Chattanooga Times Free Press

Brewers’ no-hitter MLB’s 9th of year

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CLEVELAND — In a sometimes sticky season, Corbin Burnes got a grip on history.

The Milwaukee Brewers ace combined with reliever Josh Hader to pitch Major League Baseball’s record ninth no-hitter this season, breaking a mark set when pitchers began throwing overhand in 1884, in a 3-0 win against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.

Months after MLB officials clamped down on pitchers’ use of illicit foreign substances after a rash of early no-hitters, Burnes cemented 2021 as the Year of the No-No with just the second no-hitter in Brewers history.

“It was a masterpiec­e,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.

Burnes (10-4) struck out 14 batters with a career-high 115 pitches in eight innings, taking a perfect game into the seventh while overpoweri­ng the Indians, who were held hitless for a record third time in 2021. All of those came with starter Zach Plesac on the mound.

This time, Cleveland was stymied by Burnes — who has become a Cy Young contender as the Brewers run away with the National League Central Division title — and Hader, one of the game’s top closers.

“Anyone would want to keep pitching in that situation, but if there was anyone I would want out there for the ninth, it would be Josh Hader,” Burnes said. “There were no nerves with him. It was more like a done deal when he came in.”

The right-handed Burnes was in control from the start, striking out 11 of the first 14 batters he faced and retiring the first 18 in order. After walking Myles Straw to start the seventh, the 26-year-old got through the eighth thanks to a diving catch by center fielder Lorenzo Cain on Owen Miller’s liner.

“I was definitely on my horse, ready to go get that one,” Cain said. “You need a little bit of everything to go right in a no-hitter.”

The Progressiv­e Field crowd booed as Hader came on in the ninth. He overpowere­d Oscar Mercado, striking him out to start the inning. Then, first baseman Jace Peterson went into foul territory to making a lunging catch for the second out.

Hader completed the no-hitter by getting Straw to flail at a pitch in the dirt for his 31st save of the year. The Brewers stormed the field to share hugs and high-fives with a signature victory in their runaway season.

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