Led by Javier (13 K’s), Astros no-hit powerful Yanks in Bronx

Led by Javier (13 K's), Astros no-hit powerful Yanks in Bronx thumbnail

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NEW YORK — A sellout crowd swarmed Yankee Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon hoping perhaps to see a no-hitter with Gerrit Cole on the mound. They saw the no-no, though not in the manner in which they could have imagined.

Astros starter Cristian Javier, who signed for $10,000 as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, combined with relievers Héctor Neris and Ryan Pressly to no-hit the Yankees – the team with the best record in baseball – in Houston’s scintillating 3-0 win.

It’s the first time the Yankees have been no-hit since six Astros pitchers combined to no-hit them on June 11, 2003 at old Yankee Stadium. Those are the only two no-hitters thrown against the Yankees since 1958.

Javier, 25, struck out a career-high 13 batters in seven no-hit innings, throwing a career-high 115 pitches (71 strikes) in the process. That’s the most strikeouts by a Houston starter since Cole struck out 14 batters on Sept. 24, 2019.

Josh Donaldson was the only Yankee to reach base against Javier. He drew a first-inning walk on a close 3-2 pitch in which he held up on a check swing, and he reached again in the seventh on a throwing error by third baseman Alex Bregman.

It’s the 14th no-hitter thrown in Astros history and the first since Justin Verlander spun the third of his career Sept. 1, 2019 in Toronto. The combined no-hitter at Yankee Stadium 19 years ago came after starter Roy Oswalt left with an injury after one inning and relievers Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner finished it off.

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Cole, who carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning his previous start, didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the fifth and kept the Astros off the board until rookie J.J. Matijevic hit a tape-measure homer to right field with two outs in the seventh. Jose Altuve added a solo homer in the eighth off reliever Michael King.

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