It's not too often that a pitcher will look at an innocuous second-inning single and wish he had that at-bat back. But on Thursday, it turned out to be the only mistake standing between Aaron Miller and a place in the record books.
Miller tied his career high with 10 strikeouts and the Double-A Lookouts did not allow a baserunner after the second frame as three Chattanooga pitchers combined to one-hit the Jacksonville Suns in a 1-0 shutout.
Selected by the Dodgers in the first round of the 2009 Draft, Miller surrendered one hit and three walks over five innings. Red Patterson fanned a pair of batters across three perfect frames, and Shawn Tolleson struck out the side in the ninth to seal the win.
Texas native Miller walked two batters in the first inning, but a double-play ball and an inning-ending strikeout helped the left-hander escape unscathed.
Kyle Skipworth then recorded the only hit off Miller with one out in the second -- a line drive to right field -- but he was stranded in scoring position as Miller went on to retire the final 11 batters he faced.
Chattanooga's relief corps was equally stingy, and between Miller and the 'pen, the Lookouts set down the final 23 batters in order.
Left fielder Kyle Russell's solo homer in the top of the fourth -- his first longball of the year -- proved to be the sole run of the contest.
Miller's outing stood in contrast to his first start of the season, during which he allowed one run on five hits and a walk through 2 2/3 innings but didn't factor into the decision against the Tennessee Smokies.
The 24-year-old's 10 strikeouts matched a personal best last achieved with Class A Advanced Inland Empire in a 4-3 loss to Rancho Cucamonga on April 9, 2010.
On Thursday, Jacksonville starter Zach Neal took the hard-luck loss in his season debut. He allowed a run on two hits while striking out two batters and without a walk over six innings.
The last time the Lookouts tossed a no-hitter was in 1996 when Travis Buckley went the distance in a 6-0 shutout of Huntsville.