Pitching in South Carolina for the first time since departing Clemson a year ago, Lakewood's Kevin Brady felt right at home.
Brady tossed five no-hit innings Tuesday afternoon, striking out five and walking five, as the BlueClaws blanked the host Greenville Drive, 4-0. Relievers Nicholas Hanson and Delvi Francisco closed out the two-hit shutout, the first of the season, for Lakewood.
The 22-year-old Brady notched his first victory of the 2013 campaign after going 2-3 with a 1.90 ERA with the GCL Phillies and Williamsburg Crosscutters last year. He came into Tuesday's tilt with an 0-2 record and 4.70 ERA, largely due to a rough outing against Kannapolis on April 7. Brady had allowed just two earned runs on seven hits over 12 innings in his previous two outings.
Brady didn't make it easy on himself. After a perfect first inning, he issued leadoff walks in each of the next four frames. In the second, Drive right fielder Aneury Tavarez reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch with just one out. Brady avoided damage by fanning David Chester and getting Drew Turocy to pop up.
Catcher Chace Numata was a big factor in keeping Greenville off the board. Numata picked Jordan Weems, who had opened the third by drawing a walk, off first base and later threw out Jose Vinicio to end the fourth after the Drive shortstop wandered too far off second.
Lakewood got on the board with three runs in the third thanks to three singles, a walk and a throwing error by Greenville center fielder Jose Colorado. BlueClaws left fielder Larry Greene drove in a pair with a two-out single to right.
The BlueClaws added a fourth run on William Carmona's single in the ninth. Second baseman Angelo Mora went 3-for-4 for his third multi-hit outing in his last four games.
Brady departed after the fifth, having thrown 87 pitches -- just 41 for strikes.
Reliever Nicholas Hanson took over for Brady in the sixth and retired the first four batters he faced before Greenville right fielder Aneury Tavarez grounded a 1-0 pitch through the hole into left for the first Drive hit. Numata later threw him out attempting to steal second.
Jordan Weems added a second hit for the Drive in the eighth, and Lakewood's Delvi Francisco put two men on via a walk and hit-by-pitch in the ninth, but Greenville was unable to push a run across. Tavarez and Chester struck out swinging to end the game.
Hanson was charged with two hits over three innings, striking out five without issuing a walk. Francisco pitched the ninth for his fifth consecutive outing without allowing an earned run.
Greenville's Pat Light, a first-round pick by the Red Sox last June, fell to 1-1 with the loss. He gave up three runs -- two earned -- on three hits and a walk over five frames. The 6-foot-5 right-hander struck out four.
The win kicked off a seven-game Carolinas road trip for the BlueClaws, who have two more games at Fluor Field before heading to Asheville for a four-game set. Greenville, having lost five straight, is home for the next six days to close out the month.