Tommy John surgery following a 2016 campaign split between San Diego and Miami. Rea struck out 10 and walked two while filling a variety of roles — from starter to long relief, and even closer — with the Cubs.
Rea spent much of last season in South Bend, Ind., at the Cubs’ alternate site, which provided depth for the big league club. Minor League Baseball did not hold a season because of the coronavirus pandemic, making the alternate sites necessary to develop players.