He found a way to make it even better once he took the mound.
The Giants prospect tossed six hitless innings, striking out seven and walking five, as Double-A Richmond held on for a 2-1 win at Altoona.
It was his second no-hit outing in four starts, after holding Harrisburg without a knock for seven frames on Aug. 8.
Kickham (11-10) said that his previous gem had little bearing, however, on Friday's performance.
"I didn't really think about the no-hitter at all," he said. "My pitch count was up and I knew I wasn't going to the full nine. The no hits just kind of happened along the way. I only wanted to keep the lead intact, even though I was struggling."
A no-hitter for a half-dozen innings may not seem to present many problems, but Kickham's five walks tell a different story. He issued free passes to three of the first eight batters he faced, something that had him worried over the opening two frames.
"I wasn't really doing a good job of slowing myself down," Kickham said. "I was kind of flying open with my shoulder on my [pitching] arm side, and that was something I kind of struggled with. I knew that early on, but I did my best to try to battle it out."
The 23-year-old left-hander retired 11 of his final 14 batters, four on strikeouts, and exited after throwing 58 of 103 pitches for strikes.
"With five walks, not much seemed to go right out there," he said. "But I feel like I made pitches when I had to, and I was telling myself that all walks do is put a runner on first base. It's not a double or a triple and you're not putting guys in scoring position.
"I got some strikeouts when I needed to, and the defense picked me up, too. It can be tough when the pitcher's not filling up the strike zone, so I was happy they helped me out there."
Although Friday marked the second time in three weeks that Kickham didn't give up a hit, he surrendered nine runs on 14 hits over 8 2/3 innings in his last two starts. To go from very hittable to fairly dominant in just one outing, the Missouri native knew what had to be his main goal.
"It pretty much comes down to being effective and keeping the ball down," said Kickham, who recorded seven ground-ball outs. "I didn't really do that in my last starts and seemed to have an issue with leaving the ball up. That leads to extra-base hits, and those can really kill an outing. But tonight it was all about keeping the ball down."
With the win, Kickham lowered his ERA to 2.91, which ranks third in the Eastern League behind teammate Chris Heston (2.12) and Portland's Steven Wright (2.44). He's second in the circuit with 132 strikeouts over 142 1/3 innings, trailing only Phillies' top prospect Trevor May (137).
Those numbers led to the aforementioned honor on Friday. And with only two regular-season starts left, Kickham had nothing but positive feelings about his third Minor League season.
"I'm happy with it," he said. "In regards to the ERA, I haven't had one below 3.00 in the pros, so that's pretty reassuring. The strikeouts, I've never had problems with racking those up, but I guess the walks are my only real blemish. I know it's a learning process, though, and I feel like a much better pitcher now than I was a year ago, for sure."
With a 2-0 lead, Richmond's no-hitter ended when Jeremy Farrell greeted reliever Chris Wilson with a leadoff double in the seventh. Jarek Cunningham followed with a bunt single and Kelson Brown bounced into a double play to produce the Curve's lone run.
Daryl Maday worked around a hit and a walk in the ninth to record his 11th save.