Halladay Pitches Perfect Game for Phillies, 20th in Major League History

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay retired 27 consecutive Florida Marlins batters last night for the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the second this month.

“It was awesome,” Halladay said in a televised interview on the MLB Network after the Phillies defeated the Marlins 1-0. “What can I say?”

Third baseman Juan Castro made a diving catch in the eighth inning to preserve Halladay’s perfect game, and then grabbed a grounder by pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino for the final out. Eleven Marlins struck out at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

“It’s never something that you think is possible,” Halladay said. “Really, once I got the two outs, I felt like I had a chance. You’re always aware of it. It’s not something that you expect.”

Halladay follows Dallas Braden, who pitched a perfect game for the Oakland Athletics on May 9 in a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay. It’s the first time two perfect games have been pitched in the same season since 1880, according to MLB.com.

Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game in Philadelphia’s 6-0 win over the New York Mets on June 21, 1964, the last time a Phillies pitcher retired every batter he faced.

“About the fifth or sixth inning, I was just following Cruz (catcher Carlos Ruiz),” Halladay said. “He mixed the pitches, I was just following him.”

The Phillies’ only score last night came on a third-inning error by Marlins centerfielder Cameron Maybin, which allowed Chase Utley to reach third as Wilson Valdez scored.

Halladay is 7-3 on the season. The Phillies lead the National League East Division with a 28-20 record.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

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