Chad Bell tossed four innings Saturday as Double-A Frisco carried a no-hitter into the eighth en route to a 13-0 romp over the San Antonio Missions.
Bell walked two and struck out one in his longest outing in the Texas League. The 23-year-old left-hander threw 29 of 50 pitches for strikes and faced one over the minimum in his first start since making the jump from the Class A Advanced Carolina League last month.
"I was just getting ahead of the hitters," he said. "I lost a couple, but for the most part my fastball command was good, my changeup was good and I got some hitters off-balance. [I was] just trying to pound the zone and stay ahead in the count."
Bell, the Rangers' 14th-round pick in the 2009 Draft, had worked exclusively as a reliever this season before Saturday. In 11 appearances between Myrtle Beach and Frisco, he's 1-0 with a 0.86 ERA, allowing 11 hits over 31 1/3 innings while striking out 28.
"We were just switching up and it happened to be me that that got the start," said Bell, who's come out of the bullpen in 54 of 66 games since turning pro. "I feel like I've been throwing the ball pretty well and I got a chance to start the game tonight. I've been fortunate enough to throw my pitches for strikes in any counts. Throwing from ahead really boosts up the confidence."
On Friday, Frisco was held hitless by Major League veteran Josh Geer until Jared Prince led off the eighth with a double. After Bell exited this one, Carlos Pimentel (4-2) walked three and struck out three over three frames while keeping the no-hit bid alive.
"That's really big," Bell said of Pimentel's outing. "Our bullpen, I feel like, had been really good, at least since I've been here. And everyone down there has a lot of confidence. The defense behind us is really good and they have confidence in our pitchers when they get out there."
Corey Young retired the first two batters in the eighth, but Jeudy Valdez pulled a pitch past diving first baseman Mike Olt for a double and the Missions' first hit.
"It was really satisfying but more than that to get a win," Bell said. "The series opener last night, we got beat and their starter threw really well. To come back and have the offense fire on all cylinders and the pitchers pitch well, it's a big win."
Joe Ortiz allowed another hit in the ninth but struck out three to complete the RoughRiders' league-leading fifth shutout.
Jurickson Profar, Texas' No. 1 prospect, was 2-for-5 with a run scored, extending his hitting streak to 29 games. Olt slugged his ninth homer and plated three runs, while catcher Zach Zaneski was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and fell a triple shy of the cycle.