Bob Melvin: “It certainly didn’t break my heart” when Jarrod Parker lost his no-hitter

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Jarrod Parker took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Monday night against the Rangers, eventually losing it on a Michael Young single with six outs to go, but manager Bob Melvin revealed that the A’s rookie wouldn’t have been allowed to complete the no-hitter anyway.

Parker, who came back from Tommy John elbow surgery last season and is just 23 years old, finished the eighth inning with 111 pitches. That’s just two short of his career-high and likely would have meant throwing at least 120-130 pitches to complete the no-hitter, which Melvin wasn’t going to allow.

Or as Melvin put it:

That was the most miserable couple of innings that you could ever imagine … So I’m not rooting for a hit, but it certainly didn’t break my heart when Michael Young got that hit, because this kid’s too important to us. It was difficult to watch.

I’m sure White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper thinks Melvin is silly, but for whatever it’s worth opposing manager Ron Washington agreed with Melvin’s stance, telling Jane Lee of MLB.com: “My mind was in the same place.”

Parker ended up exiting after eight innings of shutout, one-hit ball and now has a 2.40 ERA through eight starts, including two or fewer runs allowed in all but one outing.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).