Six Tampa Bay Rays pitchers combined to throw nine no-hit innings against the Boston Red Sox, setting the stage for what could have been the first no-no of the new Major League Baseball season. Alas, the game did not have a score through nine, meaning extra innings were required. Bobby Dalbec hit a triple to open up the 10th inning, breaking up the no-no and ending the scoreless tie. The Red Sox would take a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the 10th, yet Hansel Robles would surrender a walk-off home run to Kevin Kiermaier that cemented a 3-2 Rays victory (box score).
This marked the 15th time in MLB history that a no-hitter was lost after nine innings, according to NoNoHitters.com. The most recent occasion prior to Saturday night occurred in August 2017, when Rich Hill gave up a walk-off home run to Josh Harrison in the bottom of the 10th to end his chance at history.
The Rays opened the game with J.P. Feyeresian, then lifted him after he completed two innings of work. From there, manager Kevin Cash turned to recent acquisition Javy Guerra, lefty Jeffrey Springs, and righties Jason Adam, Ryan Thompson, and Andrew Kittredge to navigate seven innings versus a Red Sox lineup that entered the night ranked a disappointing 12th in the majors in batting average (and much lower in other, more important offensive statistics). Matt Wisler would take over in the 10th, and he would end up giving up a pair of runs on two hits.
Unfortunately for the Rays, their own offense also found it difficult to mount much of an attack during the regulation-length game. The Rays notched just one hit through the first seven innings. Catcher Mike Zunino flew out to the warning track to end the eighth on a ball that seemingly had a chance to give Tampa Bay a lead.
The only official no-hitter in Rays franchise history was thrown by Matt Garza. He accomplished the feat in July 2010 against the Detroit Tigers. Garza threw 120 pitches that night and struck out six of the 27 batters he faced.
An assortment of Rays relievers did throw an unofficial combined no-hitter last season against the now-Cleveland Guardians. The reason it was unofficial, however, was because the game lasted only seven innings.
The Rays have been on the receiving end of a no-no more frequently. Dating back to their debut season in 1998, the Rays have been no-hit on five separate occasions. That includes in August of 2012, when longtime Seattle Mariners ace Félix Hernández recorded the most recent perfect game in MLB history.