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Sunday's MLB: Bumgarner pitches 7-inning no-hitter; Oakland's winning streak comes to end

By George Henry
Associated Press

Atlanta — Madison Bumgarner threw a seven-inning no-hitter, an achievement that won't count in the Major League Baseball record book but completed a dominant day of Arizona Diamondbacks pitching for a 7-0 win over the Atlanta Braves and a doubleheader sweep Sunday.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner, center right, is congratulated after pitching a seven-inning no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves at the end of the second baseball game of a doubleheader Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Atlanta.

After Zac Gallen tossed a one-hitter to win the opener 5-0, Bumgarner did even better.

Bumgarner struck out seven and the only Braves batter who reached base against him came on shortstop Nick Ahmed's throwing error in the second inning.

Bumgarner casually shook hands with catcher Carson Kelly after Marcell Ozuna lined out to end it. Then the rest of the Diamondbacks joined in with the tall left-hander and the celebration livened up around the mound.

Officially, Bumgarner's gem won't count in the list of no-hitters. MLB’s eight-man committee on statistical accuracy decided in 1991 that a no-hitter was a game of nine or more innings that ended with no hits.

Other pitchers had come close since Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB switched to seven-inning doubleheaders last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It feels good. I just want to say two things before I go celebrate with the guys," Bumgarner said on a TV interview after the game. "I want to thank these shadows in Atlanta. They helped me out a good bit. That was awesome. And I want to thank Rob Manfred for making these seven-inning games.”

There have already been two official no-hitters this season.

Joe Musgrove pitched the first no-no in the history of the San Diego Padres when he topped Texas on April 9. Carlos Rodón of the Chicago White Sox no-hit Cleveland on April 14.

Atlanta's only hit during the afternoon was by reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman, who lined a clean single to right-center field off Gallen with one out in the sixth of the opener.

Bumgarner and Gallen, however, are officially credited with shutouts. This made Arizona the first team to throw a pair of complete-game shutouts in a doubleheader since Boston’s Reggie Cleveland and Don Aase at Toronto on Sept. 5, 1977.

Bumgarner (2-2) struck out Ronald Acuña Jr. to begin the seventh, then retired Freeman on a popup that Ahmed went a long way to get. Ozuna lined an easy fly to right fielder Josh Rojas for the final out.

The 2014 World Series MVP with San Francisco, the 31-year-old Bumgarner retired the last 17 batters after Ozzie Albies reached on Ahmed' error leading off the second.

Making his 300th career start, Bumgarner has won his last two starts with a 0.75 ERA. He posted an 11.19 ERA in his first three starts this season.

Bumgarner likes to swing the bat, he got to the plate before throwing a pitch as the Diamondbacks scored five runs in the first off Drew Smyly (0-1). Pavin Smith and David Peralta homered during the burst.

Eduardo Escobar added his seventh homer to make it 6-0 in the third.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner, right, is congratulated by catcher Carson Kelly after pitching a 7-inning no hitter against the Atlanta Braves, at the end of the second baseball game of a double header, Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Atlanta.

Smyly, who came off the injured list Saturday after missing six games with left elbow inflammation, went four innings.

In the first game, Gallen (1-0) struck out six, walked two and hit a batter.

Gallen found out after the game that he wouldn’t have qualified for an official no-hitter in a seven-inning game.

“It wouldn’t have counted, so that makes me feel better that it wasn’t actually a no-hitter anyway,” the 29-year-old righty said. “The complete-game shutout, I guess, works. That’s fine. We won. It really doesn’t matter. That’s the most important part.”

Gallen, who finished ninth in the NL Cy Young Award voting last year, threw his first complete game in 30 major league starts.

Arizona has won six of seven and seven of 10. The Diamondbacks went 7-3 on their road trip.

Stephen Vogt and Kole Calhoun homered off Bryse Wilson (1-1).

Oakland's 13-game winning streak ends, Orioles romp 8-1

Baltimore — Rather than getting giddy, Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin says his team has become “greedy.”

Oakland's 13-game winning streak ended Sunday as Austin Hays hit a pair of home runs, starter John Means had another stellar performance and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Athletics 8-1.

Oakland Athletics' Jed Lowrie reacts after striking out against the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Baltimore.

The A's, who opened the season with six straight losses, put together their third-longest winning string since moving to Oakland in 1968.

“You do want to win the series but you also want to get greedy,” Melvin said. “We’ve been greedy here recently. It’s about winning every game that you go out there and play."

“At the end of the day, if you leave and you win a series, it’s a good thing. But we wanted to win bad today. We just didn’t do enough offensively to give ourselves a chance,” he said.

Oakland won 14 in a row in 1988 and a then-American League record of 20 consecutive wins in 2002. Cleveland broke that mark with 22 straight in 2017 — the Athletics' string had been the longest in the majors since that run by the Indians.

Means (2-0) had additional two days of rest heading into this start because manager Brandon Hyde wants to keep his pitchers fresh. The left-hander allowed just one run on two hits with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 1.50 — best among AL starters.

“I just feel very comfortable right now with my mentality and stuff,” Means said. “I'm just going try to keep that going.”

Hays hit his first two homers of the season. Cedric Mullins had three hits, raising his average to .350 for Baltimore.

The Orioles broke open the game with five runs in the eighth that began with a solo home run by Maikel Franco and a bases-loaded walk by A's reliever Deolis Guerra to Ryan McKenna, who earned his first major league RBI. A bases-loaded error by shortstop Elvis Andrus gave the Orioles their sixth run before Trey Mancini delivered a two-run single.

“We’re definitely a confident group and knew that if we kept playing our game and kept working to get better, things we’re going to turn around,” A's third baseman Matt Chapman said.

“We started putting together good at-bats. Once we get hot, we get rolling, I don’t know if we could have predicted we were going to win 13 in a row like that, but who would have thought we would have lost six in a row to start the season, It all evened itself out and we’re right where we need to be to make a run at this thing," he said.

A’s left-hander Jesús Luzardo (1-2) allowed three runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts and two walks over a season-high 6 2/3 innings.

But he was outdueled by Means, who kept the A's off-balance for most of the day with his four-seam fastball, slider and changeup.

“I think this was a pretty solid outing," Luzardo said. "Obviously, we didn’t get the win. It wasn’t what we wanted. Hays got me twice. I am not happy that we lost. I feel like taking back a pitch or two, but other than that, I feel really good.”

Hays gave the Orioles the lead with a solo shot to center in the second. Ramón Laureano tied it at 1 in the fourth when he homered into Baltimore's bullpen.

Hays answered in the bottom half with an opposite-field, two-run homer that gave Baltimore a 3-1 lead. It was the second multihomer game of the 25-year-old's career.

“You hope that something like this kick-start the offense and really gets us going,” Hays said. “Hopefully, we can carry what we did today into tomorrow against the Yankees.”