CLEVELAND (AP) — Wade Miley pitched baseball’s second no-hitter in three days — and fourth already this season — leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-0 win Friday night over the Cleveland Indians, who were no-hit for the second time in a month.
Miley (4-2) relied on breaking pitches and his experience of 11-plus major league seasons to baffle the Indians and throw Cincinnati’s first no-hitter since Homer Bailey in 2013.
“It feels surreal,” the 34-year-old said.
The left-hander shook off an 83-minute rain delay to start the game and followed Baltimore’s John Means, who no-hit Seattle on Wednesday, to continue an early run of pitching gems in 2021 — quickly becoming the Year of the No-No.
San Diego’s Joe Musgrove started the ‘21 no-hitter club by throwing the first in Padres’ history on April 9. Five days later, Chicago White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodón blanked the Indians, just missing a perfect game when he hit a batter in the ninth inning.
Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner pitched a seven-inning no-hitter against Atlanta on April 25, but that one isn’t recognized as official because it didn’t go nine innings.
This is the earliest in a calendar year there have been four no-hitters since 1917, when the fourth was thrown on May 5 and the fifth on May 6. It’s no wonder, with hitters entering Friday batting a record-low .233 this season.
For their part, the Indians joined a dubious list by becoming the 16th team to be no-hit twice in the same season. It most recently happened to Seattle in 2019.
Miley walked one and struck out eight on 114 pitches.
“He put on a clinic,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
While Miley was blanking the Indians, Zach Plesac did the same to the Reds for eight innings before Cincinnati pushed three runs across in the ninth, helped by closer Emmanuel Clase’s throwing error and a balk.
The Reds got a pair of singles before Clase (2-1) fielded an infield tapper and threw wide of second base, allowing Nick Senzel to score from second. Then, with runners at the corners, Clase began his windup before stopping and tried to throw to second.
Mike Moustakas, starting at first for the injured Joey Votto, followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0 and give Miley more cushion — but also more tome to think about it in the dugout.
In the ninth, Miley retired pinch-hitter René Rivera on a lazy fly to right, struck out César Hernández and then retired Jordan Luplow on a grounder to third before he was mobbed by the Reds, who encircled him and danced across the grass.
Miley came in just 1-4 in eight career starts against the Indians, who were batting only .213 as a team. But Cleveland has been as hot as any team, riding a five-game winning streak and winning nine of 11 to take over first in the AL Central.
Working quickly on a cool, damp night, Miley made quick work of the Indians.
He coasted through five inning and didn’t allow a baserunner until the sixth, when Cleveland’s Amed Rosario reached on second baseman Senzel’s fielding error and then went to second on his throwing error.
Miley also allowed a walk in the inning, but regrouped by getting Luplow on a liner to left.
Franmil Reyes came the closest to getting a hit for the Indians, but his hard smash in the fifth inning was right at shortstop Kyle Farmer, who knocked it down and had plenty of time to throw out the slow-footed slugger.
It was the Reds’ 17th no-hitter since 1892.
“For something like this to happen, I don’t have the words,” Miley said.
The Indians will be without starting catcher Roberto Pérez for at least two months after he had surgery to fix a fractured ring finger.
Pérez had three pins inserted into the finger, which he hurt in a game on April 14. The 32-year-old is one of baseball’s best defensive catchers, and the team will miss him handling its strong pitching staff.
With the Reds missing Votto, and the Indians getting little production from their Yu Chang-Jake Bauers platoon at first base, Albert Pujols would seem like a possibility for either club.
The slugger was released earlier this week by the Los Angeles Angels.
However, Reds manager David Bell said Pujols “is not something we’ve discussed. We believe in the guys that we have.”
And while Pujols would be an offensive upgrade, the Indians prefer to give their young players as many at-bats as possible.
The Reds erupted in cheers while stretching before batting practice when Naquin’s unforgettable inside-the-park homer in 2016 was shown on the stadium scoreboard.
Naquin punctuated his 360-foot dash with a headfirst slide into home plate and fist pump.
Aaron Civale (4-0) starts for the Indians against Luis Castillo (1-3), who has lost both of his previous starts against Cleveland.