Edwin Jackson overcame a wild start to throw the fourth no-hitter in the season of the pitcher, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
Jackson threw a whopping 149 pitches – a major league high – and walked eight, all but one in the first three innings, in the second no-hitter in Diamondbacks’ history.
“I didn’t pay attention to the pitch count at the end; I didn’t want it on my mind,” Jackson said.
This is the third time the Rays have been no-hit since last July, including Dallas Braden’s perfect game at Oakland on May 9.
Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez no-hit Atlanta on April 17 and Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay tossed a perfect game at Florida on May 29. Armando Galarraga had his perfect game ended with two outs in the ninth on a blown call by umpire Jim Joyce.
Jason Bartlett grounded to shortstop Stephen Drew for the final out and Jackson’s teammates mobbed him on the field after the improbable feat. Jackson improved his career record to 43-45 in eight seasons. He was an All-Star last year for Detroit before being traded to Arizona in the offseason in a three-team trade with the Yankees that included Curtis Granderson.
Jackson was hit with a pie in the face by a teammate as he was doing an on-field interview.
“It was definitely a great feeling, especially after those first few innings,” Jackson said.
Adam LaRoche homered off Jeff Niemann (6-2) with one out in the second, all the support Jackson would need.
Jackson (5-6) walked the bases loaded in the third but was bailed out by a stellar play by third baseman Mark Reynolds, who spun around to throw out Ben Zobrist at home plate. Hank Blalock then grounded out to end the inning.
Reynolds made another big play on a sharp line drive by Bartlett in the seventh. Earlier in the at-bat Bartlett hit a dribbler that hung close to the third base line before rolling foul in front of the bag.
In the eighth, Miguel Montero threw out pinch-runner Carl Crawford trying to steal second after Carlos Pena reached on an error by Drew.
Jackson was so wild and the pitch count unusually high that the Diamondbacks had relievers warming up from the sixth inning on.
No one has thrown that many pitches in a nine-inning game since June 3, 2005, when Washington’s Livan Hernandez threw 150 against the Marlins.
Jackson pitched for the Rays from 2006-08. His only other shutout in 126 career starts came for Tampa Bay in 2007.
“To be able to come back and give the crowd I used to play for something to see. Today is just a special day. Something I’ll never forget,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s eight walks were a career high – he struck out six. In 2001, A.J. Burnett walked a record nine in a no-hitter for Florida against San Diego.
In the ninth, Jackson struck out B.J. Upton on three pitches. Blalock flied to left before Jackson got the final out for his 149th pitch.
Niemann struck out eight and walked two in 7 1-3 innings.
The performance by Jackson, who helped Tampa Bay make an improbable run to the World Series two years ago, overshadowed the first meeting between brothers B.J. and Justin Upton, who despite being relatively close in age had never competed with or against each other at any level before Friday.
The Uptons are one of nine sets of brothers who have played in the majors this season. About 65 relatives and friends are in town for the series, and mother, Yvonne, wore a jersey bearing the names and numbers of both above the notation: “my sons.”
Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch joked with Justin before the game that he was tempted to post a mock lineup that didn’t include the right fielder.
“I said, ‘would have you been in here”’ to protest, “and he said: `My mother would have been in here.”’
NOTES: Randy Johnson threw a perfect game for the Diamondbacks against Atlanta on May 18, 2004. … Crawford was out of the lineup with a sore throwing shoulder. … Hinch confirmed Arizona had given the Florida Marlins permission to talk with 3B coach Bo Porter about their open managerial opening.