Carlos Pimentel has a simple plan of attack when he gets two strikes on a hitter -- bring the heat. If that fails, get them with the breaking ball.
Pimentel carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished with eight strikeouts over seven innings in the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders' 1-0 win over the host Springfield Cardinals on Thursday.
"I felt great. I had my command and I threw well," Pimentel said. "Everything was working, my fastball, my slider and my changeup. I used my slider a lot today and I threw my changeup when I was behind in the count.
"[0-2 or 1-2] I like to come with a fastball away. Then if that does not work, I come back with a slider. I was aggressive and I attacked the hitters."
The 23-year-old right-hander issued two walks and threw two-thirds of his 90 pitches for strikes in improving to 6-1.
Pimentel worked around Ruben Gotay's two-out walk in the first inning and he used a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play to erase Xavier Scruggs' free pass to lead off the second.
After that, the native of the Dominican Republic cruised. He retired 13 batters in a row -- including striking out the side in the fifth. Mike O'Neill broke up his no-hit bid with a ground ball to center field with two out in the sixth, but Pimentel set down the final four batters he faced before turning over a 1-0 lead to his bullpen.
"He hit a slider," Pimentel said of O'Neill's base hit. "Every time I had two strikes on him, I came in with a fastball. I thought he would guess fastball again so I threw a slider and he got it. It was low, but he got it.
"If I got [the no-hitter], I got it. If not, then not. After, [my teammates] said congratulations."
On Thursday, Justin Miller struck out two batters in the eighth and Wilmer Font worked around a pair of walks in the ninth to pick up his seventh save and seal the one-hitter.
First baseman Brett Nicholas singled home the only run of the game with an RBI single to left field in the sixth.
Springfield starter Tim Cooney (2-1) allowed a run on four hits and a walk while striking out seven batters.