|Date of game: 7/2/2013
Recap: Cincinnati vs. San Francisco
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Homer Bailey pitched the last no-hitter of the 2012 season. The Cincinnati right-hander then tossed the first one of the 2013 campaign on Tuesday night.
Bailey carried a perfect game into the seventh inning until walking Gregor Blanco in the Reds' 3-0 win over the Giants at Great American Ball Park.
That was San Francisco's only baserunner of the night.
"He was dealing. He had a dynamite fastball and showed great control," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "What a game. I can't quit smiling. I'm so glad for Homer."
This is the 16th no-hitter in the history of the franchise and the second one thrown by Bailey in a 20-start span, which includes a playoff game against the Giants last year. He tossed one on Sept. 28, 2012 at Pittsburgh.
The 27-year-old tied a team record with his two no-hitters, joining Jim Maloney and Johnny Vander Meer.
The Reds mobbed Bailey at the mound after Blanco grounded sharply to third baseman Todd Frazier, whose throw to first was in plenty of time to end the game.
"To be here in front of this crowd meant a lot," Bailey said. "Any time a ball is put in play in those situations, you get nervous."
Bailey (5-6), who threw 74 of his 109 pitches for strikes, added nine strikeouts to snap a personal 0-2 stretch over three starts. He joined Hall of Fame company in pitching the final no-hitter of a season and the first of the ensuing one. Nolan Ryan had the last no-hitter of 1974 and the first of 1975 pitching for the Angels. Warren Spahn accomplished a similar feat for the Milwaukee Braves in 1960-61.
Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning off Tim Lincecum. Cincinnati's other run came in the opening frame on Joey Votto's sacrifice fly that helped the team to back-to-back wins to start this four-game series.
Blanco, mired in an 0-for-18 slump coming into the seventh, led off the inning taking a 3-2 pitch low and inside. He went to second on Marco Scutaro's groundout and then tried to go to third when Buster Posey hit a tiny looper to first. Votto took the ball on the bounce and fired to third, where Blanco was tagged out.
Bailey broke to the bag late, leaving Votto with only one choice to preserve the no-hitter.
Pablo Sandoval then struck out swinging on a high 3-2 pitch to keep the no- hitter intact.
Lincecum (4-9) yielded six hits and three runs while logging eight strikeouts. The righty fell to 0-4 over his last five starts, while the Giants lost for the eighth time in nine games.
Shin-Soo Choo led off the bottom of the first by hitting a ball that caromed off the glove of Giants' right fielder Hunter Pence. A fan seemed to interfere with Pence catching the ball, which came back on the field, and it was originally ruled a home run and changed to a double after replay.
Zack Cozart then bunted, but Lincecum's throw to first pulled Scutaro off the bag. Votto followed with a sacrifice fly to left.
Cozart kept the no-hitter alive when he gobbled up Sandoval's grounder up the middle to start the fifth.
Votto singled to center in the sixth and Phillips followed with his 12th homer of the year, a blast to left.
The focus, though, shifted back to Bailey for the final three innings.
"He kept the ball down and he believed in our defense. He hit his spots," Phillips said. "It was amazing to see the way he pitched today. He has good stuff. He was on point today."
Brandon Crawford bounced out back to Bailey to start the ninth and pinch- hitter Tony Abreu struck out swinging to set the stage for the celebration.
Bailey then hugged catcher Ryan Hanigan, who also caught the no-hitter last September.
"He's always been tough since I've been here," Crawford said of Bailey. "He throws it 93 to 97 mph and can throw it to both sides of the plate. That fastball up looks good out of his hand, but just stays up and he has good offspeed pitches to keep us honest."Game Notes
There were seven no-hitters thrown in the majors last year. Three of them were
perfect games by Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox, San Francisco's Matt
Cain and Seattle's Felix Hernandez ... Bailey is the 27th pitcher in big
league history to throw at least two no-hitters ... The Giants have lost nine
of their last 10 road games ... Lincecum fell to 0-6 in his last seven road
assignments and the Giants have lost 10 of his last 13 starts ... The Giants
were no-hit for the first time since April 27, 2003 against Philadelphia's
Kevin Millwood ... Including the playoff game last year against the Giants,
Bailey has allowed a hit over the last 16 innings versus San Francisco.