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Colorado at Atlanta

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Atlanta (6-5)000000000000

Jimenez twirls Rockies' first no-hitter in domination of Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Once Ubaldo Jimenez found the strike zone, the Atlanta Braves had no chance -- and the Colorado Rockies had their first no-hitter.

Jimenez pitched the first no-hitter in the Rockies' 18-year history and the majors' first this season, getting help from a spectacular catch by Dexter Fowler in the seventh inning of a 4-0 win over the Braves on Saturday night.

Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies

Danny Knobler
Last year, Jim Tracy said he wanted Ubaldo Jimenez to understand how good he can be. Well, if the 26-year-old right-hander didn't know how good he can be before tonight, he sure should know it now. More

Pitching history

NL no-hitters | AL no-hitters | Perfect games

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"It is every pitcher's dream to be out there for nine innings and throw a no-hitter," Jimenez said.

Firing fastballs that reached at 98 mph into the ninth inning, Jimenez pitched the first no-hitter since White Sox ace Mark Buehrle tossed a perfect game in a 5-0 victory over Tampa Bay on July 23, 2009.

The San Diego Padres, New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays are the remaining teams without a no-hitter.

After walking the leadoff batter in the fifth inning -- his sixth walk -- Jimenez began working exclusively out of the stretch.

"In the fifth inning Bob Apodaca, he just came to me and was like 'You've been throwing good from the stretch, why don't you just give it a try?"' Jimenez said of his pitching coach's advice.

He retired the next 15 batters to end it, but the biggest assist he received was from Fowler, his center fielder.

With no outs in the seventh inning, Fowler made a diving catch in left-center on Troy Glaus' sinking line drive, the Braves best chance for a hit.

"The way he dove, I was like unbelievable," Jimenez said.

Jimenez (3-0) gave Fowler, an Atlanta native, a big hug.

"I appreciated that," Fowler said.

Fowler said of the catch: "The ball hung up there long enough for me to go up there and get it. Usually if a ball goes up, I always think I had a chance to get it."

There was no relief in the ninth, with the Braves' 2-3-4 hitters coming to the plate.

"Oh my God, Chipper and McCann," Jimenez said. "They're two of the best hitters in the league. Why did it have to be those guys? Can't they give me a break or something?"

It didn't matter. Jimenez was not going to be denied.

Martin Prado popped out to second baseman Clint Barmes, Chipper Jones hit a flyball to left field and Brian McCann grounded out to Barmes on Jimenez's majors-high 128th pitch to end the game.

Jimenez thrust his arms in the air and was swarmed by teammates as he celebrated history for himself and his franchise.

The 26-year-old right-hander struck out seven and had an RBI single in the fourth inning.

"That was domination," Jones said. "Only one ball came close to falling."

Added McCann: "I'd never been no-hit. I'd never even seen a no-hitter, except on TV. ... It was probably the best performance I've ever seen. He's impressive."

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said he was worried as the walks piled up early in the game.

"Because it's only his third start of the season, I start looking at the [pitch count]," Tracy said. "Is the pitch count intact enough to the point it doesn't become ridiculous and you run the risk of jeopardizing a young man's career?"

Jimenez began to establish himself as one of the majors' top young pitchers last year, when he went 15-12 with a 3.47 ERA and a team-best 218 innings to help the Rockies win the NL wild card. He has a 1.29 ERA in three starts this year.

Jimenez threw a major league-high 128 pitches against Atlanta, but the heavy workload is nothing new for the Dominican right-hander. He had at least 100 pitches in 29 of his 33 starts last year and finished with 3,570 total, second-most in the NL behind St. Louis' Adam Wainwright (3,614).

"Probably after the seventh inning I was like 'Whoa, there's only two innings left. I have a chance to do this,"' he said.

The Rockies have only one one-hitter in their history. Jason Jennings, Tom Martin and Brian Fuentes combined on a one-hit shutout in a 6-0 win over Oakland on June 20, 2006.

Randy Johnson was the last pitcher to hold the Braves hitless, when he was perfect against them in a 2-0 victory for Arizona on May 18, 2004.

The Braves had runners reach second base in the second, third and fourth innings, but Jimenez was in the zone after Jason Heyward walked leading off the fifth.

"Thank God I was able to go back and get the guys out," Jimenez said. "Thank God we got it."

Jimenez walked leadoff batter Melky Cabrera in the third, but Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami spoiled the chance with his bat and baserunning. After Cabrera walked, Kawakami bounced his attempted sacrifice bunt to Jimenez, who threw to second. Kawakami was safe at first and moved to second with two outs on Prado's second walk. But with Chipper Jones at the plate, Kawakami was picked off second base by catcher Miguel Olivo to end the inning.

Colorado Carlos Gonzalez led off the game with a double and scored on Troy Tulowitzki's sacrifice fly to left field.

The Rockies added three runs with two outs in the fourth. After singles by Brad Hawpe and Ian Stewart, Jimenez drove in Hawpe with a single up the middle. Gonzalez added a two-run double.

Kawakami (0-2) gave up eight hits and four runs in five innings. He had two walks and two strikeouts.

Kawakami wasn't sharp. He took some consolation from looking around the clubhouse after the game.

"It was not just my rhythm that was off," Kawakami said. "The lineup's rhythm was off."

Left-hander Jonny Venters, recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett earlier Saturday, gave up one hit in three scoreless innings in his major league debut.

Notes

  • The Braves optioned LHP Mike Dunn to Gwinnett when recalling Venters. Dunn was recalled when LHP Jo-Jo Reyes was placed on the disabled list on Thursday. An MRI Friday showed Reyes has a hyperextended right knee and bone bruise.
  • Rockies LHP Jeff Francis (left shoulder strain), and RHP Huston Street (right shoulder inflammation) threw on flat ground Saturday in Arizona.
  • Gonzalez hit leadoff after missing one start with a tight left hamstring.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Ubaldo Jimenez hits the high 90s in the 9th and is mobbed by his teammates after completing the no-hitter.  (AP)
Ubaldo Jimenez hits the high 90s in the 9th and is mobbed by his teammates after completing the no-hitter. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

C. Gonzalez
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Colorado

U. Jimenez
IP 9.0
H 0
ER 0
BB 6
K 7
 
Colorado Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez, LF5122011 .382
Dexter Fowler, CF5000002 .167
Todd Helton, 1B2010200 .324
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3001002 .250
Brad Hawpe, RF4130000 .393
Miguel Olivo, C4000014 .348
Ian Stewart, 3B3110110 .293
Clint Barmes, 2B4010003 .226
Ubaldo Jimenez, P4111021 .125
Totals3449435  
Batting
2B - Carlos Gonzalez 2 (3, Kawakami, Kawakami), Clint Barmes (4, Kawakami)
SF - Troy Tulowitzki (1)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez 2 (5), Troy Tulowitzki (6), Ubaldo Jimenez (1)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Gonzalez 2 (2), Ubaldo Jimenez (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Helton-Tulowitzki-Jimenez
Colorado Rockies
Ubaldo Jimenez (W,3-0) 9000670 1.29
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 128-72
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 7-11
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 31
Atlanta Braves
Nate McLouth, CF4000022 .148
Martin Prado, 2B2000210 .442
Chipper Jones, 3B3000101 .192
Brian McCann, C4000001 .300
Troy Glaus, 1B2000111 .216
Yunel Escobar, SS3000002 .227
Jason Heyward, RF2000121 .300
Melky Cabrera, LF2000101 .125
Kenshin Kawakami, P1000001 .000
   a- Brooks Conrad, PH1000001 .200
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
   b- Eric Hinske, PH1000010 .333
    Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
Totals2500067  
a-flied out for Kawakami in the 5th
b-struck out for Venters in the 8th
Batting
SB - Yunel Escobar (2, 2nd base off Jimenez/Olivo)
PK - Kenshin Kawakami (1, Jimenez)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Jones-Prado-Glaus
Atlanta Braves
Kenshin Kawakami (L,0-2) 5844220 4.91
Jonny Venters 3100120 0.00
Jesse Chavez 1000010 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Kenshin Kawakami 103-64, Jonny Venters 31-20, Jesse Chavez 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenshin Kawakami 5-7, Jonny Venters 4-3
Batters Faced - Kenshin Kawakami 24, Jonny Venters 11, Jesse Chavez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32602
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Jeff Nelson