SAN FRANCISCORighthander Clay Hensley didnt need to throw a perfect game to get the attention of the Giants. But after doing it, he has a lot more teams attention as well.
The 23-year-olds perfecto was a seven-inning gem, the second game of a doubleheader for low Class A Hagerstown. He struck out 10 and got 11 groundballs in the 2-0 victory over Kannapolis.
Hensley, an eighth-round draft pick in 2002 out of Lamar, went 7-0, 2.53, striking out 84 in 82 innings in his pro debut at short-season Salem-Keizer.
"He has the stuff to throw a no-hitter," farm director Jack Hiatt said. "On given nights, he has unhittable stuff. It doesnt surprise me that he did what he did. A perfect game does surprise me. Quite a bit of luck is involved to throw a perfect game."
Hensley went to instructional league after last season and walked a few more hitters than the Giants would prefer. But he reported to spring training throwing a lot of strikes and continued that this year for Hagerstown.
Hensley was 3-1, 3.27 in 44 innings. He had 48 strikeouts, 36 hits allowed and 15 walks.
"His control has been the key for him," Hagerstown manager Mike Ramsey said. "Hes a real competitive kid. He goes after batters."
Hensley differs from the Giants other pitching prospects in that hes only 5-foot-11. But he delivers results. He throws an overhand fastball that hits 92-93 mph on the radar gun, an overhand 12-to-6 curveball, a cut fastball and a good changeup.
"His cutter is terrific," Ramsey said. "Thats a pitch with a lot of movement. He keeps it down in a good spot."
Well-traveled Double-A Norwich closer Matt Montgomery has gotten off to a hot start in the Eastern League. Montgomery saved nine games and was 2-1, 1.26. Montgomery was a 22nd-round pick by the Dodgers in 1997 out of Long Beach State. He pitched in the Pirates organization last year and was signed by the Giants last December as a minor league free agent.
Righthanded reliever Matt Palmer allowed no hits over eight innings in six appearances for Hagerstown. For the season, Palmer was 3-0, 0.41 with six saves in 22 innings. Opponents were hitting .057 against him.
Previous organization report: Cody Ransom
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