The temperature read 99 degrees when the first pitch at LoanMart Field was thrown at 2:09 p.m. PT. There was no cloud cover and the scorching conditions accelerated Mitchell Jordan's warmup in the visiting bullpen.
The right-handed Oakland prospect carried the headstart into a six-pitch first inning and didn't let up. He allowed one hit over seven innings in Class A Advanced Stockton's 6-0 win over Rancho Cucamonga. He struck out seven, walked one and hit two batters. It was the deepest Jordan had pitched into a game and his first scoreless outing of the season.
"Everything kind of lined up and I made some good pitches when I had to," he said. "I got away with some stuff. That's just baseball."
Gameday box score
Jordan (7-5) put a runner on base in each of the next three frames, but retired the Quakes in order in the fifth and sixth. He had to wait for the latter because nine Ports batted in the top half of the inning. They worked three walks and Jonah Bride capped the big frame with a two-RBI single.
The down time gave Jordan plenty of time to ponder the fact that he was working on a no-hitter. He got a little restless. Of course, he didn't mind the offensive cushion, which began with Mickey McDonald's two-RBI triple in the second.
"I mean, you always want to score runs and that's great," the righty said. "And then sometimes you're like, 'All right, let's just do it on one pitch so we can get this thing going' when you're pitching well. Obviously, you can't complain about getting a few runs."
The A's took Jordan out of Stetson in the 10th round of the 2016 Draft. He spent first two full seasons with Class A Beloit and showed improvement in his second campaign. His ERA dropped from 5.78 the first year to 2.67 the next. His opponents' batting average fell from .317 to .239.
On Sunday, he didn't allow a hit until Devin Mann doubled to left field to lead off the seventh. The 24-year-old let up just two hits -- one being a solo homer -- over six innings his last time out. His ERA dropped to 4.57, a tick lower than where it sat before he was tagged for eight earned runs -- including five homers -- on July 4.
2019 MiLB include
Subtract that fireworks display and a seven-run, three-inning stumble in April and Jordan's ERA would be 3.53.
"I think this being my third full season, I've realized there's going to be some ups and downs," he said. "The ups can't be too up and the downs can't be too down. It's one of those things, when I get hit around a couple of times, you just gotta get back to work the next day. Same thing when I throw well. Once it's over, it's over. You just move on to the next one."
Eric Marinez finished out the game. The right-hander surrendered two hits and struck out a batter in the final two frames.