Mendoza hurls controversial no-hitter

Leadoff two-base error in ninth inning mars his second no-no

Luis Mendoza has not lost a game since May 20 for Omaha. (Wendy Eagan/

By Robert Emrich / Special to | July 18, 2011 10:34 PM

(Editor's note: Two days after the game, the Pacific Coast League declared the ninth-inning error to be a double, giving Luis Mendoza a complete-game one-hitter.)

An air of mystery surrounds Luis Mendoza's second pro no-hitter. Namely does he have one or not?

Mendoza fanned seven, but a play originally ruled an error on left fielder David Lough in the ninth marred the celebration over his second career no-hitter as Triple-A Omaha beat Memphis, 4-0, on Monday.

Mendoza (7-3), who walked four, appeared to have lost his bid for history in the bottom of the ninth when Tyler Greene hit a line drive to left field that bounced off the glove of a leaping David Lough. It was ruled a two-base error by the scorer, and Mendoza recovered by inducing a foulout and a groundout before whiffing Andrew Brown to end the game after 118 pitches.

After the game, Memphis' official scorekeeper changed the call to a double, but that decision was reversed because Omaha would not agree to the change. But one still could be made. According to Pacific Coast League rules, if a team or a scorer requests that the league review a play, there could be additional action taken to recommend or even make a change.

The Mexican native appeared to be winding down in the eighth, issuing leadoff walks to Matt Carpenter and Bryan Anderson. But Mendoza bounced back to strike out Pete Kozma and Adron Chambers before getting James Rapoport to ground out to first.

Mendoza came close to Omaha's first no-hitter in 23 years in his last start, taking one into the eighth inning on July 9 against Oklahoma City before allowing a single. As a member of the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the 27-year-old right-hander no-hit Salt Lake on Aug. 14, 2009.

That makes Mendoza one of 10 pitchers in the PCL's 109-year history to throw two no-hitters in the league and one of five to have gone nine innings in doing so. He and Tacoma's Dick Estelle (1964-'65) are the only pitchers on the circuit to have thrown two nine-inning no-nos in the past 95 years.

Mendoza began the year in the Storm Chasers bullpen, where he was 2-2 with a 3.34 ERA in 15 appearances. He was put into the rotation for good on June 6 and has responded to the move, going 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 10 starts.

Clint Robinson provided all the offense Mendoza would need with a two-RBI single and Jarrod Dyson was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

Adam Ottavino (3-6) took the loss after allowing a run on five hits over four innings for the Redbirds.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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