NEW YORK — One street over and two decades apart, the Houston Astros repeated a bit of Major League history in the Big Apple: a no-no against the Bronx Bombers.
Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined to throw the 14th no-hitter in Houston Astros history as they defeated the New York Yankees 3-0 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The feat comes more than 19 years to the day, on June 11, 2003, when the Astros used six pitchers in a combined no-hitter against the Yankees that took place inside of the old Yankee Stadium that was located across the street from New York’s current home.
One night after Justin Verlander held the Yankees’ league-leading offense to just one run on four hits over seven innings, Javier was even more dominant over his seven innings of work this afternoon, recording a career-high 13 strikeouts and allowing just two to reach base. Javier struck out at least one hitter in each of his seven innings, struck out two hitters in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, and closed out his afternoon by striking out the side in the seventh, which included punch outs of Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres.
New York Yankees starter Gerrit Cole matched Javier pitch for pitch until there was one out in the seventh inning, when rookie first baseman J.J. Matijevic turned around a 100-mph fastball and deposited it in the second deck in right field to provide the only offense the Astros would need. It was Matijevic’s second career hit, both home runs, after his dinger last Friday against the Chicago White Sox.
Cole finished the game allowing just four hits and the Matijevic home run while striking out eight and walking one.
The Astros added single runs in the eighth and ninth innings, with Jose Altuve’s 14th home run giving Houston a 2-0 lead before a pinch-hit RBI single from pinch hitter Yuli Gurriel pushed the Astros’ lead to three in the final frame.
Hector Neris came in to relieve Javier — who had thrown 115 pitches in his seven innings — in the eighth, and walked two of the first three batter he faced, Aaron Hicks and DJ LeMahieu. Neris recovered to get Joey Gallo to fly out to deep right before Aaron Judge lined into a force out at shortstop to end the threat.
Pressly, who blew the save in Friday’s game by allowing a three-run home run to Hicks in the ninth, was much steadier today, striking out both Rizzo and Josh Donaldson to begin the night before inducing a ground ball from Stanton that Astros third baseman Alex Bregman fielded before throwing across the diamond to complete history.
Today marked the first time the Yankees were no-hit since the game in 2003, when Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner combined on a six-pitcher no-hitter in the old Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have been on the receiving end of a no-no just two times since 1958, with both occurrences coming against Houston.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s contest, with photos taken by ALOST photographer Chris Simon. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 30 pictures in total.