The Los Angeles Dodgers won’t receive many headlines despite their special achievement Friday night in Monterrey, Mexico. Albert Pujols will get most of those after delivering his milestone 3,000th career hit in Seattle. But it was a significant night nonetheless as four pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter in their 4-0 win against the San Diego Padres in the Mexico Series opener.
Rookie Walker Buehler, who was making only his third career start, did the heavy lifting. He fired six hitless innings, a couple of which came during a downpour. He also needed 93 pitches, which was not a pace manager Dave Roberts was comfortable with. Roberts elected not to extend the 2015 first round pick, pulling him in favor of his bullpen.
Unlike multiple previous occasions where Roberts was forced to defend pulling a pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter or perfect game that ultimately fell apart, this time it worked out.
Veteran left-hander Tony Cingrani pitched the seventh inning, allowing one runner to reach on a walk. He also came the closest to allowing a hit when Matt Szczur’s blooper landed just foul. Right-hander Yimi Garcia set San Diego down in order in the eighth inning. In the ninth, it wasn’t Kenley Jansen who got the call because he’d pitched in three straight games. Roberts instead turned to lefty Adam Liberatore, who finished the job with a spotless frame.
The no-hitter was the 23rd in Dodgers franchise history, and the 13th since the team moved to Los Angeles. Despite that storied history, it was the first combined no-hitter by a Dodgers team.
It’s the second no-hitter in MLB this season. Sean Maenea of the Oakland Athletics pitching the first against the Red Sox on April 22. It’s the 12th combined no-hitter in MLB history, and the first since six Seattle Mariners pitchers no-hit the Dodgers on June 8, 2012.
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