Reds pitcher hurls no-hitter vs Pirates
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — Cincinnati pitcher Homer Bailey hurled the Reds’ first no-hit victory in 24 years on Friday, sparking the playoff-bound team to a 1-0 Major League Baseball triumph at Pittsburgh.
Right-hander Bailey’s effort was the seventh no-hitter of the 2012 season, matching the modern-day record for most no-hitters thrown in a single year with the 1990 and 1991 campaigns. Eight no-hitters were thrown in the 1884 season.
Three of this year’s no-hitters have been perfect games, those where the opposing team does not manage to have any batter reach first base through any method.
“A lot of it goes down to luck,” Bailey said. “We were really fortunate.”
Bailey threw 115 pitches, 74 for strikes, and struck out 10 Pittsburgh batters in inflicting a defeat that ensured a 20th consecutive season without a winning record for the Pirates.
Pittsburgh’s Alex Presley hit a pop fly out to Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips to end the game, prompting Bailey to thrust his arms into the air in celebration and hug catcher Ryan Hanigan before teammates mobbed them both.
“Catching the last out means a lot,” Phillips said. “I’m just glad to be part of history.”
Bailey, 13-10, missed out on a perfect game due to third baseman Scott Rolen’s error in the third inning and a walk to Andrew McCutchen in the seventh inning.
It was the 15th no-hitter in Reds history and the first since Tom Browning hurled a perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 16, 1988.
“I’m just really proud of him,” Reds interim manager Chris Speier said. “He has done a great job against this team in this ballpark.”
The Reds, 95-62, are battling the Washington Nationals for the best record in the National League and home-field advantage throughout the Major League Baseball playoffs.
It was the first time the Pirates, 76-81, had suffered a no-hit loss since 1971, when St. Louis pitching legend Bob Gibson no-hit a Pittsburgh squad that would go on to win the World Series that year.