Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants threw 148 pitches to earn his first no-hitter and the second this season in Major League Baseball, a 9-0 victory against the San Diego Padres.
Lincecum (5-9) struck out 13 batters and walked four at Petco Park in San Diego, getting support from three runs scored by battery mate Buster Posey and hitting and defense by outfielder Hunter Pence.
“I wanted to stick to my game plan,” Lincecum said in a televised interview. “Buster and I did a great job of staying on the same page.”
Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young winner, almost lost the no-hitter in the eighth inning when Alexi Amarista hit a sinking line drive that was caught on a dive by Pence.
“I thought for sure it was a hit,” Lincecum said. “You see Hunter flying out of nowhere making the flying grab. That was really impressive -- a big play for us.”
Lincecum said he never felt as if fatigue would interfere with his pitching. “I was a little sweaty, but I felt great,” he said. “It felt good to get something going for the team.”
The 148 pitches are the most the right-hander has ever thrown in MLB, topping a previous high of 142.
“I wasn’t really thinking about my pitch count,” he said. “I was thinking about getting the job done.”
Lincecum took the loss in the first no-hitter of the 2013 season, thrown July 2 by Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds, who allowed only one walk in a 3-0 win against the visiting Giants. Bailey also threw the last of 2012’s seven no-hitters, on Sept. 28 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Giants improved to 43-50 to hold fourth place in the National League West, 6 ½ games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks and three games ahead of the last place Padres (41-54).
It’s the 15th no-hitter for the franchise and the first since Matt Cain threw a perfect game in a 10-0 Giants win over the Houston Astros on June 13, 2012.
Texas Rangers President and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan holds the major league record with seven no-hitters.
The Padres are the only major league team that’s never recorded a no-hitter against an opponent.
Pablo Sandoval doubled in the first to drive in Posey for a 1-0 lead. Posey scored again in the fourth on Pence’s ground-out and Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer to push the scored to 4-0 in the fourth inning.
Pence’s triple in the fifth sent home Lincecum, Posey and Sandoval, followed by Belt’s run-scoring single for an 8-0 lead. Pence finished the scoring in the eighth with his 14th home run of the season.
Edinson Volquez (6-8) allowed eight runs on nine hits in five innings while striking out six for the Padres.