Cole Hamels and three Philadelphia Phillies relievers combined to pitch a no-hitter on Monday, beating the Atlanta Braves 7-0 and giving a last-place team a rare reason to celebrate.
Hamels (8-6) was pulled after six innings and said he was fine with manager Ryne Sandberg’s decision. The lefty struck out seven, walked five, hit a batter and threw 108 pitches.
Relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and closer Jonathan Papelbon each pitched a perfect inning to finish off the fourth no-hitter in the majors this season. This was the 11th combined no-hitter in major league history.
Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett of the Dodgers and Tim Lincecum of the Giants threw no-hitters earlier this year.
Right fielder Marlon Byrd foiled the Braves’ best bid for a hit, racing in and toward the line to make a diving catch on Chris Johnson’s slicing liner to end the third.
Kevin Millwood and five Seattle relievers threw the previous combined no-hitter in the majors, against the Dodgers in 2012. The first combined no-hitter came in 1917, when Babe Ruth walked the first Washington batter of the game and was ejected, and Boston Red Sox reliever Ernie Shore did not allow another runner.
Julio Teheran (13-10) took the loss.
NATIONALS 6, DODGERS 4
In Los Angeles, Denard Span hit two of Washington’s four homers, Gio Gonzalez got his first victory of the second half and the Nationals beat the Dodgers in a matchup of division leaders.
The East-leading Nationals (78-58) own the NL’s best record, while the Dodgers (77-61) are atop the West and close behind in pursuit of the top seed, despite losing for the third time in four games.
Gonzalez (7-9) allowed three runs and three hits in six-plus innings. The left-hander was 0-5 with a 4.38 ERA in his previous nine games.
Rafael Soriano pitched a shaky ninth to earn his 31st save.
Roberto Hernandez (2-2) gave up five runs and five hits — including a career-high four homers — in 4-1/3 innings for the Dodgers.
ATHLETICS 6, MARINERS 1
In Oakland, California, Adam Dunn provided instant pop for the struggling Athletics, hitting a towering, two-run homer in his first at-bat for Oakland to highlight a win over Seattle.
Acquired a day earlier in a trade with the Chicago White Sox, Dunn became the 12th player in Oakland history to homer in his first at-bat with the team.
Dunn homered off Chris Young (12-7) during a five-run first inning. His drive was a welcome sight for a team that just got swept in a four-game series by the AL West-leading Angels and was shut out for 29 straight innings.
In other MLB action, it was:
‧ Royals 4, Rangers 3
‧ Twins 6, Orioles 4
‧ Tigers 12, Indians 1
‧ Rays 4, Red Sox 3, 10 inns
‧ Rockies 10, Giants 9
‧ Giants 4, Rockies 2
‧ Cubs 4, Brewers 2
‧ Cardinals 5, Pirates 4
‧ Marlins 9, Mets 6
‧ Padres 3, Diamondbacks 1