(Reuters) – Cole Hamels set up a combined no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies as they beat the Atlanta Braves 7-0 at Turner Field in Atlanta on Monday.
Starter Hamels struck out seven and walked five in six no-hit innings before leaving the game, and the three members of the Phillies bullpen kept the no-hitter intact.
Hamels said he did not mind being replaced in the midst of a no-hitter.
“I understood coming around the sixth inning that it was going to be a short game (for him),” he said.
“It was nice to see what we could do together. It was fun to watch them and create something very special.”
On a hot afternoon, Hamels threw 108 pitches before Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon each pitched one inning in relief to complete the fourth no-hitter in the majors this season.
“It seemed like against one guy he (Hamels) couldn’t throw a strike, he’d be all over the place, and then against the next guy, he’d be boom, boom, boom and he’s dotting up on you,” said Atlanta’s Phil Gosselin.
“So it was one of those effectively-wild days where he had the good stuff and couldn’t control it with everybody.”
San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum no-hit the San Diego Padres on June 25 after the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies on June 18 and Dodgers team mate Josh Beckett held the Phillies hitless on May 25.
It was the first combined no-hitter in the 132-year history of the Phillies franchise and the first combination effort in the major leagues since six Seattle Mariners no-hit the Dodgers in a 1-0 victory in June 8, 2012.
The Phillies have now had 12 no-hitters in their history, including Roy Halladay’s gem in Game One of the 2010 National League Division Series.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg had no hesitation in removing Hamels after six innings.
“He was pretty much spent … and he wasn’t going to go nine (innings),” Sandberg told reporters.
“It’s a big moment for the team. We got to do a little champagne toast.”
In the ninth inning, Papelbon got pinch-hitter Jose Constanza to fly out to left fielder Domonic Brown, Chris Johnson grounded out up the middle to Jimmy Rollins and Gosselin hit a soft line drive to first baseman Darin Ruf to end the game.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles and Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina. Editing by Gene Cherry)