Manning, 2 Tigers relievers combine to no-hit Blue Jays
Published 9:40 pm Sunday, July 9, 2023
DETROIT (AP) — Matt Manning wasn’t upset about being pulled while pitching a no-hitter.
He said he didn’t even realize it until someone told him in the dugout.
“I had no idea,” he said. “I was like, ‘well, dang,’”
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By the time the game was over, everyone at Comerica Park knew what Manning and relievers Jason Foley and Alex Lange had achieved.
Foley and Lange finished what Manning started, and the Tigers no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays in a 2-0 win on Saturday.
Manning (3-1) pitched 6 2/3 innings and Foley got four straight outs.
Lange, the Tigers closer, came in for the ninth and struck out Bo Bichette on three pitches. Brandon Belt lined out to center field, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. grounded out to third on an 0-2 pitch.
It was the ninth no-hitter in Tigers history and the first combined one. It was the first no-hitter for the franchise since Spencer Turnbull no-hit the Seattle Mariners on May 18, 2021. Detroit no-hit the Blue Jays for the second time — Justin Verlander did it at Toronto on May 7, 2011.
Verlander also pitched the most recent no-hitter against the Blue Jays, doing it for Houston on Sept. 1, 2019.
It’s second no-hitter in the majors this season after Domingo Germán’s perfect game for the New York Yankees at Oakland on June 28. The last combined no-hitter in the regular season was by the Houston Astros against the Yankees on June 25, 2022, and the Astros repeated the feat — again with Cristian Javier as the starting pitcher — against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of the World Series on Nov. 2.
The Tigers celebrated at the mound with Manning and Foley joining the crowd.
“How about that, Detroit?” Lange yelled to the crowd while being interviewed on the field with Manning, Foley and catcher Eric Haase. “Thank you for sitting through the rain to cheer for us.”
Manning was replaced after walking Cavan Biggio with two outs in the seventh. He walked three batters and hit one while striking out five. He threw 91 pitches.
“He was laboring a ton,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “I almost took him out after the fifth and after the sixth. I sent him out for the seventh, but once a runner gets on, we have to worry about winning the game.”
Foley retired Whit Merrifield in the seventh before pitching a perfect eighth.
“I thought Matty was going to keep going, but I got in there and tried to throw strikes,” he said. “This is pretty awesome — I couldn’t ask for two better guys to do this with.”
Kevin Gausman (7-5) allowed two runs in the first inning.
Riley Greene singled in his first at-bat since May 30 and scored on Spencer Torkelson’s one-out double in the first.
Kerry Carpenter followed with an RBI triple to make it 2-0, but Javier Báez hit into an inning-ending double play.
Carpenter made a spectacular catch to start the fourth inning, sliding in foul territory to catch Guerrero Jr’s pop fly down the right-field line.
Báez made a big play in the sixth, racing into left field to catch Bichette’s fly ball with left fielder Matt Vierling shifted to left-center field.
“You have to tip your cap to good pitching and some great defense,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “Javy made a great play on Bo’s ball and Carpenter made the catch on Vladdy. That’s usually what happens — you have good pitching backed up by some good plays.”
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 22 minutes by rain and a hard shower fell in the first inning.
“I think that helped me a lot — battling through adversity early like that,” said Manning, who started the game by hitting Bichette and walking Belt. “I got into rhythm with Haase and it felt really good.”
Haase also caught Turnbull’s no-hitter.
“About the sixth inning, you start counting outs,” he said. “Matt was keeping them uncomfortable and then Foley came in and shut the door before Lange did what he does.”
The Tigers lost 12-2 to the Blue Jays on Friday.
“Our approach at the plate was whatever we didn’t do last night,” Haase said. “That’s baseball — we got our teeth kicked in last night and get a combined no-hitter today.”
The Tigers activated Greene and RHP Beau Brieske from the injured list, optioned RHP Alex Faedo to Triple-A Toledo and designated INF Jonathan Schoop for assignment.
Greene reached base four times in his return, singling twice and walking twice.
WINNING OVER THE VISITING FANS
For the second time in 24 hours, the Tigers and Blue Jays drew more than 30,000 fans — about 50% supporting each team. That’s not uncommon when Toronto teams visit Detroit, but even the fans in blue were cheering at game’s end.
The teams finish a three-game series on Sunday with LHP Tarik Skubal (0-0, 0.00) making his second start of the season for Detroit. RHP Chris Bassitt (8-5, 4.09) is scheduled to pitch for the Blue Jays.