ANAHEIM, Calif. — The massive celebration on the field as evidence to the contrary, the Rays maintained getting no-hit by Angels rookie lefty Reid Detmers on Tuesday was really no worse than any other bad day.
“It definitely is a punch in the gut,” infielder Taylor Walls said. “Kind of takes a hit at your pride a little bit. But we’re going to go to sleep and wake up tomorrow the same way we did this morning, same way we’re going to do every day here on out. ... Tomorrow, nobody will really care.”
The Rays didn’t put up much of a fight in the 12-0 loss that marked the first time they were no-hit in nearly 10 years and the sixth time in their 25-season franchise history.
They got two runners on base, with Walls walking to lead off the sixth and Brett Phillips reaching with one out in the seventh when first baseman Jared Walsh mishandled a bouncing grounder for an error that no one disputed.
Otherwise there weren’t even that many threats. Detmers, the Angels’ top 2020 draft pick who was making his 11th career start, kept the Rays off-balance, though they only struck out twice and had 10 swing-and-misses in 108 pitches.
“It’s just something I’ve dreamed of,” Detmers said. “Ever since I was a little kid. I didn’t think it would ever happen. I don’t even know. I probably won’t even remember this tomorrow morning.”
Vidal Brujan probably came the closest to a hit when he followed Walls’ walk by lacing a ball third baseman Anthony Rendon leapt to grab. “I did really think it was going to go over his head, but Rendon jumped high enough to catch it and made a nice play,” Brujan said, via team interpreter Manny Navarro.
Yandy Diaz made the final out on a grounder to short, and the Angel Stadium crowd of 39,313 roared its approval as players mobbed the 22-year-old Detmers on the mound, then moved en masse across the infield.
“Wasn’t a ton of hard contact for sure,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He mixed his pitches, he threw a big breaking ball in there and then had his fastball located really at the top of the zone. “When you do something special like he did (Tuesday), you’ve got to have everything going. We don’t know the guy very well but it certainly appeared from our viewpoint that he had everything going.”
Walls said Detmers made it tough on them by throwing his fastball in and his off-speed pitches away.
“Me, personally, I didn’t think it was anything special. I just think that he did a good job of locating his pitches,” Walls said. “He just kept us off-balance, kept us guessing. A lot of times in hitters’ counts, when we were sitting hard, he would just throw something soft, and he was able to command it in the zone. So when we would take it, he’d get back in the count. So I don’t know, just poor approaches by us and a good job by him.”
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Adding to the bad showing for the Rays, who lost their third straight and fell to 18-13, starter Corey Kluber lasted only three innings, putting them in an 8-0 hole.
Kluber allowed 11 hits as the Angels came out aggressive and swung early in counts, with 13 of the 20 batters putting the ball in play within their first three pitches, including five on the first pitch. Of those 13 swinging early, nine had hits, including Mike Trout and Chad Wallach when they homered.
Kluber said he felt fine but was throwing too many strikes (47 of 64 pitches). “I feel like I just missed too many pitches kind of in the heart of the plate,” he said.
The Rays used four relievers, then moved Phillips from rightfield to the mound for the eighth. He allowed home runs to Trout and Rendon, who batted left-handed for the first time in his career. Phillips was most proud of holding Shohei Ohtani to a double.
“That was a very highly anticipated matchup there, the American Shohei versus the Japanese Shohei,” Phillips said. “I’ve heard about him and how much power he has, but what I saw is off the wall. So I don’t know if it was me and my stuff — he just wasn’t used to it or didn’t recognize it — but all I see is that man hitting home runs, and he couldn’t even take me deep.
“So I guess, does that make me the better Shohei? We’ll let everyone decide.”
Star shortstop Wander Franco also was taken out of the game after four innings, which Cash said was purely to get him some rest as he has been dealing with leg issues for a couple weeks.
The Rays had been no-hit five times, last in a perfect game by the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez on Aug. 15, 2012. Also, by the Diamondbacks’ Edwin Jackson on June 25, 2010; by the A’s Dallas Braden (in a perfect game) on May 9, 2010; by the White Sox’s Mark Buehrle (in a perfect game) on July 23, 2009; and by the Red Sox’s Derek Lowe on April 27, 2002.
None are ever good.
“There’s obviously added frustration right in the moment,” Cash said. “You’ve got nine guys in the lineup that are doing everything they can probably by the sixth inning on to avoid having to answer questions about it. But you get up tomorrow and you try to figure out a way to get the bats going.”
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