Nearly A No-Hitter, Marlins Declare Victory Over Rockies
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MIAMI (AP) — The toll from throwing 123 pitches showed on Anibal Sanchez. The Florida Marlins right-hander wore one big bag of ice on his right shoulder, another on his right arm and yet another on his right thigh as he settled into a chair with a grimace.
Trying to throw a no-hitter is hard.
Sanchez held the Colorado Rockies hitless Friday night until Dexter Fowler led off the ninth inning with a broken-bat single. Sanchez then got the final three outs for a one-hitter and the Marlins won 4-1.
Sanchez (1-1) had a career-high nine strikeouts and allowed one unearned run. He threw a no-hitter for Florida in 2006 and shook off the disappointment of falling just shy of another.
“It was awesome to have the opportunity to almost throw again a no-hitter,” Sanchez said. “I’m excited.”
The hit came on Sanchez’s 116th pitch, and the first of the ninth. Fowler pulled a single to right field past second baseman Omar Infante, ending the no-hit bid.
“To see it go on a broken bat is kind of disheartening,” Marlins catcher John Buck said, “but it shows how hard it is to do. It’s just the way it rolls.”
It was the second one-hitter in the majors this season. Dan Haren of the Los Angeles Angels also had one in a 2-0 victory over Cleveland on April 12.
Fowler was doubled off first on a lineout by Jonathan Herrera. Carlos Gonzalez grounded out to end the game.
Gaby Sanchez and Chris Coghlan homered for the Marlins, who won their fourth straight. Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin (3-1) allowed four runs in five innings.
Sanchez walked three, including Fowler to lead off the game. He was unfazed when a two-out fielding error by first baseman Gaby Sanchez allowed Fowler to score.
“Anibal has a very strong mental approach,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “After that first inning, it takes mental toughness to keep his composure, and he did a great job.”
A 27-year-old Venezuelan, Sanchez came into the game 0-1 with a 5.51 ERA in three starts. He was looking for his second career no-hitter after throwing one Sept. 6, 2006, against the Arizona Diamondbacks during his rookie season in just his 13th start.
Sanchez required shoulder surgery the following year and slowly regained his form. Last year, he achieved career-high totals in wins and innings when he went 13-12 with a 3.55 ERA.
After Colorado took the early lead, Coghlan led off the first with his second home run of the season. The Marlins made it 3-1 on a run-scoring sacrifice bunt by Anibal Sanchez and an RBI groundout by Coghlan.
Gaby Sanchez’s home run stretched the Marlins’ lead to 4-1.
Meanwhile, Anibal Sanchez was cruising along with a mix of curves, sliders, changeups and cutters to go along with his mid-90s fastball.
“Everything was working,” he said. “I’m throwing harder than last year.”
In the third, he benefited from an inning-ending double play. He struck out the side in the sixth.
With one out in the seventh, Troy Tulowitzki hit a hard grounder off Sanchez’s right leg and the ball bounced toward first base. Sanchez scrambled to the ball and beat Tulowitzki to the bag for the out. Rodriguez, pitching coach Randy St. Claire and a trainer tended to Sanchez, but he stayed in the game.
He walked the next batter before he struck out Seth Smith looking to end the inning.
(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)