clear
Wednesday September 20th, 2017 9:34PM

Hill loses no-hit try on HR in 10th, Pirates top Dodgers 1-0

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Rich Hill's first 98 pitches left the Pittsburgh Pirates confounded, occasionally fuming and absolutely hitless. His 99th turned a potentially historic night by the Los Angeles Dodgers lefty into something else entirely:

A loss.

After Hill's bid for a perfect game was spoiled by a leadoff error in the ninth inning, Josh Harrison started the 10th by connecting on an 88 mph fastball over the middle of the plate and sending a drive into the first row of seats in left field. It wrecked Hill's improbable — and improbably lengthy — try at a no-hitter and lifted the Pirates to a stunning 1-0 win on Wednesday.

"It falls on me, this one — one bad pitch," Hill said.

Dodgers left fielder Curtis Granderson made a fearless attempt to preserve the no-hitter, banging into the wall going for a catch. When the ball sailed inches past his outstretched glove, Harrison sprinted around the bases after his 16th home run while Hill (9-5) slowly walked off the field after being handed his first loss in nearly two months.

"I hit it and I knew I didn't get it all," Harrison said. "I knew I got enough."

Just enough on a night Hill flirted with the 24th perfect game in major league history. His shot at joining one of baseball's most exclusive clubs ended when third baseman Logan Forsythe couldn't handle Jordy Mercer's grounder opening the ninth. Hill retired the next three batters and manager Dave Roberts sent the 37-year-old Hill out for the 10th, a makeup call of sorts after Hill was pulled after seven innings and 89 pitches of perfection against Miami last September.

It turned out to be one batter too many, though both Hill and Roberts tried to downplay their disappointment. Hill remains in the middle of a late-career renaissance in Los Angeles and his flirtation with perfection is the latest sign his stuff — built on precision rather than power — can still get batters out with remarkable efficiency.

"He competed, every pitch was with a purpose," Roberts said. "Unfortunately, we just couldn't get that one hit. We've done it all year long."

Just not this time.

Seattle ace Felix Hernandez threw the last perfect game in the big leagues, in 2012 against Tampa Bay. Since then, three pitchers have lost perfect game tries with two outs in the ninth — Yu Darvish for Texas and Yusmeiro Petit for San Francisco in 2013 and Max Scherzer for Washington in 2015. Miami's Edinson Volquez has pitched the only no-hitter in the majors this year, in June against Arizona.

Hill became the first pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 1995 to take a no-hit try into extra innings. Martinez, then with Montreal, lost his perfect game in the 10th at San Diego. Hill finished nine innings with a "0'' in the hit column but it doesn't count as an official no-no.

Under Major League Baseball rules, a pitcher must complete the game — going nine innings isn't enough if it goes into extras. Back in 1959, a Pirates pitcher had perhaps the most famous near-miss of all when Harvey Haddix lost his perfect game and the game itself in the 13th at Milwaukee.

Hill nodded when told of Haddix's story in the aftermath, though the similarities are only superficial. Haddix and the '59 Pirates finished in fourth place, nine games out of first.

Even with the setback, the Dodgers (89-36) remain within striking distance of the best regular-season record in major league history and favorites to reach the World Series. That was the ultimate goal when Hill threw his first pitch in front of 19,859 at PNC. And when he threw his last.

"We have something bigger than any individual here that's going on," Hill said. "That's something we all realize and have to understand tomorrow is another day and is a big day to come back and win the series. We're in it for the delayed gratification, not the instant gratification."

Still, the signs appeared to be pointing toward something special.

Hill raced through eight innings thanks in part to impeccable control and some spectacular defense behind him, most notably a diving grab by second baseman Chase Utley on a liner by Josh Bell leading off the eighth.

Bell was ruled safe on a close play at first in the second inning, but the call was overturned when replay showed Hill tagged him just before his foot hit the bag. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez also made a sliding grab on a bunt attempt by Harrison in the fourth but otherwise, Hill was in firm command.

Hill struck out 10 and only reached three-ball counts twice but it wasn't enough to shake Pittsburgh's Trevor Williams. The rookie matched Hill out for out, if not pitch for pitch. Williams scattered seven hits in eight innings, including a nine-pitch battle with Forsythe to end the eighth, an at bat that ended with Forsythe lining out to short with the go-ahead run on second base.

Juan Nicasio (2-5) kept Los Angeles scoreless in the top of the 10th and Harrison stepped to the plate leading off the bottom of the inning with a little bit of history on his side. He broke up a no-hit bid by Detroit's Justin Verlander with two outs in the ninth in 2012. That game ended in a Pittsburgh loss. This one ended with Harrison mobbed at home plate while Hill left as the losing pitcher following the best game of his career.

"It's just baseball is so weird and, you end up with a loss," Williams said of watching Hill work so brilliantly. "It's crazy."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (lower back strain) will make a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday. Roberts said the team considered having Kershaw return directly to the majors on Saturday but decided to exercise caution with such a large lead in the division. ... RHP Yu Darvish (lower back tightness) will be activated off the disabled list on Sunday and start against Milwaukee.

Pirates: Trainer Todd Tomczyk is "optimistic" RF Gregory Polanco will return from a strained left hamstring before the end of the season. Polanco is currently on the 10-day disabled list for a third time this season because of hamstring trouble. ... C Francisco Cervelli (left wrist inflammation) is eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday and could return to the lineup.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-6, 3.45 ERA) is undefeated in his last eight starts, going 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA since June 17.

Pirates: Chad Kuhl (6-8, 4.52) will try to bounce back from his worst start of the season on Thursday. Kuhl gave up eight runs in three-plus innings last week against St. Louis.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Major League Baseball, AP Sports - Minor League Baseball
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Hill loses no-hit try on HR in 10th, Pirates top Dodgers 1-0
Dodgers lefty Rich Hill lost his perfect game on an error in the ninth, then lost his no-hitter on a leadoff home run in the 10th inning by Josh Harrison that sent the Pittsburgh Pirates over Los Angeles 1-0
9:55PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Thailand awaits verdict that could send former PM to prison
Thais anxiously await a verdict on charges accusing former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of negligence in implementing a rice subsidy estimated to have cost billions and that could send her to prison
9:50PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Thailand awaits verdict that could sent former PM to prison
Thais anxiously await a verdict on charges accusing former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of negligence in implementing a rice subsidy estimated to have cost billions and that could send her to prison
9:40PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Supporters want Colin Kaepernick signed by NFL season start
Hundreds of supporters of ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have rallied outside the National Football League's New York headquarters to support him and demand he be signed by the start of the regular season next month
9:20PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Supporters want Colin Kaepernick hired by NFL season start
Hundreds of supporters of ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have rallied outside the National Football League's New York headquarters to support him and demand he be signed by the start of the regular season next month
9:17PM ( 45 minutes ago )
10 Things to Know for Thursday
Among 10 Things to Know: Tension escalates between Trump, McConnell; police thwart possible attack in Dutch port city of Rotterdam; Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods approved.
9:16PM ( 45 minutes ago )
AP Sports
Nasty: Good pitching beats good hitting (so far) at LLWS
Some managers were struck by the power of the tournament's young hitters headed into the Little League World Series
5:42PM ( 4 hours ago )
Pujols passes Sosa on HR list, Angels beat Rangers 10-1
Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer to become the major league career leader in home runs by a player born outside the United States, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 10-1 on Tuesday night
3:30AM ( 18 hours ago )
LEADING OFF: Cubs check Bryant, Nats still rolling vs Astros
LEADING OFF: Cubs check Bryant, Nats still rolling vs Astros
2:28AM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
Critics: Utah horse meeting is secretive 'slaughter summit'
Federal scientists and mostly rural interests are gathering at a wild horse conference in Utah that mustang protection advocates claim is intended to promote increased roundups and eventual slaughter of tens of thousands of animals across the West.
9:13PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Within 24 hours, a pair of wildly different Trump speeches
Within a 24-hour span, President Donald Trump delivered one speech in which he tore into the media and members of his own party, and then a second in which he called for national unity and love
9:07PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Pence in Florida: US won't stand by as Venezuela crumbles
Vice President Mike Pence addressed a sympathetic crowd of Venezuelans in South Florida as he assured them the U.S. will use its economic and diplomatic power to push for free elections.
8:32PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Trump-McConnell feud threatens Republican agenda
President Trump's clash with his own party's Senate leader threatens to undermine Republican agenda at high-stakes moment
6:49PM ( 3 hours ago )
Trump administration calls out Egypt on human rights
Washington's surprise decision this week to cut or delay nearly $300 million in aid to Egypt is the first time the Trump administration has publicly called out Cairo on its poor human rights record
5:49PM ( 4 hours ago )
Wrapped: Charlottesville covers Confederate statues in black
Some onlookers cheered as workers in Charlottesville draped a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee with a black shroud on Wednesday
4:58PM ( 5 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Marines fitness instructor puts Kate Upton through her paces
The U.S. Marines put supermodel Kate Upton through her paces on Tuesday during a workout in Detroit to promote the upcoming Marine Week celebration in the city
5:28PM ( 1 day ago )
Double shot: Indians place Miller, Salazar on disabled list
Indians place All-Star Miller, Salazar on the disabled list.
3:56PM ( 1 day ago )
Hall of Fame baseball announcer Rafael 'Felo' Ramirez dies
Rafael "Felo" Ramirez, a Hall of Fame baseball radio broadcaster who was the signature voice for millions of Spanish-speaking sports fans over three decades, has died
11:01AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Violence in Charlottesville leads to soul-searching at ACLU
After Charlottesville, Virginia, march and counterprotester's death, ACLU confronts a once-heretical notion: Maybe some speech isn't worth defending
9:31PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Dodgers' Hill loses perfect game in 9th on error vs Pirates
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill has lost his bid for a perfect game on a leadoff error in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hill still has no-hitter intact
9:30PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Egypt angered by US aid cut over human rights concerns
Egypt has reacted angrily to the U.S. decision to cut or delay nearly $300 million in military and economic aid over concerns about Cairo's human rights record, a surprise decision given the countries' close ties since President Donald Trump took office
9:24PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Tribal coalition joins blitz to save national monument areas
A tribal coalition has joined the blitz to stop Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from downsizing or eliminating national monument areas, sending letters to President Donald Trump saying that "making America great again" includes honoring tribal history
9:23PM ( 39 minutes ago )
The Latest: Supporters want Kaepernick signed before season
Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick are demanding he be signed by a team before the National Football League season starts next month
9:23PM ( 39 minutes ago )