LA gets unusual no-hitter
The Associated Press
MONTERREY, Mexico — The Dodgers have the most no-hitters in the majors — and now the most in Mexico, too.
Rookie Walker Buehler and a trio of Los Angeles relievers combined for the franchise’s 23rd no-hitter in a 4-0 victory over the San Diego Padres in the opener of a neutral-site series Friday night.
Mexico had waited since 1999 to host a regular-season big league game, and it got a historic one: the first no-hitter ever outside the U.S. or Canada and the 12th combined no-hitter in major league history.
“It was awesome,” Buehler said. “It’s one of those things, to pitch in a place like this, an atmosphere like this. It was awesome.”
A crowd of 21,536 at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey saw Buehler stay steady despite early rai. In just his third start in the majors, he went six innings before Tony Cingrani , Yimi Garcia and Adam Liberatore closed it out.
Buehler, a 23-year-old taken in the first round of the 2015 amateur draft, struck out eight and walked three. After 93 pitches, the highly touted right-hander was pulled. Cingrani walked two in the seventh, but the lefty kept the bid intact.
“It*s probably one of the toughest conversations I ever had, I wanted to keep going,” Buehler said. “But they made the choice and the guys finished out and it was cool.”
Buehler overcame wet conditions — the hardest rain fell in the second inning
“I threw one in high school, but I gave up two runs in the first inning, so that one doesn’t really count,” Buehler said.
Garcia struck out two in a perfect eighth and Liberatore threw a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out Franchy Cordero to end it with the Dodgers’ 146th pitch.
That ended a festive night that began with a ceremonial first pitch thrown by Dodgers great Fernando Valenzuela , who became a star in the U.S. and Mexico and set off “Fernandomania” when he became a fan favorite in the 1980s.
Valenzuela pitched a no-hitter against St. Louis at Dodger Stadium on June 29, 1990, the same night Oakland’s Dave Stewart pitched a no-hitter at Toronto — one of five in Canada, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
This series was part of Major League Baseball’s push to internationalize the sport. No doubt, souvenirs from this game will wind up in the Hall of Fame
Buehler’s highest pitch count in the majors is 94 pitches, reached in his previous outing against San Francisco.
“It’s one of those where you’re pretty angry to come out, but the bullpen, the guys that we have, I trust it in their hands, too,” he said. “And it worked out.”