Angels’ Cole, Peña combine for no-hitter against Mariners
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Taylor Cole and Félix Peña of the Los Angeles Angels pitched the second combined no-hitter in franchise history, beating the Seattle Mariners 13-0 Friday night in the team’s first home game since the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
It is the second no-hitter in the majors this season. Oakland’s Mike Fiers no-hit Cincinnati on May 7. It is the 13th combined no-hitter in MLB history and the first since the Dodgers did it against San Diego on May 4, 2018, in Monterrey, Mexico.
Mallex Smith ended the game with a sharp grounder to second baseman Luis Rengifo, who threw to Justin Bour for the final out and the 11th no-hitter in Angels franchise history.
The Angels charged from the dugout and gathered in celebration near home plate. Then, all the Angels players, who were wearing Skaggs’ No. 45 on their jersey, covered the pitching mound with the jerseys as a tribute to Skaggs, on the eve of what would have been his 28th birthday.
“I feel like this is partly Skaggsy’s no-hitter,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “I don’t think it’s something that even crosses your mind, on a night that you’re honoring a fallen teammate that you could score 13 runs or throw a no-hitter.”
Skaggs was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Texas on July 1. Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, threw out the first pitch during an emotional pregame ceremony which included a 45-second moment of silence after a tribute video was played.
Skaggs’ close friend, Mike Trout, was the offensive hero for the Angels with three hits and six RBIs. In his first at-bat, he hit a Mike Leake sinker 450 feet over the wall in center field on the first pitch for a two-run homer and his AL-leading 29th of the season as the Angels put up seven in the opening frame.
“Fletch (David Fletcher) had a great at-bat, hit a double. I got a good pitch to hit, and it went out,” Trout said.
Trout added a two-run double to left later in the inning to extend the lead to 7-0. He was the first LA player to have two extra-base hits in the first inning since Jim Edmonds in 1994.
“You can’t make this stuff up. He’s probably up there saying we’re nasty,” said Trout, using what was one of Skaggs’ favorite sayings.
Right-handers Cole and Peña combined for eight strikeouts and retired the first 13 batters. The only Seattle player to reach base was designated hitter Omar Narvaez, who walked with one out in the fifth inning.
Cole was the opener and went two innings, striking out two on 22 pitches, including 13 strikes. He joins Babe Ruth and Roy Oswalt as only starting pitchers to toss two-or-fewer innings as part of a no-hitter.
Peña worked the final seven innings — matching a career high — and struck out six with one walk. The right-hander threw 81 pitches, 52 strikes.
Peña got some help in the sixth inning when third baseman Matt Theiss made a diving stop to glove Mac Williamson’s grounder and throw him out at first.
“It certainly was the Angels night. We did nothing offensively,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Peña had a really good slider and our guys continued to swing over top of them.”
“For sure I felt him,” said Peña of Skaggs. “Every time I was on the mound, I was trying to remember the words he said to me. Focus, focus.”
It is the first Angels no-hitter since Jared Weaver accomplished the feat against Minnesota on May 2, 2012.
The only other combined no-hitter by Los Angeles was by Mark Langston and Mike Witt, which also happened against Seattle on April 11, 1990. The Angels join the Orioles as the only franchises to have multiple combined no-hitters
It is the fourth time that the Mariners have been no hit and the first since Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game on April 21, 2012.
Los Angeles sent 13 batters to the plate in the first and had eight hits. It is the first time in 283 major-league starts that Leake has not made it out of the first inning. The right-hander allowed seven runs (four earned) on eight hits.
It was the first time since Aug. 7 of last season against Detroit that the Angels had scored seven runs in the first.
Justin Upton, who had two hits, added a solo shot in the seventh inning.
Mariners: OF Mitch Haniger (ruptured testicle) has a doctor’s appointment next week and has not done any baseball activities. ... RHP Félix Hernández (right shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session on Monday.
Angels: C Jonathan Lucroy was placed on the seven-day concussion list retroactive to Tuesday. Kevan Smith was activated from the injured list and will split time with Dustin Garneau at catcher. ... IF Zack Cozart (torn labrum) will undergo season-ending surgery on his left shoulder Wednesday. The surgery will not fix the labrum but will fix the area around it to help ease the pain.
Mariners: Will go with an opener before handing the ball to LHP Wade LeBlanc (5-2, 4.66 ERA). LeBlanc is 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA in seven appearances following an opener.
Angels: RHP Matt Harvey (2-4, 7.50 ERA) will make his first start since May 23. He has been on the injured list with an upper back strain.