The scene was a familiar one for Luis Mendoza: Summer heat in Oklahoma City and a no-hitter through seven innings. This time, however, he couldn't pull it off.
The Royals farmhand ended up allowing one hit over seven-plus innings against his former team Saturday as the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers beat the RedHawks, 7-1.
Mendoza (6-3) pitched a no-hitter for Oklahoma City on Aug. 14, 2009 against Salt Lake. Pitching in the same stadium on Saturday, he put two men on base in the opening inning as Luis Durango reached on second baseman Johnny Giavotella's throwing error and Drew Locke walked. But he retired the 10 consecutive batters through the fourth.
The 27-year-old right-hander issued three more walks but was aided by inning-ending double plays in the fifth and sixth. Only six outs away from another no-hitter, he walked J.R. Towles leading off the eighth before Anderson Hernandez dropped a 1-0 pitch in front of center fielder Jarrod Dyson for a single.
Manager Mike Jirschele lifted Mendoza after 98 pitches. He struck out five, walked four and was charged with an unearned run after an error proceeded Oswaldo Navarro's sacrifice fly.
Jeremy Jeffress followed with two hitless innings to finish off the Storm Chasers' win.
A native of Mexico, Mendoza has pitched in the Major Leagues with the Rangers and Royals. He's spent time in the Pacific Coast League each of the past four seasons. This year, Mendoza has a 2.53 ERA in 24 games, including nine starts, for Omaha. He's been better as a starter, logging a 2.06 ERA.
Mendoza remained unbeaten since May 20, when he allowed five runs over five innings against Las Vegas.
David Lough keyed the Storm Chasers' 12-hit attack, going 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.