Santana pitches Angels' first no-hitter since 1984
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CLEVELAND — Ervin Santana pitched the first solo no-hitter for the Angels in nearly 27 years, getting some long overdue revenge against the Cleveland Indians and leading Los Angeles to a 3-1 win Wednesday.
Santana struck out and 10 and allowed only two runners — there was an error on the leadoff batter in the first inning and a walk in the eighth. Just once was Santana's gem in jeopardy and second baseman Howie Kendrick's nifty play saved it in the sixth.
Most Recent No-Hitters, Team-by-Team
Baltimore — Bob Milacki (6 innings), Mike Flanagan (1), Mark Williamson (1) and Gregg Olson (1) vs. Oakland, 2-0, July 13, 1991
Boston — Jon Lester vs. Kansas City, 7-0, May 19, 2008
Chicago — x-Mark Buehrle vs. Tampa Bay, 5-0, July 23, 2009
Cleveland — x-Len Barker vs. Toronto, 3-0, May 15, 1981
Detroit — Justin Verlander at Toronto, 9-0, May 7, 2011
Kansas City — Bret Saberhagen vs. Chicago White Sox, 7-0, Aug. 26, 1991
Los Angeles — Ervin Santana at Cleveland, 3-1, July 27, 2011
Minnesota — Francisco Liriano at Chicago White Sox, 1-0, May 3, 2011
New York — x-David Cone vs. Montreal, 6-0, July 18, 1999
Oakland — x-Dallas Braden vs. Tampa Bay, 4-0, May 9, 2010
Seattle — Chris Bosio vs. Boston, 7-0, April 22, 1993
Tampa Bay — Matt Garza vs. Detroit, 5-0, July 26, 2010
Texas — x-Kenny Rogers vs. California, 4-0, July 28, 1994
Toronto — Dave Stieb at Cleveland, 3-0, Sept. 2, 1990
Arizona — Edwin Jackson at Tampa Bay, 1-0, June 26, 2010
Atlanta — Kent Mercker at L.A. Dodgers, 6-0, April 8, 1994
Cincinnati — x-Tom Browning vs. L.A. Dodgers, 1-0, Sept. 16, 1988
Chicago — Carlos Zambrano vs. Houston at Milwaukee, 5-0, Sept. 14, 2008
Colorado — Ubaldo Jimenez at Atlanta, 4-0, April 17, 2010
Florida — Anibal Sanchez vs. Arizona, 2-0, Sept. 6, 2006
Houston — Roy Oswalt (1 inning), Pete Munro (2 2/3), Kirk Saarloos (1 1/3), Brad Lidge (2) and Octavio Dotel (1), Billy Wagner (1) at N.Y. Yankees, 8-0, June 11, 2003
Los Angeles — Hideo Nomo at Colorado, 9-0, Sept. 17, 1996
Milwaukee (AL) — Juan Nieves at Baltimore, 7-0, April 15, 1987
New York — None
Philadelphia — Roy Halladay, vs. Cincinnati, 4-0, Oct. 6, 2010, NLDS
Pittsburgh — Francisco Cordova (9) and Ricardo Rincon (1), vs. Houston, 3-0, 10 innings, July 12, 1997
St. Louis — Bud Smith at San Diego, 4-0, Sept. 3, 2001
San Diego — None
San Francisco — Jonathan Sanchez vs. San Diego, 8-0, July 10, 2009
Washington — x-Dennis Martinez (Montreal) at L.A. Dodgers, 2-0, July 28, 1991
This was the third no-hitter in the major leagues this season, yet another sign that this, too, is another Year of the Pitcher. Minnesota's Francisco Liriano did it against the Chicago White Sox on May 3 and Detroit ace Justin Verlander beat Toronto on May 7.
Plus, this was the first no-hitter at Progressive Field, a ballpark that opened as Jacobs Field in 1994. And it marked quite a bit of role reversal for Santana.
Santana made his big league debut on this very same field on May 17, 2005, and the Indians gave him a rude welcome. The first four batters he faced in the majors teamed up to hit for the cycle — Grady Sizemore led off with a triple, Coco Crisp doubled, Travis Hafner singled and Ben Broussard then homered.
Santana hadn't done much better against the Indians since then. The 28-year-old righty came into this outing 0-6 with a 4.98 ERA in 10 career starts versus them.
"I never get a win against this team," he said.
But Santana (6-8) was in complete control while throwing the Angels' first complete-game no-hitter since Mike Witt pitched a perfect game on Sept. 30, 1984, against Texas. Mark Langston (7 innings) and Witt (2 innings) combined to hold Seattle hitless on April 11, 1990.
Santana said he began to think a no-hitter was within reach after he got through the eighth.
"Lots of guys get to five, six innings, but that's when things get a little complicated," Santana said.
He would know. Because in his last start, he took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning against Baltimore.
Overall, it was the ninth no-hitter in Angels' history. Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan threw four of them from 1973 through 1975. The last pitcher to hold the Indians hitless was Jim Abbott of the New York Yankees on Sept. 4, 1993.
The closest Cleveland got to a hit came when rookie Jason Kipnis led off the sixth with a grounder past Santana. Kendrick made a diving, backhand stop, threw from his knees and first baseman Mark Trumbo scooped out the low throw for the out.
Santana threw 105 pitches, 76 for strikes. He had 0-2 counts nine times.
The crowd of 21,546, many on extended lunch hours for the noontime start, cheered loudly when Lonnie Chisenhall walked with one out in the eighth. Otherwise, the fans nervously sat in expectation of watching history.
Santana quickly took care of business in the bottom of the ninth. He got pinch-hitter Travis Buck to look at strike three, retired the speedy Ezequiel Carrera on a routine grounder and got Michael Brantley on an easy fly ball to center fielder Peter Bourjos.
The Angels rushed from the dugout to mob Santana behind the mound. Along with a game for the record books, it was an important win for Los Angeles as it chases Texas in the AL West.
The win was only his third in 11 starts since May 30. He lost four in a row, June 4-21, but is 3-0 in six starts since. Last Friday, he gave up one run and three hits over 7 2-3 innings in a 6-1 win over the Orioles.
Against the Indians, Santana looked a lot more like the pitcher who went 17-10 last season.
Santana got off to an ominous start as Carrera reached when his grounder glanced off the heel of shortstop Erick Aybar's glove. Carrera stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
Chisenhall's walk was the lone blemish in the eighth as Santana struck out three in the inning. in the eighth — when he struck out the side.
Neither team got a hit until Vernon Wells led off the Angels fourth with a bloop single. Los Angeles tied it at 1 in the fifth when Bourjos tripled off the wall in left and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Trout.
The Angels went ahead in the sixth on an odd passed ball by catcher Carlos Santana.
Torii Hunter doubled and went to third on a one-out single by Kendrick. After Mark Trumbo struck out, right-hander Joe Smith relieved David Huff (1-1) and Kendrick took off for second on a 1-1 pitch. Santana came out of his crouch to get the pitch, which was called a strike by umpire Ted Barrett, but the ball popped out of his glove and rolled down the first-base line. The young catcher scrambled after it and threw to Smith covering the plate, but Hunter slid in ahead of the tag to score the unearned run.
NOTES: Huff is 0-3 in his career against the Angels. ... Bourjos' triple snapped an 0-for-11 slump since he came off the disabled list. ... RHP Justin Germano, who opened the season in the Indians' bullpen, threw a perfect game Tuesday night for Triple-A Columbus. It was his first win since being sent outright to the Clippers. He struck out seven. ... The last no-hitter against the Indians in Cleveland was Toronto's Dave Stieb on Sept. 2, 1990. This was the 12th no-hitter overall against the Indians. ... The last non-shutout no-hitter in the majors was by Houston's Darryl Kile against the New York Mets on Sept. 8, 1993.
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