On a day of spectacular starting pitching across the Arizona Fall League, Glendale right-hander Alex Meyer shone the brightest under the nationally televised Friday night lights.
Meyer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and outdueled Scottsdale starter Kyle Crick for a 1-0 victory at Scottsdale Stadium. The win was Glendale's fifth shutout of the fall, one shy of the AFL record.
Meyer (No. 31) was one of four pitchers ranked on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list who started Friday in the AFL. He and Crick (No. 42) were joined by Salt River right-hander Aaron Sanchez (No. 20) and Surprise left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (No. 84). Sanchez threw five no-hit innings earlier in the day, though he also allowed an unearned run.
Meyer made sure the best performance was saved for last. The Twins' No. 3 prospect struck out seven and walked one batter in 5 2/3 innings, the longest start by any pitcher in the AFL this year. Meyer didn't give up a hit until Addison Maruszak doubled with one out in the sixth inning.
Friday was the longest Meyer has taken a no-hitter into a game in the Minor Leagues or in college. It was even sweeter to do it in the AFL against some of the top prospects in the Minor Leagues, he said.
"They're the best lineups that I've ever faced," Meyer said. "My defense played good behind me and my catcher, Chris O'Brien, he called a good game. When you have that stuff going for you, it makes it easier and more fun and enjoyable."
One of Meyer's goals in the AFL is to make up for the innings he missed when a shoulder injury sidelined him for two months this summer. So he was especially happy to be efficient enough to reach the sixth inning.
"They told me my pitch count would be high tonight," he said. "For me to be able to go out there and throw that many was good."
Meyer threw 76 pitches Friday.
But even once Meyer left the game with two outs in the sixth, things didn't improve much for Scottsdale. The Scorpions managed two more hits, but couldn't break through for a run against Desert Dogs relievers A.J. Achter, Chris Bassitt and Nick Wittgren.
Despite the scant offensive support, Scottsdale's pitching staff kept the game close. Making his first start since Oct. 22, Crick allowed one hit and no walks in three scoreless innings. The Giants' top prospect struck out five batters and now has 19 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings this fall.
Glendale broke through for the game's lone run in the seventh inning against right-hander Jeurys Familia. Corey Seager led off the inning with a single and eventually came around to score on a two-out hit from Brent Keys.
With Meyer putting zero after zero on the scoreboard, the Desert Dogs didn't need any more offense. They had seven hits, including two from Meyer's fellow Twins prospect, Max Kepler.
Meyer said he was a little wild at the start of the game, but eventually settled into the game and had all three of his pitches working against the Scorpions.
"My fastball was really good for me today," Meyer said. "I was kind of effectively wild early on, but then I was able to settle down. My changeup was good for me and my curveball was good, too. When I have all three going, it makes it easy."