SEATTLE – Robbie Ray lost a no-hitter with two outs in the seventh inning on a grounder that bounced off his own glove in the Seattle Mariners’ 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
Ray’s bid ended when Max Stassi hit a high chopper toward the mound that went right over the pitcher’s head. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner didn’t jump, and the ball skipped off the top of his glove, giving Stassi time to beat out an infield single.
The left-hander winced, then looked toward the outfield scoreboard to see the ruling from the official scorer. He smiled when Stassi was awarded a hit, ending a run of 18 consecutive batters retired.
“I think because I’m the one that caused it, and it was just such an easy play,” Ray said of his reaction. “Yeah, it was just funny that’s how it ended.”
Ray finished the seventh and came back out for the eighth, when Juan Lagares led off with a triple and scored on Andrew Velazquez‘s double. Ray was pulled after that, charged with a run, three hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts. He got a big ovation when manager Scott Servais came for the ball.
“That was huge,” Ray said. “The fans here are great. To see the support they had for me and what I was able to do tonight, it was cool.”
The Angels were one out away from being no-hit by the Dodgers’ Tyler Anderson on Wednesday, and the Yankees’ Jameson Taillon had a perfect game against Los Angeles until the eighth inning on June 2. The Angels are the first team to break up no-hit bids after the sixth inning three times in the same month since the Houston Astros in 1984, per STATS.
Servais gave credit for much of Ray’s success to the two-seam fastball that he added to his arsenal during his start June 8 against the Houston Astros.
Since then, Ray has been masterful. Ray threw seven shutout innings on June 12 while allowing three hits in a 2-0 Mariners loss to Boston, and then took a no-hitter deep into the game on Friday.
“That ball is taking off,” Servais said. “It has a lot of movement. You can see the way hitters are reacting to it, and he’s getting in the strike zone when he needs to. So, awesome job by him.”
Roenis Elias finished the game for Seattle with a scoreless ninth inning. The Angels finished the night with four hits, two of them from Stassi.
“Robbie’s fastball wasn’t quite, velocity-wise, what it was,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “You’re looking at the videos and it had a little bit of limit but he was 80-somewhat percent fastball tonight and we just weren’t putting good swings on it. ”
Mariners slugger Justin Upton was hit in the head by a pitch in the fifth inning on the same day he was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma. Upton was down on the field for several minutes and was replaced by Dylan Moore.
Servais said after the game that Upton seemed to be OK. He was hopeful Upton could play in the Mariners’ doubleheader Saturday.
“He was conscious and talking the whole time,” Servais said. “I greeted him after we came in after the game, and I’ll text and check in with him tomorrow morning. Right now, we’ll see if maybe he can be our DH tomorrow. Wait and see how it works out.”
INF/OF Sam Haggerty was sent down to Triple-A after hitting .188 in 13 games this season for Seattle.
P/OF Shohei Ohtani was not in the starting lineup Friday in advance of Saturday’s doubleheader. Ohtani had two hits at the plate in Thursday’s game and also pitched six shutout innings. Nevin said Ohtani will play both games Saturday.
Angels: 3B Anthony Rendon will undergo season-ending surgery next week for a subluxing tendon in his right wrist, the Angels announced Friday.
Angels: The Angels will start Patrick Sandoval (3-2, 2.83) on Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader against Seattle, and will start Jose Suarez (0-2, 5.96) in Game Two.
Mariners: Seattle will start Chris Flexen (2-8, 4.30) in the first game of the doubleheader. The Mariners have not announced a starter for Game Two.