The Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals got a nine-inning no-hitter from Will Smith and Kelvin Herrera on Tuesday night, matching the one thrown by Triple-A Omaha’s Luis Mendoza a day earlier.
Smith, who was picked up from the Angels in the Alberto Callaspo deal a year ago, threw seven hitless innings before his pitch count forced him from last night’s game. The 22-year-old struck out five and walked two. The walks came back-to-back to start the sixth inning, but an Alberto Rosario grounder to third turned into a triple play, bring a quick ending to the frame.
He was replaced in the eighth by the 21-year-old Herrera, who was part of the World team in the Futures Game last week. Herrera finished up with two perfect innings and now has a 1.91 ERA and a 39/3 K/BB ratio in 33 innings out of the pen for the Naturals.
Smith, who got the win, is 8-7 with a 3.93 ERA.
The day before, Mendoza pitched his second career Triple-A no-hitter, this one coming against Memphis. The 27-year-old sinkerballer inproved to 7-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 10 starts and 15 relief appearances for Memphis. He hasn’t been so successful in his trials in the majors, giving up 92 runs — 79 earned — in 84 1/3 innings. Most of those came with the Rangers in 2008.
Update: So much for this. The PCL on Wednesday overturned Mendoza’s no-hitter awarding Tyler Greene a double on a ninth-inning ball that was originally ruled an error.