Kevin Slowey lifted Sunday after seven no-hit innings

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Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey had a no-hitter going through seven innings against the A’s on Sunday, but was lifted due to a pitch count of 106 and a recent bout with elbow tendinitis.

Slowey walked three batters through his seven innings of work and needed several deep counts to keep the A’s hitless.  That cost him a shot at history, but he was excellent nonetheless in the heat of a tight race atop the American League Central.

Jon Rauch entered in relief in the eighth and promptly allowed a Cliff Pennington double, snapping the chance of a combined no-hitter.

Slowey, 26, has been very up-and-down this season, dominating in some starts and awful in others.  But he’s in line for his 11th win today and currently boasts a 4.22 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over 24 outings.  In other words, the kid has been great.

If the Twins’ bullpen wraps it up, Minnesota will grab a 2.5-game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central.