Rockies’ Freeland loses no-hit bid in 9th


Colorado Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland acknowledges the applause of the crowd as he heads to the dugout after being pulled from the mound when his no-hit bid was broken by a single off the bat of Chicago White Sox Melky Cabrera with one out in the ninth inning Sunday in Denver. The Rockies won 10-0. (AP Photo)
By: 
The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Kyle Freeland just absorbed the thundering cheers as he tipped his cap and headed off the mound.

“A ton of fun,” he said.

Easy to see why: The hometown kid turned in one of the best pitching performances ever at Coors Field.

The rookie left-hander came within two outs of the first no-hitter by a Rockies pitcher at the hitter-friendly park before surrendering a crisp single to Melky Cabrera as Colorado beat the Chicago White Sox 10-0 on Sunday.

Freeland, who was born and raised in Denver, struck out the first batter of the ninth inning and then allowed Cabrera’s hit to left field on a 2-2 count.

He would make the same pitch again.

“He just muscled it out,” said Freeland, who struck out a career-high nine, walked three and hit a batter.

Cabrera even applauded for Freeland after the hit.

“He was changing speeds and just did a nice job on the mound,” Cabrera said.

The 24-year-old Freeland (9-7) threw 126 pitches. Reliever Jordan Lyles got the last two outs to complete the one-hitter.

Mired in a three-game slump, Freeland decided to mix up his game plan by mixing around his fastball. It worked.

To also change things up, his father stood the entire game. It worked as well.

“I’m at a loss for words, for the way he held his composure for the whole game,” Don Freeland said.

Dad wasn’t the least bit nervous as the no-hit bid went along. “I talked to myself, ‘Keep it down. Keep it down. Don’t give in. Make him earn it,’” he said.

Kyle Freeland was trying to throw the second no-hitter in Coors Field history. Hideo Nomo accomplished the feat in 1996 when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The only no-hitter in Rockies history was thrown by Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010 at Atlanta.

Edinson Volquez of the Miami Marlins pitched the lone no-hitter in the majors this season, doing it last month against Arizona.

Freeland even had an RBI single in the seventh for the Rockies’ last run.

Freeland watched the end from the dugout. When it was over, his teammates on the bench let him walk alone toward the foul line to greet the winning Rockies coming off the field — and to soak in another cheer from a crowd that included his parents.

“Incredible,” Freeland said. “The fans were great.”

Pat Valaika drove in five runs, including a three-run homer as part of a five-run sixth that turned a 2-0 lead into a rout. Charlie Blackmon also hit a solo homer.

Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra had the play of the day in the eighth as he sprinted for Yolmer Sanchez’s blooper in short left and then went into a head-first dive to snare the ball. Parra pointed at Freeland, who pumped his fist and tipped his cap in appreciation.

 

ORIOLES 11, TWINS 5

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Adam Jones homered twice and drove in five runs to lead a 15-hit attack in Baltimore’s victory over Minnesota.

Ruben Tejada and Seth Smith each had three hits for the Orioles, who won their second straight and earned a split of the weekend series.

Max Kepler had a double and a triple and Robbie Grossman drove in two runs for Minnesota, which reached the All-Star break at 45-43. It’s only the second time in the past seven seasons the Twins have been above .500 at the break.

 

MARINERS 4, A’s 0

SEATTLE (AP) — Felix Hernandez rediscovered some of his past form allowing two hits over six dominant innings, and Nelson Cruz hit his 17th home run of the season to lift Seattle past Oakland. Making his fourth start since coming off the disabled list late last month, Hernandez had the best command of his pitches perhaps all season.

Hernandez struck out a season-high eight, including a stretch with four of five outs retired via the strikeout in the fourth and fifth innings.

Hernandez (4-3) allowed only a third-inning double to Matt Joyce and a two-out single to Jaycob Brugman in the fifth. Daniel Gossett (1-4) was the loser.

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