After 7,858 games, the San Diego Padres are still waiting for their first no-hitter.
Jordan Lyles was the latest to give the long-sufferings fans hope that it could finally happen. After he retired his 22nd straight batter by striking out Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies to open the eighth inning Tuesday, the crowd of 19,598 at Petco Park got loud.
But then Trevor Story swatted an 0-1 pitch into left field for a single, leaving Lyles five outs shy of the first perfect game in Padres history. The Padres won 4-0 against the Rockies, Lyle’s old team.
The Padres are the only major league team without a no-hitter. While the right-hander’s effort was brilliant, it’s now on the list of close calls that goes back to July 21, 1970, when manager Preston Gomez lifted Clay Kirby after eight no-hit innings against the New York Mets.
Asked if there as a protocol for how players react in the dugout during a no-no bid, manager Andy Green said: “We don’t really know. We’ve never had one.
“I’d love to see it,” Green said. “Honestly, in those moments, I’m just like everyone else. We want to see something special. We did see something very special today, but we were looking for five more outs.”
Story’s single landed just in front of left fielder Franchy Cordero.
“After we struck out CarGo, that’s when it kind of got real for me,” said Lyles (1-1), who moved into the rotation last week. “The crowd started to get loud and then we made two good pitches to Trevor.”
Story hit a slider that was down and away. “I just saw a replay on TV. It was a good pitch, exactly where I would throw it again,” Lyles said. “But after he made contact, being a pitcher, you know places were balls land after contact and I felt like it was a good chance it was going to touch grass. But we made a good pitch. It was a clean hit, so it was all good.”
Lyles then walked Pat Valaika and made way for Kirby Yates after 85 pitches. Lyles matched his career high with 10 strikeouts. The Rockies hit only two balls out of the infield before Story singled.
This was the second-closest a Padres pitcher came to perfection. Chris Young lost a perfect game bid when he gave up a homer to Gabe Kapler with two outs in the eighth at Milwaukee on Sept. 7, 2008.
Tyson Ross lost a no-hit bid with two outs in the eighth at Arizona on April 20 when Cordero appeared to misjudge a ball by Christian Walker.
San Diego was no-hit by four Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers on May 4 in Monterrey, Mexico.
“It was a little cutter and I was just trying to get on base,” Story said. “He was just attacking and getting ahead early and putting us behind. He made good two-strike pitches and he had some good stuff.”
Attacking Lyles is “a little tricky sometimes because we know each other so well,” Story said. “He just got ahead of us early to every hitter and after that he was making pitches, too.”
The 27-year-old Lyles was making just his second start. His first came on May 10 after winless Bryan Mitchell was demoted to the bullpen. Lyles lost 2-1 to St. Louis that night, allowing two runs and five hits in five innings.
Green said Lyles had an excellent four-pitch mix with his fastball, curveball, slider and cutter, as well as “angle, aggression and attack. … It’s a pretty good recipe. I definitely wasn’t thinking that way from the first batter of the game, but it became apparent relatively quickly that he was cruising through a pretty good lineup.”
Said Rockies manager Bud Black: “We couldn’t handle the breaking balls. Obviously he pitched super aggressively. The pitch count was way down, the ball-strike ratio was really good. We just couldn’t get to him. Then finally Trevor got a little ball up and hit a line drive to left. There’s no doubt Lyles was on.
“The couple times that he’s faced us he’s had an aggressive, upbeat, momentum building delivery and he showed it today. We know that he has weapons and today it truly was working for him.”
Brad Hand earned a four-out save, his 12th In 14 chances.
Lyles was backed by two-run homers by Eric Hosmer and Christian Villanueva.
San Diego jumped on German Marquez (2-5) for a 2-0 lead after just six pitches. Travis Jankowski hit a leadoff single and Hosmer followed with a two-run homer to right-center on the first pitch he saw from Marquez.
Villanueva homered off Chris Rusin with two outs in the sixth, his 10th. Franmil Reyes, who made his major league debut Monday night, singled ahead of Villanueva for his first big league hit and was replaced by pinch-runner Manuel Margot.
Marquez allowed two runs and six hits in five innings.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (4-1, 3.12) is scheduled to start the opener of a four-game series at San Francisco on Thursday night.
Padres: Rookie LHP Eric Lauer (1-2, 8.27) is slated to make his fifth big league start in the opener of a four-game series at Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
AROUND THE MAJORS TUESDAY
— Daniel Descalso singled home Jarrod Dyson with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 to snap a six-game losing streak. The Diamondbacks opened the game with the worst batting average in the majors and learned earlier in the day they had lost A.J. Pollock for four-to-eight weeks with a fractured left thumb. They then managed just three hits against starter Jhoulys Chacin and three relievers.
— Jose Altuve hit a go-ahead, three-run double in the eighth inning, and the Houston Astros rallied from a late two-run deficit for a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Josh Reddick threw out two Los Angeles runners from right field, and he also got a leadoff double in the eighth. Altuve eventually cleared the bases against Angels reliever Jose Alvarez (2-1), who wasted seven stellar innings by rookie Jaime Barria.
— Brandon Crawford continued his strong May with four more hits, Brandon Belt homered and the San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3. Pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval hit a tying two-run single in the fourth inning, Andrew McCutchen drove in the go-ahead run with a grounder and five relievers combined for five scoreless inning for San Francisco.
— Stephen Piscotty homered in his first at-bat after being reinstated from the bereavement list and saluted his late mother as he crossed home plate, helping lead the Oakland Athletics to a 5-3 win over the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night in a game delayed almost two hours because of weather.
— Tyler Austin hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly as the Yankees rallied from a three-run deficit, and a game between New York and the Washington Nationals was suspended with the score 3-3 after 5½ innings because of rain. The teams waited for more than an hour but play did not resume. The game is scheduled to continue at 5:05 p.m. Wednesday before the finale of the two-game interleague series.
— The Los Angeles Dodgers went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position against Wei-Yin Chen and four relievers and LA was beaten by a last-place team for the fifth game in a row, losing at Miami 4-2. Los Angeles managed only five hits after being swept in a four-game series at home by woeful Cincinnati.
— Cubs catcher Willson Contreras helped Chicago throw out two runners at home plate and another at third base before rallying for two runs in the ninth, pulling off a stunning 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. After Ronald Acuna Jr. broke a 1-1 tie with a mammoth homer in the eighth, the Cubs bounced back to hand the Braves a loss that really stung.
— JaCoby Jones homered and doubled, and the Detroit Tigers rallied against Andrew Miller during a five-run seventh inning to beat the Cleveland Indians 9-8. The Indians led 4-0 and 8-4 before Detroit’s breakthrough seventh for its third straight win.
— Trevor Williams scattered six hits in seven innings, Adam Frazier homered to start a four-run first, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the White Sox 7-0 to send Chicago to its worst 38-game start since 1948. Chicago has lost eight of nine and 12 of 14, dropping to a major league-worst 10-28.
— Joey Wendle singled in a run with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Tampa Bay Rays over the Kansas City Royals 6-5. Johnny Field and Jesus Sucre led off the inning with singles against Kelvin Herrera. Herrera retired the next two batters before Wendle laced a single to left. Jonny Venters got two outs for his first victory since Sept. 27, 2012 while with Atlanta against the Mets.
— Bobby Wilson hit his first home run in more than a year, Jose Berrios bounced back with strong effort on the mound, and the Minnesota Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 Tuesday night. Wilson hit a two-run homer off St. Louis reliever Luke Gregerson into the left field stands to cap a three-run seventh inning. It was Wilson’s first major league home run since Sept. 21, 2016.
— Noah Syndergaard won for the first time in five weeks, knocking in two early runs against the team that traded him to rouse a sluggish New York Mets offense during a 12-2 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays. Missing injured sluggers Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier from a slumping lineup, the Mets finally broke through anyway against Jaime Garcia and the skidding Blue Jays after an 86-minute rain delay at the start.
— The interleague matchup between the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies has been postponed by rain. Anticipating a thundershower that would ultimately come within the hour and never let up, the grounds crew covered the field with a tarp after the national anthem and minutes before the scheduled 7:05 p.m. start. The game was finally postponed after a delay of more than three hours.
— Guillermo Heredia’s single to left-center drove in Ryon Healy from second base in the 11th inning to lift the Seattle Mariners to a 9-8 victory over the Texas Rangers. Healy reached on a bloop single to right field off Texas reliever Alex Claudio and advanced to second when David Freitas reached on an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop.