Beckett pitches his 1st no-hitter
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Josh Beckett pitched the first no-hitter of his stellar career and the first in the majors this season, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0 on Sunday.
Beckett struck out six, walked three and didn’t come close to allowing a hit against a lineup that included two former NL MVPs and four former All-Stars.
The 34-year-old right-hander, whose career was almost derailed last year by injuries, threw 128 pitches. This was the Dodgers’ first no-hitter since Hideo Nomo beat Colorado at Coors Field in 1996.
Beckett threw the first no-hitter in the majors since Miami’s Henderson Alvarez did it against Detroit on the final day of the 2013 season.
Beckett became the first visiting pitcher to throw a no-hitter in Philadelphia since Montreal’s Bill Stoneman stopped the Phillies on April 17, 1969, at Connie Mack Stadium.
All of the defensive plays behind Beckett were routine. Domonic Brown had the hardest out, a liner that left fielder Carl Crawford ran down near the warning track in the fifth.
Beckett sat at the end of the bench, next to a security guard, as the Dodgers batted in the ninth inning, then took the mound.
Beckett retired pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn Jr. on a popup to shortstop to start the ninth. Speedy Ben Revere followed with a grounder that first baseman Adrian Gonzalez fielded, and he flipped to Beckett covering the bag for the second out.
Jimmy Rollins was up next, and Beckett walked him on a full-count pitch. That brought up Chase Utley, and Beckett got him to look at a 94 mph fastball on a 3-2 pitch for strike three to end it.
Beckett walked off the mound, pumped his fist and was mobbed by teammates. He got a standing ovation from Phillies fans on his way to the dugout.
Beckett (3-1) has bounced back neatly from an injury-plagued season. A three-time All-Star, he was the MVP of the 2003 World Series for the Marlins, capping off their championship run by pitching a five-hit shutout in the clinching Game 6 at Yankee Stadium.