Sometimes you don't get the start to the year you want. That's what happened to Drew Granier. But he quickly remedied that situation Tuesday.
The Athletics farmhand gave up one hit and struck out four over six innings as Double-A Midland defeated Northwest Arkansas, 1-0.
Granier carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Justin Trapp blooped a one-out single to bcenter field. The hit threatened the 25-year-old right-hander's shutout as Angel Franco moved to third on the hit and Trapp advanced to second on the throw. Granier (1-1) got out of the jam by fanning Lane Adams and Whit Merrifield. He exited after throwing 59 of his 94 pitches for strikes.
"I had real good fastball command and I was able to move it in and out," said Granier, who walked four. "I didn't have good breaking ball command until around the fourth to the sixth. I think [the one hit] was a 1-1 count and I threw a fastball low and away, and he was out in front. It was one of them balls that was in short center field and it fell in between all of them. It's baseball."
Granier had a rough start to his season, allowing seven runs over 1 2/3 innings against Arkansas on April 3. Since then, he's allowed one run on seven hits over 10 innings for the RockHounds.
"You're all locked in to get the season going and then stuff like 40-mph winds happens," the Louisiana native said. "After that I just stuck to my plan, stayed focused, didn't get down on myself and got ready for my next start."
Granier, who finished 9-9 a season ago, was pleased to secure his first victory.
"It's nice," the University of Louisiana at Monroe product said. "It's always good to get in that win column. It's what you strive for in the season, to get your team a win."
Billy Burns delivered the game's only run, plating Beau Taylor with a sacrifice fly in the second. The tight game was fun to pitch in, according to Granier.
"It was fun," he said. "It keeps you competitive, anything can happen. You really have to be locked in, the competition is always enjoyable."
Seth Frankoff earned his third save, fanning one in a perfect seventh.
Jason Adam, the Royals' No. 9 prospect, fell to 0-2 after allowing a run on two hits over four innings for the Naturals.