Chattanooga left-hander Alberto Bastardo knew he had a no-hitter going in the seventh inning on Monday night, but he wasn't disappointed when he surrendered a double to Mobile's Ed Easley that broke up his bid .
"I feel good because they have good hitters too," Bastardo said. "I'm just trying to throw strikes. I got lucky."
Bastardo (3-3) allowed one hit and two walks while striking out seven over seven innings. He threw 66 out of 98 pitches for strikes as the Lookouts blanked the host BayBears, 7-0.
"I was focused on my fastball command," Bastardo said. "I feel like I have control with every pitch. Mike Rivera, the catcher, he called [pitches] very well and we played good defense."
Rivera and Bastardo mixed in sliders and cutters, with an occasional curveball or changeup. The changeup was the pitch Easley hit.
"I left it right over the middle and he hit the ball very well," Bastardo said.
The 26-year-old Venezuelan walked Brian Byrne in the second and seventh and Easley reached on a fielding error by third baseman Corey Smith in the fourth.
It was the best start of the year for Bastardo, who has been working on spotting his pitches.
"[The organization] tells me I have to work on my fastball command, and I'm working on the cutter too," said Bastardo, who throws 88-91 miles per hour. "They told me I gotta use my cutter and slider inside for righties and outside for lefties, so that's what I'm working on."
Bastardo made it to Triple-A Albuquerque for one outing last year, but spent most of the season with Class A Advanced Inland Empire and Chattanooga. He finished a combined 12-5 with a 4.00 ERA in 28 games (27 starts).
The Dodgers are Bastardo's second organization. He signed with the Orioles as a non-drafted free agent in 2002 and spent a season in the Rookie Appalachian League. He was released by the Orioles after the 2005 season and signed with the Dodgers in January '06. He was a midseason All-Star in the California League last year.