St Petersburg, Fla. The Tampa Bay Rays finally wound up on the right side of a memorable pitching performance.
Matt Garza threw the first no-hitter in franchise history and the fifth in the major leagues this season, beating the Detroit Tigers, 5-0, Monday night.
The right-hander faced the minimum 27 batters, allowing only a second-inning walk to Brennan Boesch, for a team that’s often been on the wrong end of no-hitters lately. The Rays have been held hitless three times since last July, including a pair of perfect games.
“It was one of those days where everything lined up,” Garza said. “The defense made great plays. I really can’t say enough about them.”
Garza was the latest to enhance the Year of the Pitcher. The last time there were at least five no-hitters in a season was 1991, when Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan threw one of seven in the big leagues that year, according to STATS LLC.
Garza, the 2008 AL championship series MVP, rebounded from one of his worst outings of the season. He retired pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago for the final out on an easy fly ball to right fielder Ben Zobrist, who made a terrific running catch in the third to rob Danny Worth.
“That ninth inning,” Garza said, “I kept telling myself, ‘Just finish it, just finish it, just battle, battle. If it’s meant to happen, it’s going to happen.’”
Garza’s performance left the New York Mets and San Diego Padres as the only big-league teams without a no-hitter.