New York Yankees right-hander Corey Kluber threw the sixth no-hitter this season in Major League Baseball, striking out nine in a 2-0 win against the Rangers on Wednesday night in Arlington, Texas.
The 35-year-old’s gem came one night after Detroit Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull accomplished the feat against the Seattle Mariners.
“It was a lot of fun, I think it was a special night,” Kluber said. “I’ve never been part of one, witnessed one, yet alone thrown one.”
It was the Yankees’ first no-hitter since July 18, 1999, when David Cone threw a perfect game against the Montreal Expos.
Including Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, the Yankees have thrown 12 no-hitters. This was the club’s first road no-hitter since July 12, 1951, when Allie Reynolds did it at Cleveland.
The first no-hitter this season was April 9 when San Diego native Joe Musgrove threw the first one in Padres history against the Rangers in Texas.
Kluber came within a four-pitch walk to Charlie Culberson in the third inning of throwing a perfect game.
“I had butterflies in that ninth inning. I’m getting a little emotional now, even just getting to witness that was was really, really special,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “And to see his teammates and the excitement of everyone for Corey and just the excitement for themselves being a part of such a thing. What a performance.”
Kluber (4-2) threw 71 of 101 pitches for strikes in his ninth start for the Yankees. With his fastest pitch at 92.5 mph, he mixed 31 curveballs, 27 cutters, 23 sinkers, 18 changeups and two four-seam fastballs.
Kluber was pitching on that same mound when he was hurt after one inning last season, tearing a muscle in his right shoulder on July 26 in his Texas debut.
That was the second straight shortened season for Kluber, whose 2019 season ended May 1 when he was hit on the right forearm by a comebacker. He left the Rangers as a free agent to sign a one-year, $11 million deal with the Yankees.
Right fielder Tyler Wade made a running catch of pinch hitter David Dahl’s flyball for the second out in the ninth inning before Willie Calhoun’s game-ending groundout to shortstop Gleyber Torres. Wade entered in the third inning after Ryan LaMarre injured a hamstring.
Boone said he got nervous on the ball Dahl hit, thinking it was going to get down the line, but then noticed what a good jump Wade had gotten on the ball.
“I knew I was going to catch it,” Wade said. “I didn’t know if I was going to have to dive or catch it like I did. But I knew I was going to catch it.”
Wade said he wasn’t able to hear the bat off the ball with a screaming crowd of 31,689 — many of them Yankees fans.
“We expected some outings like that in our ballpark, unfortunately not against us,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “I can’t say enough good things about him. I’m not surprised by this guy’s success. I’ve watched this guy go through his routine and the work he puts in.”
New York got its only runs in the sixth inning when Kyle Higashioka had a leadoff walk and scored on a triple by Wade. DJ LeMahieu followed with a sacrifice fly against Hyeon-Jong Yang (0-1).
That is about the time Kluber really starting thinking about a no-hitter.
“After that point, we had gotten a couple of runs … makes it a little easier to kind of pound the strike zone and know you have that run support in your back pocket,” he said.
Before getting hurt in 2019, Kluber was a 20-game winner in 2018, and he had thrown at least 203 innings with 222 strikeouts each season from 2014 to 2018. He was the Cy Young winner in 2014 and 2017.
“Obviously, wish this guy well,” Woodward said, “but I didn’t wish him that well.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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