Felix Hernandez pitched the Seattle Mariners' first perfect game and the 23rd in baseball history, overpowering the Tampa Bay Rays in a brilliant 1-0 victory Wednesday.
The Mariners' ace and former AL Cy Young Award winner has long talked of his desire to achieve pitching perfection. He finally accomplished it against the Rays, striking out the side twice and finishing with 12 strikeouts.
It was the third perfect game in baseball this season, joining gems by Chicago's Philip Humber against the Mariners in April and San Francisco's Matt Cain against Houston in June.
Desmond Jennings pinch hit for Jose Lobaton to open the ninth. Hernandez got ahead 1-2 before Jennings fouled off two straight and Hernandez fanned him on a 92 mph fastball down in the zone. Jeff Keppinger batted for Elliot Johnson and grounded out to shortstop on a 1-2 pitch.
With one out to go, Sean Rodriguez got ahead of Hernandez 2-0. Hernandez came back with two straight breaking balls for strikes and ended perfection with a called third strike.
Hernandez threw his arms up to the sky and was mobbed by his teammates at the mound.
Jeremy Hellickson (7-8) took the loss despite allowing only five hits in seven innings.
WHITE SOX 9, BLUE JAYS 5
TORONTO (AP) — Adam Dunn hit his major league-leading 34th home run, Dayan Viciedo and DeWayne Wise also connected and Chicago beat Toronto.
Gavin Floyd pitched six innings to snap a three-start winless streak as the White Sox won back-to-back games north of the border for the first time since Aug. 4-5, 2006.
Kelly Johnson hit a three-run homer and Jeff Mathis hit a solo shot for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of nine and 13 of 17.
Floyd (9-9) came in 0-3 with an 8.25 ERA in three career games at Toronto, but turned that around by allowing three earned runs and eight hits.
Ricky Romero (8-10) allowed six runs and eight hits in six-plus innings.
TIGERS 5, TWINS 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Miguel Cabrera became the first player in Tigers history to reach 30 home runs in five straight seasons and Max Scherzer threw seven scoreless innings for Detroit.
Cabrera also singled in the fifth off Cole De Vries (2-4) to push his majors-leading total to 103 RBIs. His opposite-field solo shot in the first inning put the Tigers in front, and Scherzer (12-6) struck out 10 batters to move ahead of teammate Justin Verlander for the AL lead for at least a few days. Delmon Young added a two-run homer against his former team.
The Tigers began the day two games behind Chicago in the AL Central, with seven contests remaining between them this season.
ORIOLES 5, RED SOX 3
BALTIMORE (AP) — Held hitless by Aaron Cook through five innings, Baltimore sent 10 batters to the plate during a five-run sixth and beat Boston.
Baltimore trailed 2-0 before rallying against Cook, who fueled the uprising with a throwing error on a potential inning-ending, double-play comebacker. The miscue led to three unearned runs and saddled Cook (3-6) with his fourth loss in five starts.
Rookie Miguel Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings to help the Orioles (64-53) secure their ninth win in 11 games and move a game ahead of Tampa Bay for the top AL wild-card spot.
Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his 35th save in 38 tries. The game ended with rookie third baseman Manny Machado making a diving stab of Nick Punto's liner down the line.
Carl Crawford had two RBIs for the Red Sox, who have lost six of eight.
ROYALS 3, ATHLETICS 2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Will Smith pitched seven strong innings, Chris Getz doubled home the go-ahead run and Kansas City defeated Oakland.
Smith (4-4), a 23-year-old rookie left-hander, limited the A's to two runs and five hits, while striking out five and walking one.
With two outs in the seventh, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Getz hit consecutive doubles, the first Kansas City extra-base hits of the game. Cain, who was in a 2-for-24 skid, doubled home Hosmer to tie the score.
Left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle was brought in to face Getz. After fouling off five pitches with two strikes, Getz stroked an opposite-field double on the 11th pitch to bring home Cain.
A's starter Brandon McCarthy (6-4) lost for the first time since April 21, snapping his career-best six-game winning streak.
Greg Holland worked around a leadoff single in the ninth for his fourth save.
YANKEES 3, RANGERS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Freddy Garcia worked around two homers by Josh Hamilton and New York beat Texas for the third straight night.
Hamilton became the second player to reach 100 RBIs this season — Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was first — with his career-high 33rd homer, a line drive to right in the fourth inning. His majestic drive in the sixth was all Texas could muster in their eighth straight loss in the Bronx.
Nick Swisher gave the Yankees the lead with an RBI double off Scott Feldman in a three-run third inning.
Garcia (7-5) matched David Phelps and Hiroki Kuroda with another stellar start for the Yankees. He followed up Kuroda's two-hitter Tuesday by giving up four hits in 6 2-3 innings.
A well-rested bullpen then finished for the Yankees' seventh win in eight games.
Boone Logan got one out. David Robertson struck out two in a perfect eighth, and Rafael Soriano struck out Hamilton leading off the ninth and worked around a throwing error by Eric Chavez for his 29th save.
ANGELS 8, INDIANS 4
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout and Chris Iannetta homered to help Los Angeles build a big lead against Roberto Hernandez in his season debut with Cleveland, and Ervin Santana breezed to a victory.
Santana (6-10) allowed a run and four hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked one. The only run came on a sixth-inning double by Asdrubal Cabrera. Santana, whose only other victory against the Indians was a no-hitter at Cleveland on July 27, 2001, is 2-8 in 14 career starts against the Tribe.
Jason Isringhausen gave up a three-run homer in the eighth to Shin-Soo Choo, his 14th this season, but Kevin Jepsen closed it out with a perfect ninth.
Hernandez, formally known as Fausto Carmona, was added to the Indians' 25-man roster on Tuesday after fellow right-hander Josh Tomlin was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of inflammation in his elbow.