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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Joe Mauer breaks up no-hitter in 9th for third time in his career

Joe Mauer hitJoe Mauer broke up Anibal Sanchez’s no-hit bid in the ninth inning on Friday night, marking the third time in his career that he has spoiled a no-hitter in the ninth.

Mauer singled on a 1-1 pitch with one out in the ninth inning of a 6-0 game. It was a clean line drive up the middle, so it was nothing anyone could complain about. Sanchez still pitched a complete game one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts as his Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-0, but what Mauer has done is pretty remarkable.

As ESPN Stats & Info pointed out, Mauer has broken up a no-hitter in the ninth three times in his career.

The first time came on May 6, 2008, when Mauer doubled off Gavin Floyd with one out in the ninth inning of a Chicago White Sox 7-1 win over the Twins. Mauer also walked earlier in the game and was the only Twins player to get a hit.

The second time was on Aug. 23, 2010, when Mauer singled off Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz with one out in the ninth inning of a 4-0 Rangers win. Rich Harden and three relievers were attempting to combine on the no-hitter. The Twins were also one-hit in the game.

All three times Mauer has broken up a no-hitter have come with one out in the ninth inning. His team was one-hit each time.

Right before he got his single, I tweeted “No way a team with Joe Mauer in the lineup gets no-hit.” I didn’t realize he was such a no-hitter killer, but it was just a natural thought; Mauer is a pure hitter. He gets on base, hits to all fields, and he is one of the toughest outs in baseball. It’s awfully tough to shut him down every at-bat in a game.

Credit to Sanchez, too, who threw the one-hitter five starts after setting a franchise record with 17 strikeouts in a game. Sanchez was also attempting to throw the second no-hitter of his career. He no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks as a rookie in 2006.

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