MINNEAPOLIS -- Almost perfect. That was right-hander Brooks Pounders as he pitched a no-hitter for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Royals' Double-A afilliate, to stifle the Midland RockHounds, 11-0, on Thursday night at Springdale, Ark.
Pounders retired 27 of 29 batters. The only baserunners came on a third-inning error and a fifth-inning hit batsman. Pounders struck out six, using 98 pitches, including 70 strikes.
It was the third no-hitter in Naturals' history, but the first by just one pitcher. Will Smith threw seven no-hit innings and Kelvin Herrera finished the job with two perfect innings on July 19, 2011, against the Arkansas Travelers. Greg Holland, on a rehab assignment, threw one inning of a May 10, 2012, no-hitter against the Springfield Cardinals. Chris Dwyer followed with 6 2/3 hitless innings, while Brendan Lafferty and Kendal Volz combined to get the last four outs.
Pounders, 22, was acquired by the Royals after the 2011 season from Pittsburgh for infielder Yamaico Navarro. Pounders has a 3-4 record and a 4.02 ERA in 18 games (10 starts).
Missouri's Majors count adds Twins' Gibson
MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Missouri clan in the Major Leagues is growing with Saturday's addition of Kyle Gibson, who'll start for the Twins against the Royals. It's Gibson's big league debut.
A right-hander from Greenfield, Ind., Gibson went to Mizzou and was a teammate of Royals reliever Aaron Crow for the 2007-08 Tigers. Both Crow and Gibson were first-round choices in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, going 12th and 22nd overall, respectively.
"He throws a lot of strikes, got a fastball, curveball, changeup and slider, but I haven't seen him pitch since college," Crow said. "But he used to pound the strike zone, sinkers in and out. Used all his pitches."
While Crow was an All-Star as a rookie in 2011, Gibson's arrival in the Majors was delayed by Tommy John surgery in September 2011, but he returned to pitch 13 Minor League games in 2012. This year with Triple-A Rochester, Gibson was 7-5 with a 3.01 ERA and had two shutouts.
Crow said the other Mizzou products in the Majors are pitchers Max Scherzer of Detroit, along with second baseman Ian Kinsler and pitcher Nick Tepesch of Texas for a total of five.
"That's pretty good. I don't know of too many other schools that have that many, so it's something to be proud of," Crow said.
Paulino scratched from Sunday rehab stint
MINNEAPOLIS -- Pitcher Felipe Paulino's return to his Minor League injury rehab assignment has been delayed. He was supposed to pitch on Sunday for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, but that's been scrubbed.
"He's not going to pitch on Sunday," Royals manager Ned Yost said on Friday. "He developed some shoulder tenderness after the sim game, so they're just evaluating. He's going to go day by day. It's nothing serious, just more precautionary than anything."
Paulino originally was reported to be OK after his simulated game on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. He's coming back from Tommy John surgery almost a year ago.
Guthrie fine despite some bruised fingers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie took a sharply-hit batted ball off the fingers on his right hand in Thursday night's 3-1 loss to the Twins, but isn't expected to miss his next start.
"They're a little bruised right now, a little swollen, but he'll be fine for his next start," manager Ned Yost said before Friday's contest against the Twins. "He got through the game fine."
The incident occurred in the first inning, not the sixth as previously reported.
Royals release veteran left-hander Sherrill
MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander George Sherrill, a longtime Major Leaguer, was released on Friday by the Royals' Triple-A Omaha club.
Sherrill, who was recovering from Tommy John surgery on May 4, 2012, has played with Seattle, Baltimore, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta in a nine-year big league career. He appeared as a reliever in 442 games with 56 saves, a 19-17 record and a 3.77 ERA.
For Omaha, Sherrill pitched in 21 games with a 6.23 ERA and one loss in 21 2/3 innings.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.