August has been a good month for minor league no-hitters – there have been approximately 412 so far (that might be a slight exaggeration), with three more added to the list on Saturday.
In the Arizona League, three Athletics pitchers combined to hold the Angels hitless – payback, perhaps, for August 14, when the Angels did the same to the A’s. There was only one problem: the Angels won both games.
Hector Garcia started and went five innings, striking out five and walking two. One of those walks came in the fifth, to the leadoff batter, who advanced to second on a passed ball, to third on a groundout, and to home on another groundout.
After Christopher Mederos pitched two perfect innings, Daniel Tenholder got the call. He pitched a perfect eighth, but in the ninth, two consecutive errors and an intentional walk loaded the bases with nobody out. The end was anticlimactic: a walk-off walk to Randal Grichuk. So I guess, technically, it was an eight inning no-hitter.
The outcome of the Northwest League game between Salem-Keizer and Everett was a bit more traditional. Three Volcanoes pitchers combined for the no-hitter, but these guys managed to win the game, 8-0. Craig Westcott went the first five, striking out six and walking two to run his overall record to 6-0 between two levels (he also has 51 strikeouts in 33.1 innings), before turning things over to Brandon Graves and Wilber Bucardo for the last twelve outs.
The finest performance of the day was turned in by Erie’s Thad Weber. Weber went the full nine innings against Akron, striking out ten without walking a batter. Only a third inning error and an eighth inning hit batsman stood in the way of a perfect game. His teammates made it easy for him, scoring seven runs in the fourth en route to a 16-0 drubbing of the visiting Aeros.