Almost again - Rays no-hit until 2 outs in 9th
UPDATE, 4:41: Longoria said there was a sense of relief when he got to first base, though trying to win the game was obviously the bigger issue.
"I was beginning to think that no-hitters were common place; seems like we've been a part of and watched so many this year,'' Longoria said. "I said it when I got to first base, if anybody deserverd a no-hitter, it was him today. He really, it was one of those days when you go up to the plate, and I hate to say it, but you feel like, this guy's making his pitches all day, what chance do we have right now. It seemed like anytime we got into a hitter's count, he made a perfect pitch. And when he got ahead in counts, he was putting guys away better than anybody that I've ever seen. So, yeah, there's some consolation in the fact we were able to break it but still lost the game.''
Maddon, after noting how well Andy Sonnanstine did in his spot start, praised Morrow but talked mostly of the need for the Rays "to become a better offensive club somehow. We're too inconsistent.''
He did find some solace in avoiding a third no-hitter, noting the inspiration he had been taking from Pants Rowland, manager of the 1917 White Sox team that was no-hit twice and still made it to the World Series.
"I don't want to exceed the accomplishments of Pants Rowland in 1917 - I was really concerned about that,'' he said. "That was my major concern going into the 8th and 9th inning. I was really channeling Pants for the last two innings - I want to be in his company, I don't want to create a different category.''
UPDATE, 3:38: Game ends a 1-0 loss as Dan Johnson strikes out with two on. That was the Rays 17th strikeout of the day, tying their franchise record.
Until Longoria's hit, the Rays had three baserunners – Dan Johnson walked in the second, and reached on an error in the 7th when his routine grounder bounced off 1B Lyle Overbay’s glove.
Ben Zobrist walked with one out in the 9th. After Carl Crawford lined to left for the second out, Longoria hit a ground ball in the hole between first and second, Hill went to his right and dove for the ball, which ticked off his glove. Official scorer Dave Perkins, in his third game, called it a hit.
The Rays had been no-hit May 9 by Oakland’s Dallas Braden (who threw a perfect game) and on June 25 by Arizona’s Edwin Jackson, a former Ray who has since been traded to the White Sox.
They would have been the first team in major-league history to be no-hit three times in a season in nine-inning games. The 1906 Brooklyn Superbas (forerunner of the Dodgers) were blanked three times, but two were seven-inning games.
UPDATE, 3:34: Evan Longoria's ground ball single off Toronto 2B Aaron Hill's glove with two outs in the 9th kept the Rays from being the first team no-hit three times in a season (in 9-inning games).
UPDATE, 3:29: After Bartlett flies out to open 9th, Zobrist walks. Crawford and Longoria are next.
UPDATE, 3:25: In the 9th, trying to avoid no-hitter, Rays will send up Bartlett, Zobrist and Crawford.
UPDATE, 3:16: Rays are no-hit thru 8 as Jaso goes down looking, Upton swining and pinch-hitter Aybar flies to shallow center. No team has even been no-hit three times in a season in 9-inning games.
UPDATE, 3:09: Due up in 8th for thus-far hitless Rays vs. Morrow are Jaso, Upton and Brignac .
UPDATE, 2:53: Rays now no-hit through 7, as Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce strike out. Dan Johnson reaches on an error, a hard ground ball off 1B Lyle Overbay's glove.
UPDATE, 2:34: Rays now no-hit thru 6, with Vernon Wells making leaping catch into CF wall to rob Zobrist. Rays have struck out 11 times.
DEVELOPING: The Rays, having already had a perfect game and a no-hitter thrown against them, are into the sixth inning against Toronto's Brandon Morrow without a hit. And they have struck out 10 times.