When reliever David Mixon (3-1) asked San Jose manager Andy Skeels if he could start as part of an effort to rest some of the Giants rotation the idea seemed palatable, but hardly ideal.
Fast-forward a week and Mixon's second start just might have Skeels reevaluating his options for the playoff-bound Giants. The 24-year-old struck out 10 over six innings on Thursday night and combined with relievers Ryan Shaver and Rafael Cova for San Jose's first no-hitter since 2002. The trio of arms led the Giants to a 3-0 triumph over Inland Empire at Arrowhead Credit Union Park.
"That's the one thing growing up you dream to be a part of one day," Mixon said. "So tonight was just that lucky day for me. It was just great to all be part of it."
It was the eighth no-hitter in San Jose history and the first no-no in the Cal League since Inland Empire's Marlon Arias shut down Bakersfield, 2-0, on May 9, 2007.
For Mixon, the night started with a simple goal -- save his comrades in the 'pen from a heavy workload.
"I knew I had to go up there and eat up some innings," he said. "[Asking to start] was just something to break up the same routine. [And I told myself] 'Just go out there and have fun. You have one of the best defenses you ever played with behind you.'"
The Giants' gloves didn't disappoint, playing nine innings of errorless baseball.
Shaver took over for Mixon in the seventh inning and used his sinker to keep the 66ers off balance. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out two and walked two in two frames, before handing the ball off to Cova. The hard-throwing righty issued a two-out walk to Scott Van Slyke, but struck out Andres Perez to close the book on a magical night.
"I was sweating more in that ninth inning than when I was out there pitching," Mixon admitted. "I was a little tense, but Cova went out there and did his job."
The same can be said of the entire Giants squad. The 2009 club (90-46) is just the third team in franchise history to reach 90 victories and is in the midst of an eight-game win streak.
"This team is amazing offensively and amazing defensively. It's hard not to win with this team," Mixon said. "It's really good for everyone. We got it going on all eight cylinders, and hopefully we can take that into the playoffs."
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com.