Miguel Pena, Hunter Cervenka and Tyler Lockwood combined for a piece of history on Tuesday. The three Greenville pitchers worked the first nine-inning no-hitter in Drive history in a 1-0 win against the Rome Braves.
Pena did most of the work as he worked six perfect innings before handing the ball to the bullpen. From there, Cervneka pitched two hitless innings, although he did give up a walk to Rome first baseman Jakob Dalfonso that ruined the perfect game. Lockwood pitched a perfect ninth to finish off the no-hitter.
It was the best start of what has been an excellent beginning for Pena. A sixth-round pick of the Red Sox last year out of San Jacinto (Texas) JC, Pena's fastball usually sits at 90 mph, touching 92. He gets many of his outs off of his plus cureball and he can also throw his slider and changeup for strikes. He's not an overpowering pitcher, but as a lefty with four useful pitches and an understanding of how to setup hitters, he's proving too good for the South Atlantic League, as his 29-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio attests.
The Drive's only run came on a home run by left fielder Keury de la Cruz. It was de la Cruz's fifth home run of the season, which is only one short of his career high. A 5-foot-11, 170-pounder when he signed, de la Cruz has bulked up to 200 pounds nowadays and now shows average power to go with an all-fields approach that helps him hit for average.
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