Heading to the mound to start the ninth inning, Kyle Lloyd knew what he had to do. He needed only nine pitches to get it done.
The Padres prospect pitched Double-A San Antonio's first complete-game no-hitter in 38 years as the Missions blanked Frisco, 2-0, on Saturday at Nelson Wolff Stadium. It was the first San Antonio no-no of any kind since James Needy, Frank Garces and R.J. Alvarez combined on a 6-0 win over Corpus Christi on July 30, 2014.
Video: Missions' Lloyd finishes no-hitter
Lloyd (4-3) faced one batter over the minimum through five innings. The right-hander allowed two baserunners over that span as Eric Aguilera walked in the second and Isiah Kiner-Falefa reached on a dropped third strike in the fifth. At that point, he began to notice the zero on the scoreboard under Frisco's hit column.
"Probably after the fifth. That's when you're over halfway through," Lloyd said. "I saw it every inning after that, that's for sure."
Gameday box score
Lloyd set down the RoughRiders in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth. The California native relied on his sinker to goad Frisco into a career-high 17 groundouts.
"I didn't throw one four-seam fastball, I just threw all sinkers today," he said. "My splitter was working, too, later in the count. Sometimes I wouldn't get the swing and miss I wanted, but I would get a little contact on the ground and the defense was there to pick me up."
2017 Minor League milestones
The 26-year-old entered the ninth with one goal in mind.
"I obviously knew what was going on," Lloyd said. "I was just trying to tell myself to keep pounding the zone, try to work ahead and just keep making the pitches."
After retiring Michael De Leon on a grounder to short and Matt Lipka on a fly ball to center, Lloyd faced RoughRiders leadoff man Scott Heineman. The Rangers' No. 24 prospect attacked Lloyd's first pitch and lifted a fly ball that right fielder Franmil Reyes squeezed for the final out.
"Luckily, he swung at the first pitch and got under it," Lloyd said. "We went with what we had done earlier against him, first-pitch slider and try to throw a good one low and away. Fortunately, he got under it enough and didn't get all of it and Franmil was there to camp under it and catch it."
Lloyd was mobbed by teammates on the mound. They showered him with water before breaking off to give him individual hugs and offer personal congratulations. The 2013 29th-round pick said the celebration felt like a blur.
"Everybody just ran after me," Lloyd said. "It's one of those things where you kind of black out and see everybody, but that's all you see. I was in the middle, I was wet and then I don't know what happened."
Nick Torres blasted a solo homer for and Ty France singled twice and drove in the Missions' other run.
Frisco starter Collin Wiles (3-1) took the loss after giving up two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four over seven innings.