The Tampa Bay Rays hosted the Cleveland Indians Wednesday afternoon for a doubleheader, as a result of Tuesday's affair being pushed back due to Hurricane Elsa. The Rays took both ends. In the second game, the Rays used five relievers to combine for a "no-hitter." As we've gone over before (Madison Bumgarner vs. the Braves in late April), the game was only seven innings and MLB will not consider it an official no-no.
So the Rays pitchers did combine for a shutout. The team got a real win in the standings. And though they didn't allow a hit, it doesn't count as a no-hitter.
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Rays pitchers were in control throughout. Via Statcast, a "hard hit" ball is one over 95 miles per hour in exit velocity. Cleveland managed one of those all game. The 21 outs broke down into eight strikeouts, eight groundouts and five fly outs.
This season, Major League Baseball has already tied the record with seven official no-hitters. Joe Musgrove (Padres), Carlos Rodón (White Sox), John Means (Orioles), Wade Miley (Reds), Spencer Turnbull (Tigers), Corey Kluber (Yankees) and the Cubs (four pitchers combined) have done it. Bumgarner and now a five-man Rays job pulled it off in unofficial capacity.
The Rays' franchise only has one official no-hitter. Matt Garza did it on July 26, 2010.
Possibly the bigger story here, though, is regarding the losing team. That's what Cleveland has been for a bit. The two losses Wednesday ran the season record for Cleveland to 42-42. This was the club's ninth straight loss.
Combining the recent failures of this franchise along with the Tigers working back from a rebuild, the Royals not being very good and the Twins being one of the biggest disappointments in baseball, the table has been cleared for the White Sox to run away with the AL Central despite a rash of major injuries to important position players.
The White Sox won their afternoon game, meaning they now lead Cleveland by eight games. The third-place Tigers are 11 1/2 out. The White Sox now have a 98.1 percent chance to win the division, according to SportsLine.