TIME Baseball

Carrasco Loses No-Hitter With One Strike to Go in 9th Vs. Rays

Carlos Carrasco
Steve Nesius—AP Cleveland Indians starter Carlos Carrasco pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of a baseball game July 1, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

For the third straight night, the Indians took a perfect game into the sixth inning against the Rays

(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — Carlos Carrasco came within one strike of throwing the Cleveland Indians’ first no-hitter since 1981 on Wednesday night, giving up an RBI single to Joey Butler over leaping second baseman Jason Kipnis’ glove in an 8-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

For the third straight night, the Indians took a perfect game into the sixth inning against the Rays. This time, Carrasco retired the first 19 batters before walking Butler with one out in the seventh.

Washington’s Max Scherzer lost a perfect game with one strike to go on June 20, but he finished with a no-hitter, the second in the major leagues this season.

Carrasco walked Asdrubal Cabrera leading off the ninth, then struck pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer with a pitch. Grady Sizemore, also pinch hitting, grounded into a force play and Kevin Kiermaier struck out to bring Butler to the plate with a crowd of 11,394 at Tropicana Field on its feet.

Butler lined an 0-2 pitch over Kipnis, who jumped high in the air to make an attempt at catching the ball and fell flat to the ground as the line drive landed cleanly in the outfield.

Carrasco smiled, clapped into his glove several times and pointed at the second baseman in appreciation of his effort.

The 28-year-old right-hander was lifted after his career-high 124th pitch and Austin Adams got the final out. Carrasco received pats on the back and hugs in the dugout after his 13 strikeout performance.

The last Indians’ pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Len Barker, who had a perfect game against Toronto on May 15, 1981.

For the third straight night and fourth time in seven games, the light-hitting Rays failed to get a baserunner until after the fifth inning.

Toronto’s Marco Estrada took a perfect game into the eighth inning before Logan Forsythe broke up the bid with an infield single a week ago. Sizemore broke up Cody Anderson’s pursuit of perfection with a seventh-inning home run Monday, and Curt Casali doubled for the first hit off Cleveland’s Danny Salazar in the sixth on Tuesday night.

Facing the Rays less than two weeks after yielding 10 hits over 6 2-3 innings of a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay, Carrasco breezed into the seventh this time.

After walking Butler, Evan Longoria hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Carlos Santana, who stepped on the bag and tagged Butler out in a rundown between first and second.

Brandon Moss homered and drove in five runs for the Indians. He had a two-run double off Alex Colome (3-4) in the second and a three-run homer off C.J. Riefenhauser in the eighth. Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and David Murphy also drove in runs for Cleveland.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Manager Terry Francona said there is no timetable for when OF Nick Swisher (knee) could return. Swisher is running in the outfield.

Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (oblique) gave up one run over four innings in a rehab start for Class A Charlotte. … 1B James Loney (broken left middle finger) had two hits for Charlotte and appears close to returning.

UP NEXT

Indians: 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (3-9) will start Thursday’s series finale. He is 1-5 with a 4.00 ERA in nine road starts.

Rays: 2013 AL All-Star Matt Moore will make his first start since elbow ligament replacement surgery last year on Thursday. The left-hander hasn’t pitched in the majors since April 7, 2013 at Kansas City. “I’m anxious, I’m excited,” Moore said. “I feel ready.”

 

TIME Baseball

White Sox Ace Sale Strikes Out 10 For 8th Straight Game

Chris Sale
Jeff Roberson—AP Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 30, 2015, in St. Louis

Chris Sale fanned Jhonny Peralta in the sixth inning for his 10th strikeout

(ST. LOUIS) — White Sox pitcher Chris Sale has struck out at least 10 for the eighth straight game, matching the best run in major league history.

Sale reached the mark Tuesday night at St. Louis. Pedro Martinez also struck out 10 in eight straight starts in 1999 for Boston.

Sale fanned Jhonny Peralta in the sixth inning for his 10th strikeout.

TIME Sports

When ‘Baseball’s Most Attractive Bachelor’ Pitched His First No-Hitter

Sandy Koufax would pitch four no-hitters and one perfect game in his career with the Dodgers

On June 30, 1962, Sandy Koufax pitched his first no-hitter for the Dodgers. Up against the New York Mets, Koufax struck out 13 batters and walked five to lead his team to victory. It was his first of four career no-hitters—a feat achieved, to this day, fewer than 300 times in the history of Major League Baseball.

The following summer, LIFE put Koufax on its cover, calling him “The Mostest Pitcher: Most Wins, Most Shutouts, Most Strike-outs.” Southpaw Sandy, as they called the left-handed pitcher, said that his success in that position stemmed from his failure as a batter. Even as a kid, he knew enough about his own weaknesses to tell his coach, who tried him out at pitcher.

It was perhaps no coincidence that the photo that graced the magazine’s cover could have doubled as a menswear ad, had they swapped Koufax’s baseball cap for a fedora. The magazine made no secret of his dapper looks, writing that on top of being “the best pitcher in the past decade,” Koufax was also a hot ticket among female fans. The description reads like a personal ad, save for the mention of his then-girlfriend Linda Kennon:

He also stands out as baseball’s most attractive bachelor. Tall and 27, he has poise, a literary mind and a resonant, softly modulated voice. He lives alone in a suburban home with several oil paintings, a well-stocked library and a self-installed stereo system. His car is gold-colored and his girl was runner-up for the title of Miss U.S.A.

In addition to his penchant for oil paintings and good books, Koufax made his principles quietly clear. Two years after the LIFE cover story, he would make headlines not for his pitching but for refusing to pitch, when he sat out the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, one of the most important holidays of the Jewish year.

Koufax, for his part, could have done without the attention that went along with his celebrity. “I don’t like to be on display,” he told LIFE, though he obliged when kids mobbed him for his autograph after games. Despite that sentiment, Koufax, now 79, will be forever on display: at 36, he became the youngest player ever inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

August 2, 1963 cover of LIFE magazine.
Mark Kauffman—LIFE Magazine

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME Baseball

Virginia Wins 1st College World Series Title in 4-2 Victory Over Vanderbilt

CWS Finals Baseball
Ted Kirk—AP Virginia celebrates winning Game 3 of the best-of-three NCAA baseball College World Series finals against Vanderbilt at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., on June 24, 2015

Virginia's 44 wins were the fewest by a national champion since 1968

(OMAHA, Neb.) — Pavin Smith homered and drove in three runs and Brandon Waddell turned in another strong College World Series pitching performance, leading Virginia over Vanderbilt 4-2 on Wednesday night for the school’s first baseball national championship.

The Cavaliers (44-24) prevailed in the CWS finals rematch against the defending champion Commodores and won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s first title in baseball since Wake Forest in 1955.

Waddell (5-5) went seven innings and allowed only two hits after Vanderbilt (51-21) scored twice in the first. He retired the last 11 batters he faced. It was Waddell’s fifth career CWS start, and Virginia won each of them.

Nathan Kirby pitched the last two innings and struck out five of his eight batters for his first save. John Kilichowski (3-4) took the loss.

When pinch-hitter Kyle Smith got caught looking at a fastball to end the game, Kirby threw his glove and hat into the air as catcher Matt Thaiss ran to the mound to embrace him.

Virginia’s 44 wins were the fewest by a national champion since the 1968 Southern California squad had 43. The Cavaliers endured a season of injuries and tough times at midseason and almost missed qualifying for the ACC Tournament. They entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 regional seed.

The Commodores had a second straight season with more than 50 wins, and they came into Wednesday having outscored their first nine NCAA Tournament opponents 70-15. They couldn’t generate much after scoring their two runs in the first.

Smith stepped up for Virginia in Game 3 after going 1 for 8 and striking out four times in the first two games of the finals. He hit a two-run homer off Walker Buehler to tie it in the fourth, singled in the go-ahead run in the fifth and flashed defensively all night at first base.

Waddell was pitching on three days’ rest after working the first five innings of the Cavaliers’ 5-4 win over Florida on Saturday. Before that, he and Josh Sborz combined on a two-hit, 1-0 shutout of the Gators on June 16.

Sborz, who won three games and pitched 13 scoreless innings, was selected as the CWS Most Outstanding Player.

Kirby, who missed nine weeks because of injury and returned to start Virginia’s 10-5 loss to Florida in its third CWS game, relieved Waddell to start the eighth and struck out the side. With a man on first, he fanned No. 1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson for the second out.

Swanson, the 2014 CWS Most Outstanding Player, stood with his hands on his hips and shouted “No!” as first-base umpire Perry Costello ruled he didn’t check his swing on the third strike, ending his final collegiate at-bat.

The Cavaliers also got another big game from Kenny Towns. He saved what would have been the go-ahead run for Vanderbilt in the fourth when he made a diving stop of a smash down the third-base line and threw out Tyler Campbell to end the inning. He later drove in an insurance run in the seventh.

Buehler, the 24th overall draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers, lasted only three innings in what was the second-shortest of his 15 starts this season. He allowed three hits and walked a season-high four.

TIME Baseball

Watch This Baseball Fan Effortlessly Catch a Foul Ball While Holding a Baby

LA Dodgers at Chicago Cubs
Nuccio DiNuzzo—Chicago Tribune/TNS/Getty Images Keith Hartley being interviewed by a TV reporter after he snagged a foul ball while bottle-feeding his infant 7-month-old son during the second inning of a Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers game on June 23, 2015

Hartley caught the ball because he was afraid it might ricochet off the railing and hit his 7-month-old son

Although fans catching foul balls in Chicago have historically been much maligned, things went a bit differently for Keith Hartley on Tuesday. Hartley, who caught a foul ball one-handed during a Chicago Cubs–Los Angeles Dodgers game on Tuesday night, is being celebrated largely because of what he had in his other hand — his 7-month-old son.

The moment came in the game’s second inning, as Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez ran to catch a foul ball down the first baseline, ESPN reports. And although it earned the Cubs an out for fan interference, ending the inning, Twitter and Vine still had a Wrigley Field day lauding Hartley’s dexterity and insouciant paternal instincts. Hartley told ESPN he attempted the catch for fear that the ball might ricochet off the rail and hit his son Isaac.

Despite their brief interaction, Gonzalez did not react to Hartley’s catch. “Hopefully he’s not too angry,” Hartley told ESPN. “He is on my fantasy team. I want to keep him happy.”

[ESPN]

TIME Baseball

Pete Rose Gambled on Baseball as a Player, Report Says

While he previously admitted betting as a manager, he denied doing so as a player

Newly obtained documents indicate Pete Rose, the all-time Major League Baseball leader in hits, bet on baseball while he was a player, according to a new report that bats against his 26-year denial of doing so.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports that the documents—copies of pages from a notebook of Michael Bertolini, a previous associate of Rose—refutes Rose’s past claims that he only placed bets while he was a manager on the Cincinnati Reds—never as a player. Even that admission came after nearly 15 years of denials; Rose was banned for life from the league in 1989.

The notebook seized from Bertolini’s home covers March to July 1986, with documentation that for at least 30 different days, Rose gambled on at least one MLB team. On 21 of those days, the report notes, Rose bet on the Reds’ games—many of which he was playing in.

Read more at ESPN’s Outside the Lines.

TIME MLB

Could This French Shortstop Be the MLB’s First Female Player?

Melissa Mayeux, 16, became the first female player to be included in the MLB's international registry

After over 150 years, Major League Baseball might have taken a step closer to finding its first female player.

Melissa Mayeux, a 16-year-old shortstop on the French U-18 junior national team, made MLB history on Sunday as the first female player on the international registration list.

Her addition to the list means she is eligible to be signed on July 2, although MLB.com reported that it is unlikely she would be signed next month. However, the site says only players with serious potential to be signed usually make it onto the international registry. There is no official rule that women cannot play in the MLB.

If signed, Mayeux, who has been watched by the MLB’s Director of International Game Development Mike McClellan for two years, would probably not play professional baseball until she is 18. If she is not signed, she would still be able to play for a U.S. university.

Mayeux speaks little English and is, according to MLB.com, “unaware that her presence on the registry might be seen as newsworthy in the United States.”

TIME Baseball

A-Rod Homers to Reach 3,000 Hits

Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia
Bill Kostroun—AP New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, center right, celebrates with CC Sabathia after Rodriguez hit a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers on June 19, 2015, at Yankee Stadium in New York.

He's the 29th player in major league history to reach the milestone

(NEW YORK)—Alex Rodriguez homered for his 3,000th career hit and smiled all the way around the bases Friday night, the highlight so far in what’s become a resurgent season for the disgraced slugger.

The New York Yankees star wasted no time, connecting in the first inning on a first-pitch, 95 mph fastball from Detroit ace Justin Verlander.

Out of baseball last year while serving a drug suspension, Rodriguez became the 29th player in major league history to reach 3,000 hits. He was the first to do it since Yankees great Derek Jeter homered from the very same batter’s box in 2011.

“It’s a magical number,” Rodriguez said after the final out of New York’s 7-2 victory. “I’m very happy to be in the club.”

With the crowd at Yankee Stadium standing in anticipation, Rodriguez sent a high drive to right field. He held onto the bat as he took a few steps toward first base, and outfielder J.D. Martinez bumped into the wall as he backed up.

Fans roared as the ball sailed a half-dozen rows into the seats.

Rodriguez pointed to the crowd a couple of times and blew a kiss to someone behind the backstop after crossing the plate. He was greeted by Mark Teixeira and other teammates between the plate and the dugout, and got a big hug from manager Joe Girardi.

The only other players to hit a homer for No. 3,000 were Jeter and Wade Boggs.

Retrieving the souvenir ball might be harder for Rodriguez than hitting it. Zack Hample, a 37-year-old who describes himself as a professional home run ball catcher, wound up with the prized keepsake.

Hample originally told the Yankees he had no intention of giving it back. He watched the ninth inning with team president Randy Levine and chief operating officer Lonn Trost, and said he’s considering what to do.

“Now, I’m thinking about it,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

“There’s no right thing to do,” he said. “I want to enjoy the moment.”

A day earlier, Hample tweeted that Rodriguez “deserves favors from no one, least of all a fan.”

Rodriguez turns 40 next month. The three-time AL MVP launched his 13th homer of the season and has enjoyed a productive year as a designated hitter after returning from his suspension.

Rodriguez hit his 667th career home run after beginning the day with a .299 lifetime average in 21 seasons. He joined Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players with 600 homers and 3,000 hits.

Earlier this year, Rodriguez passed Mays for fourth place on the all-time homer list and eclipsed Barry Bonds for second on the official RBIs chart.

“I’m enjoying this season as much as any,” he said.

Unlike with home run No. 660 that tied Mays, there was no marketing agreement between Rodriguez and the Yankees regarding this milestone — and thus, no potential squabble over $6 million. The team even tweeted updates throughout his pursuit, using the hashtag AROD3K.

This hit was quite different from his first one — a four-hop, infield single on July 9, 1994, at Fenway Park against Boston’s Sergio Valdez. Back then, Rodriguez was an 18-year-old batting last for the Seattle Mariners, a young man with a big future.

Friday night’s plate umpire, Ed Hickox, coincidentally was behind the plate for A-Rod’s first hit, too.

“Is that right — 21 years apart?” Hickox said an hour before the first pitch. “I was aware he was a prospect for Seattle when he got the hit, but that’s all we knew then.”

For all his achievements, A-Rod has been a polarizing lightning rod in recent years. While the crowd in the Bronx cheered him, there are many fans who will forever attach an asterisk to anything Rodriguez accomplishes.

Such is the baseball world in the wake of performance-enhancing drugs, where RBIs, ERAs and other huge numbers have been tainted by PEDs. Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire are among the many with Cooperstown-caliber credentials who haven’t come close to being elected to the Hall of Fame because of drug scandals.

High school student Claire Campo, from Mission Viejo, California, bought a $135 Rodriguez jersey in the souvenir store an hour before the game.

“I love Alex Rodriguez,” she said. “People need to get off his case. He’s done everything you could ask for on the field. What he’s done off the field, he apologized and paid the price. What more do you want?”

Her grandfather, Larry Vastola of Morristown, New Jersey, said he completely agreed with her. But he said his wife — Campo’s grandmother — had a different view.

“She can’t stand him,” he said. “When we get home, we’re going to tell her that they dislike him so much at Yankee Stadium that they were giving away these jerseys.”

Rodriguez was the No. 1 pick in the 1993 draft. He became a star in Seattle, later joined Texas and was traded to the Yankees after the 2003 season. His 3,000th hit was his 1,465th with the Yankees.

As Rodriguez ascended to becoming a perennial All-Star, many looked at him as a player who could help restore credibility to the record books while stars such as Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro were caught up in drug scandals during the late 1990s and 2000s.

But in 2009, Rodriguez admitted to using steroids while with Texas. His involvement in the Biogenesis drug investigation near Miami, where he lives in the offseason, was a low point and it got him suspended for a year after an acrimonious appeal.

After suing MLB and the Yankees — all lawsuits have been dropped — Rodriguez returned to baseball with trepidation. But he has won back some fans in New York by being a productive player on the field and a model citizen off the diamond.

Rodriguez homered on the birthday of late Yankees hero Lou Gehrig, and connected a day before Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson, Boggs and other New York stars return for Old-Timers’ Day.

Jeter finished with 3,465 hits. His milestone day was indeed monumental, when he went 5 for 5 with the deciding hit. The buzz leading up to his 3,000th became the talk of baseball and when he homered off Tampa Bay’s David Price — now with the Tigers — the crowd responded with a 4-minute ovation.

As Jeter rounded the bases, first baseman Casey Kotchman doffed his hat and several Tampa Bay players came out of the dugout to applaud.

Rodriguez came out for a curtain call after his homer, but there was nothing close to the outpouring of love that Jeter received. Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love and New York Knicks executive Phil Jackson were among those in attendance.

Rodriguez homered off Verlander for the fourth straight game, and popped up and grounded out in his next two at-bats. A-Rod has tagged a lot of pitchers over the years, getting 26 hits off knuckleballer Tim Wakefield and 25 off David Wells.

The pitcher who has held Rodriguez hitless the longest? Arizona lefty Oliver Perez, against whom Rodriguez is 0 for 11.

Rodriguez tied the late Roberto Clemente with 3,000 hits, and can rapidly move up the list. Craig Biggio is 21st and reachable this year with 3,060, and Cal Ripken is 15th at 3,184.

Pete Rose owns the career record with 4,256. As for who will next reach 3,000, it’s hard to say.

Ichiro Suzuki, now a part-time player for the Marlins, is closest to Rodriguez and began the day with 2,886 hits. Adrian Beltre followed with 2,657 and Albert Pujols had 2,585. Tigers star Miguel Cabrera had 2,266 and is 32.

Before Jeter, no player had gotten his 3,000th hit in a Yankees uniform. Now, the last two to accomplish the feat did so wearing pinstripes.

TIME Sports

Utah Baseball Team Cancels ‘Caucasian Heritage Night’

Was to have included "wonder bread on burgers with mayonnaise"

A minor league Utah baseball team cancelled a ‘caucasian heritage night’ planned for August after social media backlash in the wake of the racially-motivated shootings in Charleston.

The Orem Owlz were planning on hosting a “Caucasian Heritage Night” on Aug 10, inviting fans who are “Irish, Italian, Scandinavian, German…. or even Utahn! Whatever your background, celebrate it at the Home of the Owlz!” The Owlz are a minor league farm team for the Los Angeles Angels.

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 5.01.30 PM

But the backlash on social media has been swift, especially in the wake of the racial tensions surrounding the killings in a Charleston church this week.

In a statement canceling the event, an Owlz spokesperson said that the event was intended to “have fun and make fun of everyday normalcies.”

“Our night was to include wonder bread on burgers with mayonnaise, clips from shows like Friends and Seinfeld and trying to solve the vertical leaping challenge,” the team said in a statement. “We understand, in light of recent tragic events, that our intentions have been misconstrued. For that, we sincerely apologize.”

 

 

TIME Baseball

Red Sox Third Baseman Pablo Sandoval Got Benched Over an In-Game Instagram

Red Sox Sandoval Baseball
Jon Barash—AP Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) was benched before the start of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on June 18, 2015

He "liked" a photo during a game against Atlanta, but rules prohibit cell phone use during games

We’ve all done it: in a moment of down time, waiting for the train or between tasks at work, you pull out your phone and read e-mail, check Facebook, flip through Instagram, so habitually that it’s almost a reflex. It turns out that major league baseball players do it, too—but then they pay the price.

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval fell victim on Wednesday during his team’s 5-2 loss to Atlanta. While the game was in progress, Sandoval returned to the team’s clubhouse and “liked” a photograph on Instagram, ESPN reports.

MLB Standards and On-Field Operations Regulations include a rule prohibiting players (as well as personnel and clubhouse/equipment staff) from “using cellular phones, including any type of portable or mobile phone, laptop, texting device or similar portable equipment while on the bench, in the bullpens or on the playing field once batting practice has begun.” That precludes social media, of course.

Sandoval told ESPN that he had met with the team’s manager and general manager and apologized. “I know I f—ed up,” he said. “I’m a human being, I made a mistake, so I apologize to my teammates.”

He admitted to being aware of the rule against cellphone use during games but said, “I was in the bathroom, I pushed it at the wrong time. … I just grabbed my phone and checked it.”

Sandoval will return to the Red Sox line-up on Thursday, as the team faces off against the Kansas City Royals.

[ESPN]

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com