Update, 12:17 AM ET: Southpaw Adam Liberatore completed the Dodgers’ combined no-hitter with a flawless ninth inning. He struck out Eric Hosmer to kick off the final frame, then induced a Christian Villanueva pop-up for the second out. The third out? A decisive swinging strikeout — courtesy of Franchy Cordero — that brought the combined no-no to a satisfying conclusion as the Dodgers opened the Mexico Series in Monterrey, Mexico. The feat is the first combined no-hitter in franchise history and the first in the majors since Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon no-hit the Braves back in September 2014.
The Dodgers are through eight innings of a combined no-hitter against the Padres. Rookie right-hander Walker Buehler delivered six innings of no-hit, three-walk, eight-strikeout ball to start Friday’s contest, but was pulled in the seventh after reaching a pitch count of 93. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t want to risk over-exerting the rookie, who has yet to log more than 94 pitches in a single outing in the big leagues so far.
Buehler was succeeded by left-hander Tony Cingrani and righty Yimi Garcia, each of whom tossed an inning of no-hit ball in relief. Cingrani got Christian Villanueva to line out to left field, then issued back-to-back walks to Franchy Cordero and Raffy Lopez. Neither batter scored, however, as Matt Szczur was called out on strikes and Freddy Galvis ground into a force out to bring the seventh to a close. Garcia had even better luck: He whiffed Manuel Margot to lead off the eighth, then retired Travis Jankowski on a ground out and caught Jose Pirela on a swinging strikeout.
The Dodgers are currently working with four runs of support as they enter the ninth. Matt Kemp put the team on the board with an RBI single in the first inning, followed by back-to-back home runs from Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez in the second and a timely base hit from Alex Verdugo in the sixth.
Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.
It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.
The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.
In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.
Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.