ANOTHER day, another no-hitter.
New York Yankees right-hander Corey Kluber became the sixth pitcher to fire a no-hitter this season, beating the Texas Rangers (2-0) on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas.
It was the second no-no in two days after the Detroit Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull accomplished the feat on Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners.
Kluber (4-2) walked one and struck out nine, facing one batter over the minimum. Charlie Culberson was the lone Texas baserunner, as he drew a one-out walk in the third inning. Kluber, who retired the final 20 batters he faced, threw 71 of his 101 pitches for strikes.
Kluber began the ninth at 93 pitches and needed two pitches to get Culberson on a grounder to second. He got the second out when right fielder Tyler Wade made a running catch on a liner by pinch hitter David Dahl, then completed his gem by retiring Willie Calhoun on a groundout to second.
After the game ended, Kluber was mobbed by his teammates and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
“I think it was a special night,” Kluber said. “I’ve never been part of (a no-hitter), witnessed one or thrown one, so I think more than anything just a lot of fun to be a part of.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “I had butterflies in that ninth inning. I’m getting a little emotional now. Getting to witness that was really, really special.
“Man, what a performance, what can you say. I’m just so happy for him. He’s such a pro and (we’re) talking about a guy that’s been an amazing pitcher in his career and he’s got another defining and special moment.”
The no-hitter was the first for the Yankees since David Cone’s perfect game against the Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999. Kluber authored the 12th no-hitter in franchise history, including Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Yankees backed Kluber with two runs in the sixth. Kyle Higashioka walked to open the inning. Wade, who entered the game after right fielder Ryan LaMarre injured his right hamstring running to first base in the third, roped a triple to right-center field to drive in Higashioka.
Wade made it 2-0 when he scored on DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly to shallow left field.
Kluber, 35, was making his ninth start as a Yankee after joining the team as a free agent on a one-year, $11-million deal in January.
The American League Cy Young Award winner for the Cleveland Indians in 2014 and 2017, Kluber was with the Rangers last year. He made just one appearance, lasting one inning, before a shoulder ailment sent him to the injured list for the remainder of the season.
Kluber joins the 2021 no-hitter list that includes the San Diego Padres’ Joe Musgrove (April 9 against the Rangers), the Chicago White Sox’s Carlos Rodon (April 14 against the Cleveland Indians), the Baltimore Orioles’ John Means (May 5 against the Mariners) the Cincinnati Reds’ Wade Miley (May 7 against the Indians) and Turnbull.
The Rangers joined the Indians and Mariners in having been no-hit twice this season. The Texas franchise was held hitless for the sixth time, including once when the team was the Washington Senators.
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Madison Bumgarner threw a seven-inning no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves in the second game of an April 25 doubleheader, but Major League Baseball doesn’t count that game as an official no-hitter.
Texas rookie Hyeon-Jong Yang (0-1) allowed two runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out two while throwing a career-high 74 pitches in his second career start. — Reuters