Garza faced the minimum batters last night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, walking Brennan Boesch in the second inning for Detroit’s only base-runner before Ryan Raburn hit into a double-play to end the inning.
Garza, 26, threw 120 pitches and struck out six, retiring pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago on a fly ball to right field that was caught by Ben Zobrist to end the game. Garza said he didn’t realize he was on the verge of history until the ninth inning.
“Everything just was right tonight and it feels great,” Garza said in a televised interview after the game. “I just went out there and attacked the (strike) zone.”
Zobrist also leapt to catch a ball over his head after running it down in deep right field in the third inning.
“We played great defense,” Garza said. “It’s a lot easier to play when those guys play the way they did.”
The Rays, who have twice been held hitless this season, improved to 60-38 with the win, while the Tigers fell to 51-47.
Most Since ‘91
This season’s five no-hitters are the most in the major leagues since seven were thrown in 1990 and 1991.
The previous was June 25 by Arizona Diamondbacks’ Edwin Jackson, who needed 149 pitches. Ubaldo Jimenez threw this season’s first no-hitter April 17 as the Colorado Rockies beat Atlanta 4-0. Oakland’s Dallas Braden tossed a perfect game in the Athletics’ 4-0 win over the Rays on May 9 and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy Halladay also was perfect in a 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins on May 29.
Detroit’s Armando Galarraga narrowly missed throwing a perfect game in June when the 27th and final out was incorrectly ruled an infield hit.
The San Diego Padres and New York Mets are the only major- league clubs to have never thrown a no-hitter.