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Clutch by an Angel: Ervin Santana no-hits the Indians

Rob Iracane
Big League Stew

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While most baseball fans were busy sifting through trade speculation and hoping their favorite team could upgrade for a playoff run, the Los Angeles Angels sat back and watched one of their own homegrown pitchers make history on Wednesday afternoon. Ervin Santana threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, earning the win in a big 3-1 victory that allowed the Angels to take two of three at Progressive Field.

As the third starter in a great rotation, Santana gives the team serious hope towards a division title and a deep playoff run. But oddly enough, while Santana can revel in the glory of pitching a no-hitter, a feat that so few pitchers can enjoy, he won't get credit for a shutout despite allowing zero earned runs. The Indians struck first in the game, putting an unearned run on the board in the first inning on an error by infielder Erick Aybar, a stolen base, a runner advanced on fielder's choice, and a wild pitch by Santana himself. It marks the 11th time in MLB history that a pitcher gave up a run despite not allowing any hits.

At one point in his dominating performance, Santana retired 18 consecutive hitters. He ended up allowing just one other baserunner after the first inning — Lonnie Chisenhall's patience was rewarded with a walk in the eighth — and Santana struck out 10 Indians hitters, his first foray into double-digit punchouts since May of last year. {YSP:MORE}

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In a touching turn, Santana spoke about his recently deceased cousin in a postgame interview with Angels broadcaster Jose Mota.

Via Seth Livingstone of USA Today:

"I want to dedicate this no-hitter to my cousin, who just passed away [...] I was on top of the count. I"ll just have to enjoy it. Keep supporting us, keep rooting for us."

Santana's 105-pitch effort was the third no-hitter of the season, after Minnesota Twins hurler Francisco Liriano and Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander did the deed earlier this year. This feat was a nice way to sweeten the sting after CC Sabathia flirted with an eventually washed-out perfect game Tuesday night and Jerry Meals' bad call spoiled a 19-inning barnburner.

Heck, it's certainly not a bad way to record his first win ever against the Indians in his 11th try overall. Prior to Wednesday, Santana struggled against the Cleveland squad, going 0-6 with a 4.98 ERA in his career.

Santana recorded the first Angels no-no since Mike Witt's perfect game in 1984 and the ninth overall in franchise history. He also became the first pitcher to no-hit the Indians since Jim Abbott of the New York Yankees did it back in 1993.

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