28 batters stepped up to the plate for the Rome Braves (6-25) at Fluor Field, and not a single one recorded a hit Tuesday afternoon. Starting pitcher Mickey Pena, along with relievers Hunter Cervenka and Tyler Lockwood combined for the first no-hitter in franchise history, as the Drive (14-17) completed a four-game sweep with a 1-0 victory.
Pena (2-2) needed just 80 pitches to retire all 18 batters he faced over 6.0 perfect innings. The southpaw recorded a career-high eight strikeouts, fanning at least one in every inning except the top of the fifth.
Another lefty, Cervenka picked up right where Pena left off when he emerged from the bullpen in the top of the seventh, striking out the side. The bid at a perfect game, however, came to an end in the top of the eighth when Jakob Dalfonso drew a leadoff walk. But after a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Drury, Cervenka was not fazed, striking out the next two batters to end the inning.
In earning his second save of the season, Tyler Lockwood tossed a perfect ninth inning, striking out the final two batters to preserve the no-hitter. The trio of Pena, Cervenka and Lockwood combined to strikeout 14 batters in the game.
Rome's David Filak also turned in a strong performance over 7.0 innings, but was overshadowed by Greenville's hurlers. Although the Drive were limited to only three hits, it was enough for their fourth-straight victory.
With one swing of the bat to leadoff the bottom of the fourth, Keury De la Cruz belted a solo homer to provide the eventual game-winning run and extend his team-high hit streak to 11 games. The 20-year-old left-fielder added a double in the sixth inning, giving him 8 multi-hit efforts over that span.
Following an off day on Wednesday, the Drive head to Augusta, Georgia for a brief four-game road trip against the GreenJackets at Lake Olmstead Stadium. Right-hander Jason Garcia (0-1, 4.57 ERA) will toe the rubber in the opener for Greenville, as Augusta counters with right-hander Clayton Blackburn (0-2, 5.85 ERA).
The Drive return home on Monday, May 14th for a seven-game homestand, beginning with the Asheville Tourists. For more information, or to purchase single-game tickets, group outings or luxury accommodations, please call (864) 240-4500 or log onto GreenvilleDrive.com.
GAME NOTES: Attendance was 5,108...the Drive had a 6-inning, rain-shortened no-hitter on June 11, 2007 at Kannapolis...Daniel Bard through 5 hitless innings, walking 6 and fanning 4 while Ryan Phillips pitched a perfect inning in a 5-0 victory
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.